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

October 12, 2012

Upper Columbia and selected tributaries to open for hatchery steelhead fishing

ACTIONS: Open the Columbia River from Rock Island Dam to Chief Joseph Dam, including the Wenatchee, Icicle, Entiat, Methow, and Okanogan Rivers, on Oct. 16, 2012, and the Similkameen River on Nov.1, 2012 to fishing for adipose-fin clipped hatchery-origin steelhead until further notice.

SPECIES AFFECTED: Hatchery adipose fin clipped steelhead

GENERAL RULES:

Mandatory retention of adipose fin clipped steelhead, daily limit two (2) hatchery steelhead. Hatchery steelhead are identified by a missing adipose fin with a healed scar in its location.

Anglers must stop fishing for hatchery steelhead after they have retained two hatchery steelhead.

Selective gear rules are in effect for all steelhead fishery areas, bait is allowed on mainstem Columbia River from Rock Island Dam to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam. Night closure in effect for all steelhead fishery areas.

Adipose present steelhead must be released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.

Release all steelhead with a floy (anchor) tag attached and/or one or more round 1/4 inch in diameter holes punched in the caudal (tail) fin.

Motorized vessels are not allowed on the Wenatchee and Icicle Rivers (Chelan Co ordinance 7.20.190 Motorboat restrictions)

Whitefish anglers are reminded that under selective gear rules in the tributaries, bait is prohibited.

EFFECTIVE DATES AND LOCATIONS:

1) The mainstem Columbia River from Rock Island Dam to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam; Oct. 16, 2012 until further notice.

2) The Wenatchee River from the mouth to the Wenatchee River at the Icicle Road Bridge, including the Icicle River from the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam; Oct.16, 2012 until further notice.

3) The Entiat River upstream from the Alternate Highway 97 Bridge near the mouth of the Entiat River to 800 feet downstream of the Entiat National Fish Hatchery outfall; Oct. 16, 2012 until further notice.

4) The Methow River from the mouth to the confluence with the Chewuch River in Winthrop; Oct.16, 2012 until further notice. Fishing from a floating device is prohibited from the second powerline crossing (1 mile upstream from the mouth) to the first Hwy 153 Bridge (4 miles upstream from the mouth).

5) The Okanogan River from the mouth to the Highway 97 Bridge in Oroville; Oct.16, 2012 until further notice.

6) The Similkameen River, from its mouth to 400 feet below Enloe Dam; Nov. 1, 2012 until further notice.

OTHER ANGLER INFORMATION:

Anglers should be aware that fishing rules are subject to change and that rivers can close at any time due to impacts on natural origin steelhead. Adhering to the mandatory retention of adipose clipped steelhead is vital in allowing the fishery to continue and to provide the maximum benefit to natural origin fish. Anglers are required to possess a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement as part of their valid fishing license. Check the fishing hotline at 360-902-2500 or the webpage at https: //fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/rules_all_freshwater.j

Reason for action: Hatchery-origin steelhead in excess of desired escapement are forecast to return to the upper Columbia River. The fishery will reduce the number of excess hatchery-origin steelhead and consequently increase the proportion of natural-origin steelhead on the spawning grounds. Higher proportions of naturally produced spawners are expected to improve genetic integrity and stock recruitment of upper Columbia River steelhead through perpetuation of steelhead stocks with the greatest natural-origin lineage.

Information contacts: Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-4624, Bob Jateff, District 6 Fish Biologist (Methow, Okanogan), (509) 997-0316, Travis Maitland, District 7 Fish Biologist (Wenatchee, Entiat), (509) 665-3337.

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.

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