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: DFW231912

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW231912
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Eastern Washington and Columbia Region Freshwater
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Not species specific
Rule to Change:
New Rule Proposal:
Methow River: No fishing from a floating device year round above the Highway 153 bridge in Carelton.
Why the change is needed:
Methow River steelhead are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). River openings intended to harvest surplus hatchery fish have resulted in high angler participation. High catch rates on wild steelhead caught incidentally in the fishery pose an unnecessary risk to the listed stock. Crowding has also resulted in increasing conflicts between angler groups, including conflicts over the behavior and fishing practices of individuals fishing from floating devices. Allowing the use of boats for transportation only would give wild steelhead crucial refugia from intense angling pressure often associated with fall harvest fisheries, reducing the incidence of multiple hookings and catch and release mortality on ESA listed steelhead. It would also reduce the number of angler conflicts, give a greater number of license holders the opportunity to catch and harvest hatchery steelhead, while allowing WDFW to meet its objective of removing hatchery steelhead.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change:
FFF Steelhead Committee, The Conservation Angler
Describe their support and/or concerns:
Support for the proposed rule change

Date submitted: 06/12/2012

WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation

Not Recommended for further consideration     Reference ID: DFW231912

We are in the process of educating anglers on river etiquette and would like to wait before initiating additional float restrictions. We are aiming for more public outreach rather than more restrictions to improve this fishery.

Online Public Comments    (5 comments)

BRONSON, DUNCAN   September 22, 2012
It is not the fishing pontoon or guide boats that's the problem; it's weekenders in float or inner tubes that crowd the river. As proposed one could put their floating device ashore and then fish from the bank. Suggest to make proposed rule apply to waters from Winthrop to Twisp; boats or devices used for transit only should be prohibited below Twisp.
SENYOHL, CHRIS J  January 28, 2013
I am against this proposal. It would limit some of the more physically challenged anglers from fishing and create more damage to the spawning areas of all fish that spawn in the river by increasing the amount of wading anglers. If the true nature of the proposal is to lessen impacts and not just to set aside more water for an exclusive group of anglers who choose to fish a certain way, than I think a better idea might be to only allow fishing from a boat or while standing on dry ground. Wading, both while fishing and as a way to access fishing areas, may do more damage than the actual fishing itself.
GAVIN, MARK J  January 28, 2013
It is not needed. The proposal favors fishing methods by a special interest group. In addition, many people are too old and or physically impaired to get out of a boat to fish. The proposal violates the Americans with disabilities act as does recognize the real needs of people and make reasonable accommodation for them. The data by the groups that originally made this proposal is not valid. In the extremely few cases where there really needs to be a conservation limitation to protect the fish make it a total closesure to all fishing methods.
SHARF, JOHN D  January 29, 2013
Not required, existing WDFW R&R on the Mwethow are working.
SIMONSON, WILLIAM R  January 29, 2013
This proposal should not be considered. If the need to reduce sportsfisher catch is real, then limit days/seasons. Requiring sportsfishers to exit a boat/"floating device" can pose safety issues; especially for the young and elder fishers. Don't limit fishing methods and reduce opportunities to certain fishing demographics.