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

October 26, 2016

Lower Hanford Reach steelhead harvest limited to Ringold Hatchery fish beginning Nov. 1

Action: Only Ringold Hatchery steelhead with both adipose and ventral fins clipped may be retained.

Effective dates: Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 2016.

Species affected: Hatchery steelhead.

Location: Columbia River from the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco to the old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers (CRC 534, 535).

Reason for action: The total (hatchery and wild fish) forecast for the Upper Columbia River (UCR) steelhead passage at Priest Rapids Dam this year is much lower than expected. UCR steelhead are listed as a threatened stock under the federal Endangered Species Act. Passage projections are well below hatchery broodstock and natural escapement targets.

Normally, anglers may retain UCR hatchery steelhead with only the adipose fin clip beginning on Nov. 1. This year, harvest from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 is restricted to Ringold Hatchery fish with the double fin clip to allow late migrating UCR hatchery fish to escape the Hanford Reach fishery and contribute to the 2017 spawning population.

All other regulations published in the fishing pamphlet continue to apply (see Special Rules pages 53-54).

Other information: Anglers are reminded that through Dec. 6 they must release hatchery steelhead (including those with both adipose and ventral fins clipped) that have a 1/4-inch diameter (round) hole punched in the upper lobe of the caudal (tail) fin. These fish were anesthetized during fish sampling at Priest Rapids Dam. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires a three-week period before humans can consume treated fish. That period ends Dec. 6. More information is available on WDFW's rule change webpage at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=1874.

Information contact: John Easterbrooks, Region 3 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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