Whatcom Creek

Main Species: Salmon
Sub Species: Trout
Size: Small river/stream
Public Access: Yes
Boat Launch: No
Bathrooms: No
Opening Date: Varies by species and section. Special rules in place.
Closing date: Varies by species and section. Special rules in place.

whatcom creek
whatcom creek

Whatcom Creek in Bellingham is a small sized creek that drains out of Lake Whatcom. Fishing was once good for trout throughout but after a pipeline explosion years ago the trout populations have been diminished. Certain areas are open to trout fishing throughout the spring and summer months with some areas being closed and others reserved for juvenile anglers under the age of 15. The tidewater area at the  mouth is open for salmon in the fall and has runs of Chinook, Coho, Chum and Pink salmon as well as a few steelhead. Fishing can be classifieds as “combat fishing” down by the mouth with lots of anglers standing along a concrete wall. Snagging and flossing can be a problem. There are however areas further down from the “wall” where anglers can fish from the bank without standing shoulder to shoulder with lots of other people. Some brave anglers fly fish this area.

There is a hatchery right at the mouth with fish ladders. They have put a tube near the landing area that anglers can put Chum salmon that they have caught illegally, or do not want to keep, into. The tube puts the salmon into holding tanks where they can be harvested for spawning purposes.

Anti Snagging rules are in place on Whatcom creek in the estuary area down by the salmon hatchery. This means that lures are limited to a single-point hook. Weights may not be attached below or less than 12″ above the lure or bait. People fishing in this area do not always follow this rule. However, ignoring this rule is not advised since it is in place for a reason. Numerous fish stack up in this area and can easily be snagged in the side if fishing with the wrong kind of gear. Game wardens patrol this area and will write tickets to people using illegal gear or intentionally snagging fish.


Anglers are advised to check the sport fishing rules pamphlet, which is available on WDFW’s website athttp://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/regs/fishregs.htm.