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

December 4, 2003

Anglers may retain hatchery steelhead including those bearing disk tags in certain eastside rivers

Action: Anglers may retain adipose fin-clipped steelhead including those bearing disk tags in areas of the Columbia, Okanogan, Similkameen and Methow rivers currently open to steelhead fishing.

Effective dates: November 20, 2003, until further notice, except the section of the Okanogan River from the Highway 97 Bridge at Omak to a line across the river 500 feet above the mouth of Omak Creek, which will close February 16, 2004.

Species affected: Adipose fin-clipped hatchery origin steelhead including those bearing disk tags

Location & Regulations

* Columbia River from Rocky Reach Dam upstream to Chief Joseph Dam. Statewide gear rules and night closure.

* Okanogan River from mouth upstream. Selective gear rules, except motorized vessels allowed and night closure.

* Similkameen River from the mouth to 400 feet below Enloe Dam. Selective gear rules and night closure; whitefish gear rules do not apply.

* 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; whitefish gear rules do not apply.

Reason for action: Disk tags were applied to steelhead during run-size determination and fish sampling operations at Priest Rapids Dam. The disk tagged adipose fin-clipped hatchery-origin fish are no longer needed for monitoring purposes. Large numbers of surplus adipose fin-clipped steelhead returned to the Upper Columbia River and its tributaries and harvesting these fish will not impact upper Columbia River wild steelhead recovery.

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. Adipose fin-clipped steelhead containing a disk tag may also be harvested. Two (2) fish daily limit, 20-inch minimum size. Anglers fishing for other game fish species (including whitefish) are required to follow the same gear restrictions and night closures as steelhead