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

January 30, 2008

Retention of hatchery steelhead with anchor (floy) tags OK in parts of Columbia and Wenatchee rivers

Action: Anglers may retain adipose fin-clipped steelhead bearing anchor (floy) tags in areas of the Columbia and Wenatchee rivers currently open to steelhead fishing. Effective dates and locations:

1. Columbia River: January 31, 2008 through March 31, 2008, from Rock Island Dam upstream to Wells Dam.

2. Wenatchee River: January 31, 2008 through March 31, 2008, from its mouth upstream to the Icicle Road Bridge at the west end of Leavenworth.

Species affected: Adipose fin-clipped hatchery origin steelhead

Current steelhead fishing locations 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) to first Highway 97 Bridge downstream of the dam. 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.

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. 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.

See "Locations and restrictions" section above for the rules in effect for the waters open to steelhead fishing above Rock Island Dam.

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 an anchor (floy) tag may be harvested, depending on location. Two (2) fish daily limit, 20-inch minimum size.

Reason for action: Anchor (floy) tags were applied to steelhead during run size determination and fish sampling operations at Priest Rapids Dam. The anchor (floy) tagged adipose fin-clipped hatchery-origin fish are no longer needed for monitoring purposes in open areas below Wells Dam.

Information contacts: 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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