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: DFW452000

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW452000
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Puget Sound Region Marine
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Steelhead
Rule to Change:
New Rule Proposal:
Sol Duc River Fishing from floating devices is not allowed February 1 through November 30 in the Sol Duc River from the Sol Duc Hatchery to the 101 Bridge upstream of the Klahowya Campground. Floating devices may be used for transportation in the area.
Why the change is needed:
This is one of the most important spawning areas for early wild steelhead in the Sol Duc River (McMillan 2007). Virtually every piece of holding water and spawning riffle is now fished hard and repeatedly by anglers in boats and they catch-and-release (CnR) numerous steelhead during a single day (WDFW creel surveys). Heightened CnR has been shown to have negative consequences on the behavior, reproductive success and survival of many species including adult steelhead (Ashbrook 2010; Hooton 2001, others). This regulation will continue to allow ample sport fishing opportunity from the bank, including the accessing of bank-fishing opportunities by boat. The rule will also establish a partial reserve for resting and holding steelhead. WDFW plans to designate this river as a Wild Steelhead Management Zone to protect the Sol Duc wild steelhead population while allowing sport fishing. Reduced angling encounters from boat anglers will improve wild steelhead survival and spawning, he
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change:
Wild Steelhead Coalition, Federation of Fly Fishers Steelhead Committee, The Conservation Angler.
Describe their support and/or concerns:
Support similar or identical proposals

Date submitted: 06/14/2012

WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation

Not Recommended for further consideration     Reference ID: DFW452000

Updated 09/27/2012
UPDATED: The "no fishing from a floating device" regulation to reduce negative effects of catch and release fisheries on wild steelhead is typically not a tool used to address conservation objectives. Currently wild steelhead are meeting escapement in this river. Limiting harvest of wild steelhead to one per year per angler statewide, to be taken only in the lower stretches of rivers that are routinely meeting escapement goals, has reduced the non-treaty harvest of wild steelhead in these rivers by roughly 70 percent. Upper reaches of the north coastal streams under both State and Olympic National Park jurisdiction require selective gear and some are closed during much of the year, further limiting impacts of catch and release fishing. WDFW welcomes discussion of this and other ideas to better manage the wild steelhead stocks of the North Coast, as escapements, and catch and effort trends continue to develop in the future.

Online Public Comments    (2 comments)

DUNN, RONALD C  October 29, 2012
Please do not allow this proposal to be brought up this cycle of changes. It is just another attempt to keep all but a selected few off our rivers and away from all of the peoples resources. Not to mention the major use of this river by guides of the area. Guides bring many new sportsmen to the outdoors, not mention moneys to the communitee.
BAKER, NORMAN T  January 25, 2013
I support this propsal, at least in part. The management policies of WDFW of "escapement" do not, in my opinion, address the issues of catch and release stress on the steelhead while spawning. Nor do they address the effects of loss of genetic fitness by two hundred years of fishermen always taking the largest fish. In todays world of recreational fishing, a guide or any amateur fisherman who knows how to fish can target the fish and know exactly when and where they will be. Of course, they will want to "catch a big one". The fish need relief from such catch and release harassment when spawning. Thank you.

Other Comments Received