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

December 1, 2004

Selective fishing rules will apply to whitefish on Similkameen and lower Methow rivers

Action: Winter whitefish fishing on portions of the Similkameen and Methow Rivers require the use of selective gear rules.

Effective dates: Similkameen River - December 1, 2004 through March 31, 2005

Methow River - December 1, 2004 through March 31, 2005

Species affected: Whitefish

Location & Regulations 1) Similkameen River - From mouth to 400 feet below Enloe Dam - Selective gear rules, night closure, and all steelhead with an intact adipose fin and steelhead containing a disk tag must be immediately released unharmed.

2) Methow River - From the mouth (Highway 97 Bridge) upstream to the confluence with the Chewuch (Chewack) River in Winthrop. EXCEPT closed from the second powerline crossing upstream of the Highway 97 Bridge upstreamto the first Highway 153 Bridge (approx. 2 miles) north of Pateros - Selective gear rules except motorized vessels allowed, night closure, and all steelhead with an intact adipose fin and steelhead containing a disk tag must be immediately released unharmed.

Reason for action: Selective gear rules have been applied to the whitefish fisheries in these areas to be consistent with the current selective gear rules for steelhead.

Other information: Anglers are permitted to harvest hatchery origin steelhead with an adipose fin-clipped and a healed scar in the location of the missing fin. Two (2) fish daily limit, 20-inch minimum size. All wild steelhead must be immediately released unharmed. Night Closure and Selective Gear Rules are defined on pages 21 and 22 of the 2004/05 Fishing Rules pamphlet. The Methow River from the mouth of the Chewuch River to the falls above Brush Creek and the Similkameen River above Enloe Dam are open only to fishing for whitefish and anglers must follow whitefish gear rules (one (1) single barbless hook 3/16" or smaller measured point to shank (size 14), bait is allowed).

Information contacts: Bob Jateff, District 6 Fish Biologist (509) 826-7341, John Easterbrooks, Regional Fish Program Manager (509) 457-9330, Art Viola, District 7 Fish Biologist (509) 665-3337.