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

January 31, 2006

Retention of hatchery steelhead with disk tags OK in parts of Columbia, Okanogan, Similkameen, Methow rivers

Action: Anglers may retain adipose fin-clipped steelhead bearing disk tags in areas of the Columbia, Okanogan, Similkameen and Methow rivers currently open to steelhead fishing.

Effective dates: Feb. 1, 2006, until further notice, except the section of the Okanogan River from the Highway 97 Bridge at Omak to a line across the river 500 feet above the mouth of Omak Creek, which will close March 1, 2006.

Species affected: Adipose fin-clipped hatchery origin steelhead

Location & Regulations: Columbia River from the Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco to the Old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers upstream of Ringold Hatchery. Statewide gear rules apply.

Columbia River from Rocky Reach Dam to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam Statewide gear rules for all species and night closure in effect.

Okanogan River from mouth upstream. - Except: Effective March 1, 2006 until further notice, the area from the Highway 97 Bridge at Omak to a line across the river 500 feet above the mouth of Omak Creek, closed to fishing. - Except: Closed from Lake Osoyoos Control Dam (Zosel Dam) downstream to one-quarter mile below railroad trestle. - Open to all gamefish downstream from Highway Bridge at Malott. - Above Highway Bridge at Malott, open only for adipose fin clipped steelhead. - Selective gear rules except lawful to fish from motorized vessels and night closure in effect.

Similkameen River - Mouth to 400 feet below Enloe Dam - Selective gear rules and night closure in effect; whitefish gear rules do not apply.

Methow River Mouth (Highway 97 Bridge) upstream to the second powerline crossing, and from the first Highway 153 Bridge north of Pateros to the confluence with the Chewuch River. Whitefish gear rules do not apply. Selective gear rules except lawful to fish from motorized vessels and night closure in effect.

Reason for action: Disk Tags were applied to steelhead during run size determination and fish sampling operations at Priest Rapids Dam. The disk tagged adipose fin-clipped hatchery-origin fish are no longer needed for monitoring purposes.

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. Adipose fin-clipped steelhead containing a disk tag may also be harvested. Two (2) fish daily limit, 20-inch minimum size. All steelhead with an intact adipose fin must be immediately released unharmed.

Information contacts: Bob Jateff, District 6 Fish Biologist, (509) 826-7341; Joe Miller, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-6066; John Easterbrooks, Region 3 Fish Program Manager, (509) 457-9330.

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.