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: DFW739004

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW739004
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Steelhead
Rule to Change:
All steelhead regulation for Puget Sound and coastal rivers.
New Rule Proposal:
Increase recreational fishing opportunity and reduce recreational angling impact to wild winter steelhead through these changes: 1.Reopen Puget Sound Streams to catch & release angling for winter steelhead. 2. Make all winter steelhead rivers catch & release, barbless hooks, no bait streamwide from Jan 15 to seasons end. 3. Put a ban on fishing from floating devices in effect on all these streams from Jan 15 til seasons end. 4. Close all winter steelhead streams March 31.
Why the change is needed:
These changes will increase angling opportunity while reducing angling impact on all the winter steelhead water in Western Washington. The current situation of closed Puget Sound Rivers is protecting one are while sacrificing another (Olympic Peninsula). These regulation changes would allow people to keep fishing while greatly reducing there impact. Banning fishing from boats will allow the fish sanctuary where they are not accesible to recreational anglers while still allowing lots of fishing opportunities. Please look at cases of similar management on the Deschutes and other rivers in Oregon and especially the Skeena river system in British Columbia and how successful they have been. I have spent countless hours thinking about this and am absolutely sure this is the best way to protect the resource and allow angling opportunity.Thanks for your consideration of this.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change:
No input given
Describe their support and/or concerns:
No input given

Date submitted: 05/08/2012

WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation

Not Recommended for further consideration     Reference ID: DFW739004

This proposal would unnecessarily limit harvest opportunity. Further, depending on the river, it would reduce the harvest of hatchery fish that are produced for harvest and could contribute to hatchery fish competing with wild fish on the spawning grounds.

Online Public Comments    (3 comments)

WILLIAMS, ZACK   December 06, 2012
WDFW response does not make sense. This proposal is for after hatchery fish season during wild fish returns from Jan 15 to seasons end. It is also my opinion that the WDFW should recognize the # of proposals here recommending changes to Wild Steelhead Policy, and realize that their current strategy is not acceptable to the general public.
LAWRENCE, ANDREW R  January 23, 2013
I support this propsal for the reasons stated above.
HOPPLER, WES C  January 29, 2013
Do not support this proposal. While there is some merit to finding ways to spread fishing pressure around, simply opening all Puget Sound rivers to extended Spring angling is not going to aid in stock recovery. The Sauk river has been on the verge of having a run size big enough to absorb the impacts of a catch and release season. A somewhat more liberal view of opening that river for a limited CNR season might well improve crowding on other rivers and improve the overall quality of opportunity during a portion of the winter steelhead season.