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

September 11, 2003

Three hatchery steelhead allowed per day on some southeast Washington streams

Action: Raise daily limit to three hatchery origin steelhead.

Effective date: September 1, 2003, to normal season termination dates for hatchery steelhead waters in SE Washington listed below (check 2003-2004 WDFW sport fishing regulation pamphlet).

Species affected: Hatchery steelhead, which are identified by a missing adipose or ventral fin and a healed scar in the location of the missing fin.

Location: (1) Grande Ronde River (Asotin Co.) - from County Road Bridge, about 2 miles upstream from the mouth, to the Washington-Oregon boundary line. CLOSED WATERS - all tributaries will be closed to fishing effective Nov. 1.

(2) Mill Creek (Walla Walla Co.) - from mouth to Roosevelt Street Bridge within the Walla Walla city limits. CLOSED WATERS - from the concrete channel at the Ninth Avenue Bridge to the Roosevelt Street Bridge within the city limits of Walla Walla.

(3) Snake River- from the mouth upstream to the Washington-Oregon boundary line.

(4) Touchet River (Columbia/Walla Walla Co.) - from the mouth to the confluence of the north and south forks.

(5) Tucannon River (Columbia/Walla Walla Co.) - from the mouth to Cummings Bridge. CLOSED WATERS - all trib utaries.

(6) Walla Walla River (Walla Walla Co.) - from the mouth upstream to the Washington-Oregon state boundary line.

Reason for action: A strong hatchery steelhead run has been predicted for the Columbia and Snake river basins. More than 200,000 steelhead have already passed over Bonneville Dam, and only a relatively small number of the returning hatchery steelhead is needed for production purposes. The increased daily limit will give anglers the opportunity to harvest the excess hatchery fish.

Gear restrictions: See Fishing Rules pamphlet for applicable gear restrictions within southeast Washington waters open to steelhead fishing.

Other information: Wild steelhead release rule in effect. Oregon has enacted a permanent rule change to allow retention of three hatchery steelhead per day in the Snake and Grande Ronde rivers. Idaho Fish and Game is expected to follow suit shortly with emergency rule development to allow three hatchery steelhead per day for the 2003 / 2004 season. The change for Washington regulations ensures that fishers have consistent daily limits in boundary waters of the Snake and Grande Ronde rivers, as well as in nearby waters of southeast Washington.

Information contact: For more information, contact John Whalen, Regional Fish Manager, WDFW Spokane Regional Office at (509) 456-4082

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.