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

May 25, 2007

Dolly Varden/Bull trout retention prohibited on sections of the Skagit River

Action: Prohibit retention of Dolly Varden/Bull trout in sections of the Skagit River.

Effective dates: June 1 through Sept. 28, 2007.

Species affected: Dolly Varden/Bull trout.

Location: Sauk River from mouth upstream

Cascade River from mouth upstream

Skagit River from Rockport to Gorge Dam

Reasons for action: Autumn floods in 2003 and 2006 and low summer flows in 2005 and 2006 have reduced bull trout populations significantly throughout the Skagit Basin. Harvest does not appear to be associated with this decline, however, this regulation will help maximize the number of bull trout spawners of the Skagit populations in 2007.

Other information: WDFW has been monitoring populations throughout the Skagit Basin for several years. A 60% decline in spawning activity was observed in 2005 and was attributed to low summer flows. Similarly, a second consecutive year of decline was observed in 2006, probably associated with impacts to 2001, 2002 brood years by the 2003 flood, suggesting multiple year classes were adversely affected. The long-term sustainability of this fishery requires adaptive management based on monitoring data. Maximizing spawners to the spawning grounds in 2007 will increase prospects for harvest opportunity in the future and allow for an assessment of the 2007 spawning cycle.

Information contact: Mark Downen, LaConner District Office (360) 202-7005

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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