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

August 28, 2017

Snake River steelhead fishery changing to catch and release only

Action: The Snake River steelhead fishery will close to retention, but is open for catch and release only.

Locations: From the mouth of the river (Burbank to Pasco railroad bridge at Snake River mile 1.25) to the Idaho/Oregon State line (approximately seven miles upstream of the mouth of the Grande Ronde River)

Dates: Sept. 1, 2017 until further notice

Species affected: Steelhead

Reason for action: The U.S. v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met on August 7 and 14 to review upriver steelhead returns and downgraded the return of Group A steelhead return to 54,000. The 2017 preseason forecast was 112,100 Group A steelhead. With a significant reduction to the preseason forecast for Group A steelhead and ongoing concerns between co-managers for Group B steelhead WDFW believes it is important to protect steelhead moving through the Snake River. WDFW will continue to monitor the steelhead run, if additional harvest opportunity can be offered without negatively impacting wild steelhead or hatchery broodstock abundance, seasons and harvest rules may be adjusted in coming months.

Other Information: WDFW is also monitoring PIT tag returns of fish to individual drainages and will be making determinations on seasons in Snake and Columbia River tributaries in Southeast Washington. Please continue to check emergency rules if you are planning to fish for steelhead within the affected area. The Fall chinook fishery remains open through October 31, 2017 and anglers must cease fishing for salmon and steelhead for the day once they have retained their adult chinook limit.

All adult chinook with unclipped adipose fins and ALL steelhead must be immediately released unharmed. In addition, anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for chinook or steelhead in the Snake River. Anglers cannot remove any chinook or steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of the daily limit. Anglers should be sure to identify their catch because returning unmarked chinook salmon, coho salmon and steelhead are also in the Snake River during this fishery.

From Bridge St. Bridge in Clarkston to the Oregon/Idaho border, which is currently closed to steelhead fishing, will open Sept. 1 to catch-and-release steelhead fishing.

Anglers are reminded to refer to the 2017/2018 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including possession limits, safety closures, etc. Anglers should continue to check emergency regulations for new and changing seasons.

Information Contact: Jeremy Trump, District 3 Fish Biologist (509) 382-1005

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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