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

February 22, 2008

Steelhead fishing closures in upper Columbia

Actions: 1. Closure of the Columbia River from Rock Island upstream to Chief Joseph Dam to fishing for trout (steelhead) 2. Closure of Methow and Wenatchee rivers to fishing for trout (steelhead). 3. Okanogan and Similkameen rivers remain open to the fishing for trout (steelhead)

Effective dates and locations: 1. Close the Columbia River from Rock Island Dam upstream to Chief Joseph Dam to fishing for trout (steelhead) one-hour after official sunset Feb. 24, 2008. 2. Close the Methow and Wenatchee rivers to fishing for trout (steelhead) one-hour after official sunset Feb. 24, 2008.

Species affected: Adipose fin-clipped hatchery origin steelhead

Fishing locations and restrictions: The Okanogan and Similkameen rivers remain open to the fishing for trout (steelhead):

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.

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 waters open to steelhead fishing: any steelhead caught with an intact adipose fin must be released immediately and may not be totally removed from the water before release.

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 not be harvested. Two (2) fish daily limit, 20-inch minimum size.

The Okanogan and Similkameen rivers are anticipated to be open to fishing for trout (steelhead) through March 31, 2008. However, these waters will be closed earlier if incidental wild steelhead mortality impacts exceed allowable levels.

Check the 2007/2008 Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules Pamphlet for details concerning the whitefish fisheries and other fishing opportunity.

Reason for action: The cumulative wild steelhead impacts (incidental hooking mortality) allowed under WDFW's NOAA ESA permit, which allows these fisheries, are anticipated to be reached by the closure date.

Information contacts: Art Viola, District 7 Fish Biologist, (509) 665-3337, Bob Jateff, District 6 Fish Biologist, (509) 997-0316, 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 Ru