Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

November 27, 2002

Selective gear rules for winter whitefish on portions of Methow, Similkameen rivers

Actions: Winter whitefish fishing on portions of the Similkameen and Methow rivers require the use of selective gear rules.

Effective dates:

Similkameen River - December 1, 2002 through March 31, 2003 Methow River - December 1, 2002 through March 31, 2003

Species affected: Whitefish

Location & Regulations

Similkameen River - From mouth to 400 feet below Enloe Dam # Selective gear rules and night closure. Methow River # From the mouth (Highway 97 bridge) upstream to the confluence with the Chewuch (Chewack) River in Winthrop # Selective gear rules except motorized vessels allowed and night closure.

Reason for action: Selective gear rules have been applied to the whitefish and other game fish fisheries in the Upper Columbia to be consistent with the current selective gear rules for steelhead.

Other information: The daily whitefish harvest limit is 15 and there is no minimum size restriction. Anglers fishing for other game fish species are required to follow the same gear restrictions and night closures as whitefish anglers. Anglers are permitted to harvest hatchery-origin steelhead, which are those with an adipose or ventral-fin clip and a healed scar in the location of the missing fin. There is a two- fish daily limit for steelhead, and a 20-inch minimum size. All wild steelhead, as well as those steelhead containing a disc tag must be immediately released unharmed. Selective Gear Rules are defined on page 15 of the 2002/03 Fishing Rules pamphlet. The Methow River from the mouth of the Chewuch River to the falls above Brush Creek and the Similkameen River above Enloe Dam is open only to fishing for whitefish and anglers must follow the gear rules for whitefish, including one single barbless hook 3/16" or smaller measured point to shank (size14). Bait is allowed.

Information contacts: Heather Bartlett, District 6 Fish Biologist (509) 826-7341, Joe Foster, Regional Fish Program Manager (509) 754-4624, Art Viola, District 7 Fish Biologist (509) 665-3337.

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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