Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

October 7, 2014

Hanford Reach steelhead fishery opens early for retention of any hatchery steelhead; additional area opened upstream to Pirest Rapids Dam

Action: Open the Columbia River to retention of any hatchery steelhead between the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco and Priest Rapids Dam

Species affected: Hatchery steelhead

Locations and Dates:

Area 1: Highway 395 Bridge upstream to old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers; Oct. 8, 2014 - Oct. 31, 2014.

Area 2: Old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers to Vernita Bridge; Oct. 8 - Oct. 22, 2014.

Area 3: Vernita Bridge to Priest Rapids Dam; Oct. 8 - Oct. 22, 2014 and Nov. 27, 2014, until further notice.

Special Rules for Areas 2 and 3:

Mandatory retention of hatchery steelhead. Adhering to the mandatory retention of adipose clipped steelhead is vital in allowing the expanded fishery to continue and to provide the maximum benefit to natural origin fish on upper Columbia tributary spawning grounds.

Selective gear rules are in effect, except the use of bait is allowed.

Other information:

This action removes the requirement for both an adipose fin clip and ventral fin clip for hatchery steelhead retained prior to November 1st in Area1. Fishing in Area 1 for any hatchery steelhead continues by permanent rule from Nov. 1 through Mar. 31, 2015 (see Page 73 in 2014-15 fishing rules pamphlet).

Daily limit of two (2) hatchery steelhead. Hatchery steelhead are identified by a missing adipose fin with a healed scar in its location. Minimum size is 20 inches.

Wild steelhead (adipose fin intact) must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.

All anglers must possess a valid fishing license and a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement to participate in these fisheries. Revenue from the endorsement supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system, including enforcing fishery regulations and monitoring the upper Columbia River steelhead fisheries. The endorsement has generated more than $1 million annually for WDFW to maintain and increase fishing opportunities throughout the Columbia River Basin.

Reason for action: Steelhead fisheries for hatchery steelhead (adipose clip only) have opened in the upper Columbia and tributaries, thus allowing early retention of adipose fin clip only steelhead in the Hanford Reach. Hatchery-origin steelhead in excess of desired escapement are forecast to return to the upper Columbia River. The fishery enhancements in the Hanford Reach will reduce the number of excess hatchery-origin steelhead and consequently increase the proportion of natural-origin steelhead on the spawning grounds. Information contact: Paul Hoffarth, District 4 Fish Biologist, (509) 545-2284 (Pasco), or John Easterbrooks, Regional Fish Program Manager, (509) 457-9330 (Yakima

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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