Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

December 3, 2003

Selective fishing rules apply on lower Methow, Similkameen rivers

Action: Winter whitefish fishing on portions of the Similkameen and Methow Rivers require the use of selective gear rules.

Effective dates:

* Similkameen River - December 1, 2003 through March 31, 2004

* Methow River - December 1, 2003 through March 31, 2004

Species affected: Whitefish

Location & Regulations

1) Similkameen River - From mouth to 400 feet below Enloe Dam - Selective gear rules and night closure.

2) Methow River - From the mouth (Highway 97 bridge) upstream to the confluence with the Chewuch (Chewack) River in Winthrop - Selective gear rules except motorized vessels allowed and night closure.

Reason for action: Selective gear rules have been applied to the whitefish fisheries in these areas to be consistent with the current selective gear rules for steelhead.

Other information: Anglers are permitted to harvest hatchery origin steelhead with an adipose fin-clipped and a healed scar in the location of the missing fin. Two (2) fish daily limit, 20-inch minimum size. All wild steelhead must be immediately released unharmed. Night Closure and Selective Gear Rules are defined on pages 15 and 16 of the 2003/04 Fishing Rules pamphlet. The Methow River from the mouth of the Chewuch River to the falls above Brush Creek and the Similkameen River above Enloe Dam are open only to fishing for whitefish and anglers must follow whitefish gear rules (one (1) single barbless hook 3/16? or smaller measured point to shank (size14), bait is allowed).

Information contacts: Kirk Truscott, District 6 Fish Biologist (509) 664-1227, Joe Foster, Regional Fish Program Manager (509) 754-4624.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.