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

October 8, 2010

Upper Columbia rule modified to allow salmon fishing at night from Priest Rapids Dam to Rock island Dam

Action: Effective immediately, fishing for salmon at night is allowed from Priest Rapids Dam to Rock Island Dam during the upper Columbia River steelhead fishery. The Columbia River from Priest Rapids Dam to Chief Joseph Dam, including the Wenatchee, Entiat, and Methow rivers, opened Sept. 8; the Okanogan River opened Oct. 1; and the Similkameen River will open Nov.1 to fishing for adipose fin-clipped hatchery-origin steelhead.

Species affected: Salmon and hatchery adipose fin-clipped steelhead and trout.

Mandatory retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead, daily limit four (4) hatchery steelhead, 20 inch minimum size.

Selective gear rules are in effect for all anglers fishing in these areas, except bait is allowed on mainstem Columbia River from Priest Rapids Dam to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam.

Night closure in effect for all steelhead fishery areas, except angling is allowed at night for salmon from Priest Rapids Dam to Rock Island Dam.

Wild steelhead (adipose fin intact) must be immediately released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.

On the mainstem Columbia River only floy tagged rainbow trout retention allowed.

Effective dates and locations:

1) The mainstem Columbia River from Priest Rapids Dam to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam; is open until further notice. Floy tagged rainbow trout may be retained. There is no limit or minimum size on floy tagged rainbow trout.

2) The Wenatchee River from the mouth to the Icicle River Road Bridge; is open until further notice.

3) The Entiat River upstream from the Alternate Highway 97 Bridge near the mouth of the Entiat River to 800 feet downstream of the Entiat National Fish Hatchery outfall; is open until further notice.

4) The Methow River from the mouth to the confluence with the Chewuch River in Winthrop; is open until further notice. Fishing from a floating device is prohibited from the second powerline crossing (about 1 mile upstream from the mouth) to the first Highway 153 bridge (about 4 miles upstream from the mouth).

5) The Okanogan River from the mouth to the Highway 97 Bridge in Oroville; is open until further notice.

6) The Similkameen River, from its mouth to 400 feet below Enloe Dam; will open Nov. 1, 2010 until further notice.

Other information: Anglers should be aware that fishing rules are subject to change and that rivers can close at any time due to impacts on natural origin steelhead. Release any steelhead with one or more holes (round, approximately 1/4 inch diameter) punched in the caudal (tail) fin. These fish are part of a study and have been anesthetized; the FDA requires a 21-day ban on consumption of these fish. Anglers are required to release all adipose-present steelhead, which cannot be totally removed from the water prior to release. Whitefish anglers are reminded that under selective gear rules, bait is prohibited. Anglers are required to possess a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement as part of their valid fishing license.

Reason for action: The fishery will reduce the number of excess hatchery-origin steelhead and consequently increase the proportion of natural-origin steelhead on the spawning grounds. Higher proportions of naturally produced spawners are expected to improve genetic integrity and stock recruitment of upper Columbia River steelhead through perpetuation of steelhead stocks with the greatest natural-origin lineage.

Information contacts: Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-4624; Bob Jateff, District 6 Fish Biologist, (509) 997-0316; 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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