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

December 6, 2013

Wenatchee River to close for steelhead and whitefish fishing; the Icicle River and a section of the upper Columbia River to close for steelheading

ACTION: Closes steelhead and whitefish fishing on the Wenatchee River. Temporarily close steelhead fishing on a section of the upper Columbia River and the Icicle River.

SPECIES AFFECTED: Steelhead and whitefish

EFFECTIVE DATES: One hour after official sunset on Dec. 8, 2013 until further notice.

LOCATIONS:

1.) Mainstem Columbia River: From Rock Island Dam upstream to 400 feet below Wells Dam.

2.) Wenatchee River: From the mouth upstream to the Icicle River Road Bridge.

3.) Icicle River: From the mouth upstream to 500 feet below the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam.

REASON FOR ACTION: The allowable take (mortality) of Endangered Species Act listed natural origin steelhead due to angling effects is approaching the maximum limit for the waters listed above. The 2013-2014 steelhead run is much lower than in recent years and has a relatively high proportion of natural origin fish.

OTHER INFORMATION: Fisheries managers are analyzing fishery impacts to date, and will produce a steelhead run update early in 2014. Some areas could reopen for additional fishing opportunities.

Sections of the upper Columbia River and tributaries remaining open to steelhead fishing until further notice include:

1.) Mainstem Columbia River: From Wells Dam upstream to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam.

2.) Methow River: From the mouth upstream to the confluence with the Chewuch River in Winthrop.

3.) Okanogan River: From the mouth upstream to the Highway 97 Bridge in Oroville.

4.) Similkameen River: From the mouth upstream to 400 feet below Enloe Dam.

All anglers must possess a valid fishing license and a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement to participate in these fisheries. Selective gear rules and night closures are in effect for these fisheries, except bait is allowed on the mainstem Columbia River from Wells Dam upstream to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam. Daily bag limit of two (2) hatchery steelhead. Mandatory retention of adipose fin clipped hatchery steelhead. All 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 diameter holes punched in the caudal (tail) fin.

INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager (Ephrata), (509) 754-4624, ext 224; Travis Maitland, District 7 Fish Biologist (Wenatchee), (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.