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

March 5, 2009

Sections of Okanogan River close to steelhead fishing

Actions: Close two sections on the Okanogan River, March 15, 2009: a) from 100' below the Highway 155 Bridge to the mouth of Omak Creek; b) from the mouth of Bonaparte Creek to 100' below the mouth of Bonaparte Creek.

Effective dates: One hour before sunrise on March 15, 2009 until further notice

Species affected: Steelhead

Locations:

a) Close the Okanogan River from 100' below the Highway 155 Bridge to the mouth of Omak Creek.

b) Close the Okanogan River from the mouth of Bonaparte Creek to 100' below the mouth of Bonaparte Creek.

Important Angler Notes:

Anglers are strongly encouraged to retain the first two adipose fin-clipped hatchery-origin steelhead caught. It is unlawful for anglers to continue to fish once the daily limit of steelhead has been retained.

Two (2) fish daily limit, 20-inch minimum size. 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. Release any steelhead with anchor (floy) tag attached. All other game fish gear rules do not apply during steelhead season.

Columbia River mainstem: selective gear rules, except bait, scent and motorized vessels allowed, night closure in effect.

Methow and Okanogan rivers: selective gear rules, except motorized vessels allowed, night closure in effect. See specific river below for additional restrictions.

Similkameen River: selective gear rules, night closure in effect. See Similkameen River below for additional restrictions.

Areas Currently Open to Steelhead Fishing Until Further Notice:

Columbia River from Rocky Reach Dam upriver to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam.

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, open. Closed waters from second powerline crossing to the first Hwy. 153 Bridge. Release all fish, except up to two adipose fin clipped steelhead per day may be retained. Whitefish may be retained. Whitefish gear rules do not apply.

Okanogan River - From mouth upstream, except closed from Lake Osoyoos Control Dam (Zosel Dam) downstream to first Highway 97 Bridge.

a. From 100' below the Highway 155 Bridge to the mouth of Omak Creek, closed effective March 15, 2009.

b. From the mouth of Bonaparte Creek to 100' below the mouth of Bonaparte Creek, closed effective March 15, 2009.

Similkameen River-- Mouth to 400 feet below Enloe Dam. Release all fish, except up to two adipose fin clipped steelhead per day may be retained. Whitefish may be retained. Whitefish gear rules do not apply.

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

<