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

December 24, 2020

Walla Walla River steelhead fishery change

Action: Reduces the steelhead daily limit to 1 hatchery fish.

Effective date: Jan. 1 through April 15, 2021.

Species affected: Steelhead

Location: Walla Walla River from the mouth to the Washington/Oregon state line.

Reason for action: Through October 22nd the Columbia River return of upriver steelhead is at 107,341 with an updated run forecast of 109,500 (77,200 Group A and 32,300 Group B). This is an overall increase within the steelhead return from the preseason forecast of 95,500 (85,900 Group A and 9,600 Group B). The revised forecast includes a decrease to Group A steelhead and large increase in Group B steelhead. PIT tag estimates indicate that numbers of steelhead returning to the Walla Walla basin (including Touchet River) are lower than expected. With concerns for broodstock needs and impacts to wild fish it is important to reduce daily limits to protect steelhead within the Walla Walla River.

Additional information: All steelhead with unclipped adipose fins must be immediately released unharmed. 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 other salmonids may be present during this fishery and are not open to harvest. Chinook, coho and steelhead may not be removed from the water if not to be retained as part of the daily bag limit. Refer to the 2020/2021 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including possession limits, safety closures, etc., and 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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