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: DFW764139

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW764139
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Steelhead
Rule to Change:
New Rule Proposal:
An angler must stop fishing for the year when they have reached their limit of one wild steelhead harvested or for the day when they have caught and released two wild steelhead. Anglers will immediately mark the release on their report card after catching and releasing a wild steelhead.
Why the change is needed:
The increasing fishing effort on the few remaining rivers open to wild steelhead fishing in Washington indicates that controls are needed to reduce catch-and-release (CnR) impacts. CnR fishing 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). Research shows the mortality rate of CnR wild steelhead is minimally 10% to 14% as it does not include fish lost. Alaska has applied a seasonal limit of one Chinook on the Kenai River to limit the effort and harvest. The Canadian Maritime Provinces have established two fishing licenses for Atlantic salmon: a harvest license for which harvest tag (s) are issued and a Live Release License which allows only CnR fishing. Anglers are required to stop fishing when they have reached either daily limit. We recommend these regulations as a means to reduce the CnR impacts on wild steelhead.
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: DFW764139

This proposal would unnecessarily limit harvest opportunity. Enforcing portions of this rule would be impossible.

Online Public Comments    (1 comments)

HOPPLER, WES C  January 29, 2013
Oppose this proposal. Past attempts at recording released fish have been somewhat unsucessful, and it would be less successful if it were tied to a reduction of opportunity. This is a rather dramatic change in the the definition of the one fish annual limit for wild fish. Significant regulation changes have greatly reduce sport impacts in wild steelhead fisheries in recent years. Coastal Run Size and Escapement are not on the path to doom. Recent five year averages for the Quilayute RS&E are actually higher than they were from 77-78 to 82-83. This regulation may have significant negative consequences for wild fish health. Some anglers might decide that it would be very convenient if the fish they were playing would be "lost" and they could continue to fish. This might lead to stressful conditions for the fish as the angler plays them for a prolonged period of time trying to "loose them". Unwarranted and ineffective regulation breed contempt for rules and undermine

Other Comments Received