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: DFW736341

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW736341
Recreational Opportunities      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Puget Sound Region Marine
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Other

Other Description
Rule to Change:
sturgeon current gear restriction - Only one single-point barbless hook and bait is allowed when fishing for sturgeon
New Rule Proposal:
puget sound & tributaries sturgeon gear regulation: While fishing for sturgeon, one single point barbless circle hook measuring a minimum of 1 inch from shank to point in front of bend (approx8/0)must be used, tied to a Dacron or similar chord type leader (no monofiliment)of min 95# test. Maximum leader length 18"-- Bait must be used and attached directly to or immediately above the hook. the Anchor weight must be attached directly to the mainline or slider, snap and/or swivel - all being directly attached to main line, no dropline allowed to main anchor weight. PLunking with weight sufficiently heavy enough to bottom position the bait offering is required, continual cast/drifting (bottom bouncing) is not allowed. No adornments may be used for attraction, similar to and/or such as yarn, beads, spinnner blades, feathers, animal fur, drift or wing bobbers. Stretchy elastic thread may be used to hold bait on only. Scent may be used.

See ATTACHED FILE for more information.

Why the change is needed:
Due to emergency and/or permenant resource closures for salmon/steelhead resources, the old current sturgeon gear regulation could be used for catching salmon/steelhead in guise of sturgeon fishing. Dept managers would then therefore close all gamefish fishing to stop possible poaching for the salmon/steelhead. This new gear regulation holding bait to bottom, with large barbless circle hook, heavy chord leader, and no attraction addornements would eliminate possible fishing techniques used for catching salmon/steelhead. Using the chord style leaders would also not dig into flesh or nose of sturgeon and help mitigate better live release of the sturgeon species.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change:
Annette Hoffman- reg 4 fish propram leader WDFW Brett Barkdull - reg 4 bio WFDW Borderline Bassin Contender (45 membership) - Whatcom/Skagit Counties - hunting & fishing club
Describe their support and/or concerns:
All have supported idea keeping sturgeon open during salmon/steelhead closures as long as the sturgeon gear can be defined as shown above to eliminate poaching. Recreational opportunity & economic value to local businesses would be desired.

Date submitted: 06/12/2012

WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation

Recommended for Public Comment     Reference ID: DFW736341

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.