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

August 28, 2017

Walla Walla River steelhead fishery changes

Actions:

1) Change the daily limit on steelhead in the Walla Walla River to one hatchery fish.

2) Remove mandatory hatchery steelhead retention rule.

Locations: The Walla Walla River from the mouth to the Oregon State line.

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 reducing bag limits will minimize impacts to natural origin fish and assure that WDFW will meet broodstock needs for the hatchery program. 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: The daily limit for steelhead in the Walla Walla River is one (1) adipose fin-clipped fish. Mandatory steelhead retention is not in effect for this fishery. In addition, anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for steelhead and must stop fishing for steelhead once the daily limit has been retained. Anglers should be sure to identify their catch as chinook and coho salmon may be present during this fishery and are not open to harvest. Anglers cannot remove any steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of the daily limit. Anglers are reminded to refer to the 2017/2018 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including possession limits, safety closures, etc.

WDFW will continue monitoring returns of fish to individual drainages through the use of PIT tags and modify seasons as necessary. Please continue to check emergency rules if you are planning to fish for steelhead within the affected area.

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

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fis