Reference ID: DFW780973
Rule Change Recommendation Short Title
Eastern Washington and Columbia Region Freshwater
Type of Rule Change Proposal
County or Location Information
Increase harvest of walleye in Lake Roosevelt.
Updated to clarify Table 1. The explanations for options 2 and 3 were reversed.
The Lake Roosevelt walleye population remains overabundant following the liberalization of harvest regulations in 2007, which were intended to reduce the abundance of walleye in the reservoir. Fall walleye index netting (FWIN) catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) data indicates walleye abundance has not declined (Figure 1) and fish continue to exhibit slow growth and poor condition due to a predator/ prey imbalance within the reservoir. In addition, predation on other game and non-game fish species is a concern at the present abundance level. Creel data indicate that angler harvest (about 50,000 walleye annually) is not sufficient to achieve management objectives (Figure 2). Modeling suggests that an increase in angler harvest to 150,000 annually is necessary to meet management objectives. Opening the Spokane Arm during the walleye spawning season in April and May represents increased recreational opportunity, and four sportfishing regulation alternatives are being considered to allow for an increase in angler harvest (Table 1).
Table 1. Lake Roosevelt sportfishing regulation alternatives. All to include opening of Spokane Arm during April – May.
Original Rule Proposal Number(s)DFW344121DFW913471DFW370243DFW780973DFW431170
||Retain Current 8 fish limit with 1 over 22”
This regulation is not currently meeting the objective to reduce the population through angler harvest.
||16 fish limit
Based on modeling results this regulation should increase angler harvest of walleye. Exploitation rates for age 9+ fish (22” length plus) will likely increase.
||16 fish limit with 1 over 22”
Based on modeling results this regulation should provide for increased angler harvest of walleye, while maintaining the current exploitation rate for age 9+ fish (22” length plus) between 30-90%.
||No regulation on daily limit or size
Biologically, a “no limit” would be acceptable in managing this population. Socially, WDFW understands that this proposal may be unacceptable to constituents.