Everything You Need To Know About Walla Walla River Fishing

Fishing provides a terrific opportunity to explore more of the outdoors around where you live and/or travel to. Each river, lake, and pond offer a different experience for anglers. The Walla Walla, Washington area has numerous fishing holes for you to try. Before you pack your fishing gear, here’s everything you need to know about Walla Walla River fishing.

Fishing Licenses

Your first stop or item on your checklist needs to be an up-to-date fishing license. Visitors to the Walla Walla area and residents who are fifteen or older, both need a license before they can fish in Washington state’s waterways. You can obtain a license by accessing the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website. If they have your email address, you can receive a temporary license electronically.

However, catch record cards are not always available through email. If you need a catch record card right away, stop by one of the many local dealers. Be sure to carry your card with you when you fish.

Regardless of how you obtain your license, checking Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) website for the most current regulations is highly recommended. The type of fish and the season in which you fish can change seasonally.

Walla Walla River

Originating in the Blue Mountains, the waters of the Walla Walla River flow into the Columbia River in the vicinity of Wallula, Washington. More than 1700 square miles encompass the entire scope of the Walla Walla watershed. Almost seventy-five percent of the basin is situated in Washington state; the balance of the watershed can be found in northeastern Oregon.

Not only is the area important for fishing and as a water supply, but it was also part of the lands explored by Lewis and Clark. The duo and their expedition spent time with Chief Yelleppit, leader of the Yelleppit, whose village was located near the Walla Walla River confluence. Today, much of the area near the confluence of the river is part of the McNary Wildlife Refuge.

Fishing on the Walla Walla River

As the river flows from Oregon through Washington its runs of fish can change. Seasonally, the fish that you can expect to find will also differ. Anglers who access the Walla Walla River can usually fish for smallmouth bass, steelhead, and channel catfish.

The lower you travel along the river toward the Columbia, the more warm water fishing you will experience. Here is where you will have more access to large channel catfish, which you can fish for at night to avoid the heat of the summer months.

There are public fishing areas that you can use to access the Walla Walla. One is McDonald Road that has parking spots available. Once you have parked, you will have about ¼ of a mile of access to both sides of the river. The west side of the river permits shotgun and archery hunting, so be aware of the season and others enjoying the outdoors.

Two other public access points are Stovall Road and Swegle Road. Both provide access to the banks of the Walla Walla River. Try all three to find your favorite fishing spot!