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

February 14, 2008

Skagit River system steelhead rules change

Action: The Skagit, Sauk, and Cascade Rivers and Fisher Slough will go to the selective gear rules, release all fish, except up to two hatchery steelhead may be retained per day, beginning Feb. 16, 2008.

Effective date: Feb.16, 2008 through various dates See Locations and Restrictions.

Species affected: Steelhead and all other game fish.

Locations and Restrictions: Skagit River: From mouth upstream to the Memorial Highway Bridge (Highway 536 at Mt. Vernon) effective February 16 until May 31. Selective gear rules apply, internal combustion motors allowed. Release all fish except up to two hatchery steelhead may be retained per day. From Memorial Highway Bridge (Highway 536 at Mt. Vernon) upstream to Gilligan Creek: effective February 16 until March 15 (closed March 16 through May 31). Selective gear rules apply, internal combustion motors allowed. Release all fish, except up to two hatchery steelhead may be retained per day. From Gilligan Creek to Dalles Bridge at Concrete effective February 16, 2008 until March 15 (closed March 16 through May 31). Selective gear rules apply, internal combustion motors allowed. Release all fish, except up to two hatchery steelhead may be retained per day. From the Dalles Bridge at Concrete to the Highway 530 Bridge at Rockport effective February 16 until March 31(closed April 1 through May 31). Selective gear rules apply, internal combustion motors allowed. Release all fish, except up to two hatchery steelhead may be retained per day. From the Highway 530 Bridge at Rockport to the Cascade River effective February 16 until March 31(closed April 1 through May 31). Selective gear rules apply, internal combustion motors allowed. Unlawful to fish from a floating device while under power. Release all fish except up to two hatchery steelhead may be retained per day. From Cascade River to Gorge Powerhouse (Dam) effective February 16 until March 15 (closed March 16 through May 31). Selective gear rules apply, internal combustion motors allowed. Unlawful to fish from a floating device while under power. Release all fish except up to two hatchery steelhead may be retained per day.

Sauk River From mouth to the Darrington Bridge effective February 16 until March 31 (closed April 1 through May 31). Selective gear rules apply. Release all fish except up to two hatchery steelhead may be retained per day. From the Darrington Bridge to Whitechuck River effective February 16 until February 29 (closed March 1 through May 31). Selective gear rules apply. Release all fish except up to two hatchery steelhead may be retained per day.

Cascade River From mouth upstream (entire river) effective February 16 until February 29 (closed March 1 through May 31). Selective gear rules apply. Release all fish except up to two hatchery steelhead may be retained per day.

Fisher Slough From mouth to Highway 530 Bridge effective February 16 until May 31. Selective gear rules apply. Release all fish except up to two hatchery steelhead may be retained per day.

Other Information: The definition of selective gear rules can be found on page 26 of the 2007/2008 Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

A Hatchery Steelhead is defined as: A steelhead with a clipped adipose or ventral fin and a healed scar at the location of the clipped fin.

Reason for action: The preseason forecast for Skagit River wild winter steelhead returning and spawning this winter and spring (2008) is 5,061 fish, the basin's escapement goal is 6,000 fish. The spawning escapement last spring (2007) was 4,113 fish. We anticipate the 2007/2008 winter steelhead run to be the second year in a row the basin will be underescaped, therefore these measures are being implemented to limit impacts to the wild run and assist in recovery efforts. Puget Sound steelhead were formally listed under the federal Endangered Species Act in May 2007.

Information contact: Brett Barkdull, District 14 fish biologist, 360-466-4345 - ext. 270; Bob Leland, Steelhead Program Manager, 360-902-2817; Annette Hoffmann, Region 4 Fish Program Manager, 425-775-1311- ext. 120

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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