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

May 21, 2009

Lower Elochoman River to open for hatchery spring chinook and steelhead

Action: The Elochoman River from the salmon hatchery bridge downstream will open two weeks early to fishing for hatchery spring chinook and hatchery steelhead

Species affected: Chinook and steelhead

Effective dates: May 23, 2009

Location: Elochoman River from mouth to the salmon hatchery bridge

Daily limits: Daily limit is six hatchery spring chinook of which no more than two may be adults. In addition, two hatchery steelhead may be retained. Salmon minimum size is 12 inches; steelhead minimum size 20 inches. Wild Chinook and wild steelhead must be released. Release all trout except hatchery steelhead.

Other information: The Elochoman River from the mouth to the salmon hatchery bridge and from 100? above the upper hatchery rack upstream to the West Fork will open to fishing for hatchery spring chinook and game fish ( including hatchery steelhead) as scheduled the first Saturday in June (which occurs on June 6 this year) under recently adopted permanent rules.

The section between the hatchery bridge and 100' above the upper hatchery rack remains closed to all fishing.

Reason for action: In the recent years, spring chinook strays from the nearby Select Area Fishery Evaluation sites have been found in the system. These fish are not needed for brood stock. Select Area commercial fisheries closed at the end of the April and have since re-opened with reduced areas and hours. This could result in more fish escaping past fisheries.

Hatchery summer run steelhead are released into the Elochoman River. These fish are not needed for broodstock. With the mainstem Columbia sport fishery closed for steelhead and salmon until further notice but no later than June 16, this could also result in more fish returning to the Elochoman.

Opening the Elochoman River two weeks early in the area from the hatchery bridge downstream will allow additional opportunity to harvest surplus spring chinook and hatchery steelhead.

Information contact: (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.

Fis