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

November 8, 2016

All Ringold Hatchery steelhead may now be retained

Action: The requirement that anglers must release Ringold Hatchery steelhead that have a 1/4-inch diameter (round) hole punched in the upper lobe of the caudal (tail) fin is repealed.

Effective date: Nov. 10, 2016.

Species affected: Ringold Hatchery steelhead with both the adipose and ventral fins clipped.

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

Reason for action: Wild and hatchery steelhead are sedated in a chemical anesthetic, MS-222, during sampling at Priest Rapids Dam. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires a 21-day withdrawal period before human consumption of fish anesthetized in MS-222. WDFW staff applied a 1/4-inch diameter hole punched in the upper lobe of the tail of sampled hatchery fish so that anglers can visually identify fish that must be released. Hatchery steelhead marked and released at Priest Rapids Dam may be caught in the Ringold-area fishery downstream because of "fall back" below the dam.

Sampling at Priest Rapids Dam has ended for the year and the last Ringold steelhead sampled was marked with the hole-punch on Oct. 19. The 21-day withdrawal period for these fish ends on Nov. 9. Retention and human consumption of all Ringold steelhead, including those with a hole-punch in the tail, is now safe and can resume.

Other Information: Upper Columbia River hatchery steelhead with an adipose fin clip must be released. Only Ringold steelhead with a double fin clip (adipose and ventral fin) are legal to retain through Dec. 31, 2016.

Information contacts: 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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