Saltwater WDFW-Compliant way to have more than a day's fish on board?

Tish

Almost A Member
Jun 27, 2019
160
128
Shoreline WA
Name
Grant
Boat
1991 Achilles SGX-122, 1997 Boston Whaler Dauntless 17
I searched around here but didn't find an answer to this question. Here's the deal: I am (hopefully) about to move into a bigger boat which would allow me to branch out into overnights and multi-day fishing trips. The boat has a tote so no issue with storing a good amount of fish on ice for a few days.

So my question is this: If I go out for multiple days, catch limits each day and sleep on the hook at night, is there some way for me to not get busted by WDFW if they inspect me and find that I have yesterday's limit and today's limit on board at the same time?

This seems like it should be a common question but like I said I didn't find an answer in my searching, if there is already a thread on this or whatever let me know!
 
Upvote 0

Cwillis

Sometimes you're top boat...sometimes you're not.
  • Jul 15, 2009
    1,028
    923
    Woodinville, WA
    Name
    Casey
    Boat
    23 Pacific
    Processed and frozen I believe.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Tish
    Upvote 0

    Tish

    Almost A Member
    Jun 27, 2019
    160
    128
    Shoreline WA
    Name
    Grant
    Boat
    1991 Achilles SGX-122, 1997 Boston Whaler Dauntless 17
    Processed and frozen I believe.
    Yeah, saw mention of this in threads related to halibut and seemed like it might be the ticket. I know that I'm not supposed to process fish until I've "landed" them so that the WDFW has a shot at verifying the fish is legal. So is the deal that I catch the fish on day 1, "land" in some harbor same day by tying up to the guest dock or whatever, process and package my fish while I am there, then depart and sleep on the hook somewhere until I start fishing the next day?
     
    Upvote 0

    RedRunner

    Almost A Member
    Jul 15, 2016
    114
    86
    Stanwood
    Name
    Josh
    Boat
    Northwest SeaStar

    Possession Limits​

    Vessel Limits Marine areas 1-6: Anglers aboard a boat may only possess one daily limit of fish or shellfish in fresh form.

    Salmon – Two daily limits of fresh salmon. An additional 40 pounds of salmon may be possessed in a frozen or processed form (see Definitions).

    Possession Limit The number of daily limits allowed to be kept in the field or in transit.

    Processed Fish or shellfish that have been subjected to heat (including kippering, smoking, canning, and boiling).

    Frozen Fish or shellfish that are hard frozen throughout.

    From the regs...
     
    Upvote 0

    Wild Bill

    Not Blackmouthing
    Aug 4, 2010
    3,620
    3,810
    Camano Island
    Name
    Steve
    Boat
    Otter Craft
    A bit grey but for sure you would have to have to have fish processed (subjected to heat) or frozen, to have more than one days limit in possession on boat in areas 1-6. Still the warden would probably bust your balls. You would have to have a pretty kickass freezer onboard to completely freeze any amount of fish in under 12 hrs. You probably could pull it off by vac packing and immersing packs in a salt ice slurry to partially freeze and then put in freezer to complete freezing process. Otherwise it will take 24 hrs or more to completely freeze if you just jam a load in the freezer. Do not construe this as on advice on how to get around the printed game laws, it is rather a comment on how you may achieve a completely frozen product in a relatively short amount of time.
     
    Last edited:
    Upvote 0

    RedRunner

    Almost A Member
    Jul 15, 2016
    114
    86
    Stanwood
    Name
    Josh
    Boat
    Northwest SeaStar
    Practically speaking, if you want to keep more than 2 days limits you need a freezer.

    These are pretty slick little fridges that could fit on the deck of decent sized boat. Tri-fuel which gives you options depending on where you end up for the night. If you go this route prepare to spend $1k+ the cheap ones on amazon don't work worth a shit.

     
    • Like
    Reactions: Tish
    Upvote 0

    Salmon Hunter

    Member
    Apr 29, 2010
    272
    43
    West Richland WA
    Name
    Rick
    Boat
    19’ Northwest Jet
    There is language in the regs now that talks about not processing the fish where species, size, hatchery origin (and other characteristics) cannot be determined until the angle is ashore and is done fishing for the day. The ashore portion could be a problem.
    DE340C78-0120-4A19-B68A-E2454FFDFF28.png
     
    Upvote 0

    Wild Bill

    Not Blackmouthing
    Aug 4, 2010
    3,620
    3,810
    Camano Island
    Name
    Steve
    Boat
    Otter Craft
    You absolutely may portion/process/freeze fish on a boat but you must retain carcass with attached proof of the pertinent criteria for that species.
     
    Upvote 0

    Buzz2401

    Boat HO
  • Jun 29, 2009
    1,213
    144
    Shelton, Wa USA
    Name
    Russ
    Boat
    glass
    We stayed on boat years ago and processed and froze the fish. We got boarded and the WDFW weren't happy. Luckily we had checked the fish with the checker and she remembered us. We were told not to do it again.
     
    Upvote 0

    sgwill122

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Feb 21, 2011
    2,098
    2,509
    Redmond/WA/USA
    Name
    Stephen
    Boat
    'Lady Karen' 28 Duckworth Offshore
    We stayed on boat years ago and processed and froze the fish. We got boarded and the WDFW weren't happy. Luckily we had checked the fish with the checker and she remembered us. We were told not to do it again.
    Sounds like you were well within the regs.
     
    Upvote 0

    marlyn

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
  • Dec 18, 2005
    8,798
    5,463
    So Cal
    Name
    mark
    Boat
    21' skiff and 12' portabote recycled from milk jugs
    In california you can get a multi-day permit before leaving which allows you to have that many days limits on board,maybe your wdfw has something similar?
     
    Upvote 0

    tacklejacked

    Capt./ Ho if I get to drive
    Jun 2, 2009
    3,128
    3,492
    Seabeck
    Name
    Greg
    Boat
    22 Hewescraft Searunner ET HT
    Just tell em your wife divorced you and ran off with some wdfw enforcement guy and all you got is the boat..it's your home, office, and where you bring the hooker's once a week.
     
    Upvote 0