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: DFW911592

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW911592
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Steelhead
Rule to Change:
Selective Gear Rules Only unscented artificial flies or lures with one single-point, barbless hook are allowed. Up to a total of three artificial flies or lures, each containing one single-point, barbless hook may be used. Bait is prohibited; fish may be released until the daily limit is retained. Only knotless nets may be used to land fish except where specifically allowed under Special Rules for individual waters. If any fish has swallowed the hook or is hooked in the gill, eye, or tongue, it should be kept if legal to do so.
New Rule Proposal:
Selective Gear Rules Westside Rivers - Trout and Steelhead - February 1 to April 30. Eastside Rivers - Trout and Steelhead – Year Round
Why the change is needed:
Catch and release mortality can vary widely depending the gear type used. Hooten (2001) found that hooking mortality was consistently at least 3 to 9 times higher when using bait verses using artificial lure or fly. Bruesewitz (1995) found that the highest percentage (17. 8%) of critical area hookings (tongue, esophagus, gills, and eyes) occurred when using bait and treble hooks in winter steelhead fisheries. Because steelhead and stream-resident rainbow trout are the same species, inter-spawn, and both can produce anadromous forms, it is important to consider wild rainbow trout conservation when managing for wild steelhead sustainability and recovery. Many studies have shown significantly higher mortality in trout when angling with bait verses artificial lures/flies (Taylor and White 1992; Schill and Scarpella 1995; Mongillo 1984; Wydoski 1977; Schisler and Bergersen 1996). Taylor and White (1992) showed an average mortality of trout to be 6-8 times greater when using bait verses using lures or flies, respectively. Selective gear rules are necessary to minimize the mortality impacts on wild steelhead populations throughout WA (including many ESA listed stocks).
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: DFW911592

Currently rules are set by individual river system that are adequately protective of each seperate stock of fish. If these rules are not effective they are then adjusted by individual system. A blanket rule for eastside or westside rivers would not be more protective of trout or steelhead stocks than current rules and would likley lead to loss of opportunity for a large proportion of the States trout and steelhead anglers.

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 this proposal, bait is the preferred method of angling for the majority winter steelheaders. See broader comment on nearly identical proposal DFW725075