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: DFW684721

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW684721
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Puget Sound Region Marine
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Steelhead
Rule to Change:
New Rule Proposal:
Hoh River. Fishing from floating devices is not allowed February 1 through November 30 in the Hoh River from the Willoughby Creek to the Olympic National Park. Floating devices may be used for transportation in the area.
Why the change is needed:
This is an important spawning area for mid and late run wild steelhead in the Hoh River. Wild early run and South Fork steelhead rest and slowly pass though this area during the early winter months and spawn in upriver areas. By early March, later run steelhead have begun spawning in the area in good numbers, continuing throughout the spring. Boats can access every possible holding and spawning lie in the entire river, while bank anglers have less access to challenging lies. Wild steelhead are caught-and-released (CnR) in large numbers, often while in their spawning phase. Repeated and high levels of CnR can negatively influence behavior, reproduction, and survival of wild 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. This proposal will provide a p
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 proposal

Date submitted: 06/14/2012

WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation

Not Recommended for further consideration     Reference ID: DFW684721

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)

RINGLEE, CHRIS   September 22, 2012
Thank you for applying this concept to the Upper Hoh for evaluation. This area is a concern of mine for various reasons listed in my previous comments regarding the boat closure of the upper Hoh. Thank you, Chris Ringlee
HOPPLER, WES C  January 29, 2013
Strongly oppose this proposal. Past regulation changes are working. Angling pressure is actually down in the Hoh in recent years on a number of anglers basis - ask staff for a briefing on creel survey results. I do not find it an enhancement to not be able to fish from a boat, my methods are boat-centric, and crawling in and out a boat all day during the winter is not something I relish, I am getting older. Yes, the Hoh has missed escapement many times in the last 20 years, but there have been regulation changes that have made some difference. Recent run-size and escapement trends are up (see more at!__articles/some-hope-for-the-hoh) Sport angler impacts have exceeded their surplus share only twice in the last 15 years. Out of state guides are an issue with the comanagers. If you feel the need to do something, curtail non resident guide opportunities before further reductions are made to resident opportunities.

Other Comments Received