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: DFW685875

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW685875
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Puget Sound Region Freshwater
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Steelhead
Rule to Change:
This proposal changes the rule allowing the harvest for rainbow trout in some Puget Sound anadromous rivers areas and the type of gear that may be used.
New Rule Proposal:
All resident steelhead (rainbow trout) must be immediately released when fishing in The Puget Sound Steelhead ESA listed rivers and in Wild Steelhead Management Zones. Selective gear is required when fishing for all trout species in these rivers to prevent excess impacts to resident steelhead.
Why the change is needed:
Wild steelhead In Puget Sound Rivers are ESA listed as threatened and resident steelhead (rainbow trout) can play an important role in the recovery and rebuilding of the wild anadromous populations. Resident steelhead and are important in the mating, gene flow, productivity and overall stock health and viability of wild anadromous steelhead (Christie et al. 2011; McMillan, 2007). Recent research has shown that 20% to 40% of returning anadromous steelhead have at least one resident parent and many have two. Each form (resident and anadromous) is dependent on the other for continued survival and recovery from adverse conditions. Fishing for resident steelhead at a 14” size limit removes many valuable spawners and inflicts a high CnR mortality rate on juvenile anadromous and resident steelhead which can exceed 30%. Conserving resident steelhead will shorten the time necessary for Puget Sound wild steelhead to recover and improve their stock size, genetic diversity and health.
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: DFW685875

Harvest is not a limiting factor to the recovery of steelhead. Puget Sound steelhead are already protected through a variety of other regulations. This proposal would unnecessarily restrict recreational opportunity for rainbow trout, which is not a listed species. The agency strives to balance conservation needs with recreational opportunity and in this case, the conservation need does not require limiting recreational opportunity to such a great extent.

Online Public Comments    (2 comments)

LAWRENCE, ANDREW R  January 23, 2013
I support this proposal for the reasons noted above.
HOPPLER, WES C  January 29, 2013
Oppose - see comments on DFW351364

Other Comments Received