See proposed rule
language (CR-103)
2013 Recreational Fishing Rules Concise Explanatory Statement
Fish & Wildlife Commission
Meeting Feb. 8-9, 2013

2013 – 2014 Sportfishing Rule Proposals – Briefing and Public Hearing. Audio available.

Sportfishing Rule Changes for 2013-2014

Sportfishing Rule Proposals & Comments

View proposals and comments on proposals that were submitted by the public and WDFW staff.
There are two types of rules available for viewing.

for Public Comment
Not Recommended
for further consideration
View by Category
Statewide Coastal Region
Puget Sound
Region Freshwater
Coastal Region
Puget Sound
Region Marine
Eastern Washington and
Columbia Region Freshwater

Reference ID: DFW181091

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW181091
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Puget Sound Region Marine
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Other

Other Description
White sturgeon
Rule to Change:
Sturgeon Retention in the Lower Columbia
New Rule Proposal:
Year round, catch and release only of white sturgeon from Bonneville Dam to the mouth of the Columbia.
Why the change is needed:
It is time to get serious about saving this fishery. I would rather give it up for a few years and let my kids and grandkids have a chance at enjoying the sport, than keep going the way we are and lose it forever.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change:
No input given
Describe their support and/or concerns:
No input given

Date submitted: 04/26/2012

WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation

Recommended for Public Comment     Reference ID: DFW181091

Rule Change Recommendation Short Title
Statewide white sturgeon rules

Rules Category

Type of Rule Change Proposal

County or Location Information

Short Description
This proposal modifies rules for white sturgeon that will be developed through a series of public meetings and Commission guidance for the purpose of managing harvest and fisheries. Possible options include, but are not limited to: changes in 1)areas and/or times including catch and release only; 2) size limits; 3) 2 fish annual limit; 4) terminal gear (i.e., circle hooks, etc.).

Abundance and productivity of white sturgeon inhabiting or originating from the lower Columbia River has declined substantially over the past five years due in part to long-term reductions in key food resources and predation by Steller sea lions. Washington and Oregon fishery managers responded by decreasing annual harvest guidelines in the lower Columbia River by 40% in 2010, 29% in 2011, and 39% in 2012 (74% reduction from 2009 levels). Corresponding reductions have been implemented to guidelines for Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor and a seasonal retention closure was implemented in 2012 for Puget Sound fisheries. The intent of these actions is to stabilize and rebuild the white sturgeon population. Assessments are conducted each summer to monitor population responses to management actions. Results of the surveys become available mid-fall and additional restrictions may be needed if the population does not respond as intended. Recent management actions have focused on retention seasons and no-fishing spawning sanctuaries. Changes to general statewide rules for sturgeon should be part of the suite of actions available to managers and stakeholders. Corresponding changes to sturgeon rules have been considered by Oregon and on September 7, 2012 the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission approved a reduction in the Oregon annual bag limit to 2 fish effective January 1, 2013.

Original Rule Proposal Number(s)

Online Public Comments

Online public comments submitted for this proposal can be found here.