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

October 11, 2017

Touchet River steelhead fishery changes

Action:

(1) Change the daily limit on steelhead in the Touchet River to two (2) hatchery fish.

(2) Close fishing to steelhead in all tributaries.

(3) Remove mandatory hatchery steelhead retention rule.

Locations: The Touchet River from the mouth to the confluence of the North and South Fork Touchet Rivers and all tributaries.

Dates: Oct.15, 2017 until further notice

Species affected: Steelhead

Reason for action: Lagging steelhead returns during the summer of 2017 led fisheries managers to close or reduce daily limits for steelhead fisheries in most of the Columbia River and its tributaries. Recent upturns in the abundance of migrating steelhead over Bonneville Dam and the Snake River Dams indicates to fisheries managers that there are adequate numbers of wild and hatchery Group A steelhead to allow for increasing steelhead harvest opportunities during the Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 in the Snake River and select tributaries to the Snake River. The 2017 preseason forecast was 112,100 Group A steelhead at Bonneville Dam, current adult steelhead counts indicate that this stock of fish will return at or near the preseason forecast. Fisheries managers believe there are enough hatchery Group A steelhead in the basin to allow for increasing daily limits, while also reaching hatchery broodstock needs at all Group A steelhead hatcheries, including those in Oregon, Idaho and Washington. WDFW will continue to monitor the steelhead run, if additional conservation measures need to be taken to curtail the harvest fishery or additional harvest opportunity can be offered without negatively impacting wild or hatchery steelhead abundances, seasons and harvest rules may be adjusted in coming months.

Other Information: The daily limit for steelhead in the Touchet River is two (2) 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 cannot remove any steelhead from the water if it is not 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 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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