2015 Top Ten Salmon Fishing Rivers in Washington State

Posted by on April 28, 2015
1. The Columbia River – The Columbia has the highest Salmon return in the State with millions of fish coming up that beast every year. Hands down the Columbia is my Number one.
2. The Cowlitz River – The Cowlitz river is prime time fishing when it comes to Salmon and Steelhead with runs coming up the river allyear long. The Cowlitz river has one of the largest fish hatchery’s in the world which means most of the fishare allowedto be retained.
3. The Skokomish River – TheSkoke has been an upper tier fishery since I can remember. Last year I swear I saw more Chinook in theSkokomish than any river I hit in 2014. 

4. The Puyallup River – The Puyallup river almost never disappoints it’s hard to lose when they are running hot on the Puyallup. In 2014 at the beginning of the Chinook season the tribes netted over 10,000 lbs of fish out of the river at the top of the run. So many fish were coming up there was still enough to feed the sport fishing industry and for the hatchery to get their eggs take.

 

5. The Nisqually River – After 2014 I almost don’t want to put the Nisqually in my top ten but the king run started off pretty good last year then puttered out. Plus this year is a Pink year so the NisQ should be a winner hopefully the commercial fishing industry on that river will save some for the sport fishery this year.

 

6. The Snohomish River – The Snohomish is our number six not so much because the Snohomish river by itself is such a great fishery but the Snohomish river system on the other hand consists of the Skykomish, Wallace and Snoqualime which are all great salmon fishing river. This places the Snoho in the upper echelon in our book.

 

7. The Green (Duwamish) River – Although there are two Green river’s in Washington state The Duwamish versus the Cowlitz county but the King County Green river is the big boy. I must say the Green river in Cowlitz county produces decent Salmon returns as well, but the Green River (Duwamish) offers up a massive Coho return and decent Pink as well. Overall I think the Green is under rated in many anglers books, but my personal belief is that the Green is a main player in the region.

 

8. The Skagit River – It will be knee deep in Pinks pretty soon. Plunker Paradise. Nothing like kicking back in the old lawn chair favorite beverage in hand, plunking sand shrimp behind a spin glow. great times to be had on the Skagit with opportunities for Steelhead,Chinook, Coho, Pinks and Sockeye.

 

9. The Noocksack River – The Noocksack has one of the largest King Salmon returns in the Puget Sound and would be higher on our list but once the nets come out the Lummis pretty much kill the run. Hit it early for 2015 and your sure to win.

 

10.The Quillayute River – Last but not least is the Quillayute which is in our back yard makes up the last of the top ten, largely due to the fact that the Bogachiel, Sol Duc and Calawah are all part of the Quillayute river system and are all renowned for both Salmon and Steelhead. Big ones at that.

This is our official Lunker’s Guide top ten Salmon fishing river for Washington State. There are several anglers whom would debate our list but our ratings are based on the total number of fish that return to a specific river.  There are several other notables rivers in Washington that offer excellent Salmon fishing opportunities with less fishing pressure. Check out our extensive list of Washington rivers for more details.

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