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

October 3, 2007

Upper Columbia River and tributaries open for steelhead fishing

Action: Areas of the upper Columbia, Methow, Okanogan, and Wenatchee rivers will open to recreational fishing targeting adipose fin-clipped hatchery-origin steelhead. The daily limit is two fish, 20-inch minimum size. Rules affecting other species in these areas are changed to be consistent with steelhead rule requirements

Effective Dates:

1. Columbia River: Oct. 6, 2007 through March 31, 2008, from Wells Dam upstream to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam.

2. Methow River: Oct. 6, 2007 through March 31, 2008. from the Hwy. 97 Bridge in Pateros upstream to the second powerline crossing, and from the first Hwy. 153 Bridge north of Pateros to the confluence with the Chewuch River in Winthrop. CLOSED WATERS FROM SECOND POWERLINE CROSSING UPSTREAM TO THE FIRST HWY 153 BRIDGE.

3. Okanogan River: Oct. 6, 2007 through March 31, 2008. EXCEPT: a. a section of the river from the Lake Osoyoos Control Dam (Zosel Dam) downstream to mile below the railroad trestle will remain closed. b. a section from 500 feet below the Highway 155 Bridge (Central Street) at Omak to a line across the river 500 feet above the mouth of Omak Creek will close March 1, 2008.

4. Columbia River: Oct. 22, 2007 through March 31, 2008, from Rock Island Dam upstream to Wells Dam.

5. Wenatchee River: Oct. 22, 2007 through March 31, 2008, from its mouth upstream to the Icicle Road Bridge at the west end of Leavenworth.

6. Similkameen River: Nov. 15, 2007 through March 31, 2008, from its mouth to the Railroad Trestle Bridge (located one mile upstream of Highway 7 Bridge in Oroville).

Species affected: Steelhead, other game fish species and salmon

Location and restrictions:

1. Columbia River: from Wells Dam upstream to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam. Night closure and statewide gear rules apply for all fish species. Release any steelhead with anchor (floy) tag attached.

2. Methow River: from the Hwy. 97 Bridge in Pateros upstream to the second powerline crossing, and from the first Hwy. 153 Bridge north of Pateros to the confluence with the Chewuch River in Winthrop. CLOSED WATERS FROM SECOND POWERLINE CROSSING UPSTREAM TO THE FIRST HWY 153 BRIDGE. Night closure and selective gear rules apply, except motorized vessels allowed. Release any steelhead with anchor (floy) tag attached. Whitefish gear rules do not apply.

3. Okanogan River: from mouth upstream except closed waters from Lake Osoyoos Control Dam (Zosel Dam) downstream to mile below the railroad trestle. A section from 500 feet below the Highway 155 Bridge (Central Street) at Omak to a line across the river 500 feet above the mouth of Omak Creek will close March 1, 2008. Night closure and selective gear rules apply for all fish species, except it is lawful to fish from a floating device equipped with a motor. From the highway bridge at Malott upstream, closed to all species except adipose fin-clipped hatchery-origin steelhead. Release any steelhead with anchor (floy) tag attached.

4. Columbia River: from Rock Island Dam upstream to Wells Dam. Night closure and state-wide gear rules apply for all species. Release any steelhead with anchor (floy) tag attached.

5. Wenatchee River: from its mouth upstream to the Icicle Road Bridge at the west end of Leavenworth. Night closure and selective gear rules apply. Release any steelhead with anchor (floy) tag attached. Whitefish gear rules do not apply.

6. Similkameen River: from its mouth to the Railroad Trestle Bridge (located one mile upstream of Highway 7 Bridge in Oroville). From the Railroad Trestle Bridge upstream to Enloe Dam will be closed to all fishing. Night closure and selective gear rules apply. Release any steelhead with anchor (floy) tag attached. Whitefish gear rules do not apply.

Other information: For all waters any steelhead caught with an intact adipose fin must be released immediately and may not be totally removed from the water before release.

The Chinook season above Wells Dam will remain open through Oct. 15, 2007 from the Highway 173 Bridge at Brewster Wells Dam to the Highway 17 Bridge at Bridgeport, however the night closure will be in effect.

Reason for action: The wild run returning to areas above Priest Rapids Dam is large enough to meet minimum spawning requirements. The recreational fishery will reduce the proportion of hatchery-origin steelhead on the spawning grounds, thereby minimizing impact to wild steelhead spawning in upper Columbia River tributaries. This will increase the proportion of wild steelhead on the spawning grounds and improve natural production.

Information contacts: Art Viola, District 7 Fish Biologist, (509) 665-3337, Bob Jateff, District 6 Fish Biologist, (509) 826-7341, Joseph Miller, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-4624.

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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