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

March 29, 2019

Anglers at Ringold access fishery can only retain steelhead with missing adipose and right ventral fins

Action: Anglers fishing the Ringold Springs Access area must release all steelhead, except hatchery steelhead marked with both a clipped adipose fin and right ventral fin. This rule also removes a requirement to use barbless hooks while fishing for steelhead.

Effective date: April 1 through April 15, 2019.

Species affected: Steelhead.

Location: Columbia River, Ringold Springs Access, from a quarter mile downstream of the Ringold wasteway outlet to one-half mile upstream of Spring Creek (Ringold Hatchery Creek).

Reason for action: This restriction is necessary to protect upper Columbia River steelhead. Steelhead fisheries remain closed in all areas of the upper Columbia River and tributaries due to low returns. Restricting the fishery to Ringold Springs-origin hatchery steelhead (those marked by clipped adipose and right ventral fins) will provide anglers the opportunity to harvest hatchery steelhead while reducing impacts to upper Columbia River steelhead.

Additional information: From April 1 through April 15, the steelhead fishery is open only to anglers fishing from the bank on the hatchery side of the river. Anglers should check the pamphlet for daily catch limits and other regulations.

Ringold Springs Hatchery has met its broodstock collection target for summer steelhead. The steelhead fishery reopened March 10 after being closed all winter.

This emergency rule also implements a voluntary barbless hook policy at the Ringold access area fishery approved by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in early March. (See the news release at https: //wdfw.wa.gov/news/commission-approves-modifications-its-columbia-river-salmon-fishery-policy.) Therefore, anglers are no longer required to use barbless hooks during this fishery. However, fishery managers encourage anglers to voluntarily use barbless hooks when appropriate.

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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