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: DFW939515

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW939515
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Eastern Washington and Columbia Region Freshwater
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Not species specific
Rule to Change:
New Rule Proposal:
Grande Ronde River: No fishing from a floating device year round below the highway 129 bridge in Boggans Oasis.
Why the change is needed:
Each fall the Grande Ronde River steelhead fishery attracts high angler participation. Water temperatures and river levels during the fall create ideal conditions for high catch rates using a variety of tactics. Grande Ronde steelhead are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and with increasing participation and interest in the Grande Ronde fishery there is a need to reduce individual anglers catch rates to minimize conservation impacts on threatened steelhead in the watershed. A rule change allowing boats for transportation only would give wild steelhead vital refuge from angler pressure, reducing the impact of the catch and release sport fishing and maintaining a high quality fishing experience.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change:
FFF Steelhead Committee, The Conservation Angler
Describe their support and/or concerns:
Support proposed rule change

Date submitted: 06/12/2012

WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation

Not Recommended for further consideration     Reference ID: DFW939515

The area proposed for boat restrictions is most easily accessible for anglers using a boat, as little road access is available, except near Shumaker Grade. That would mean many miles of the lower Grande Ronde River would have little or no fishing or harvest of hatchery steelhead. Oregon and Washington release large numbers of hatchery steelhead smolts into the Grande Ronde River upstream of the proposed restriction area and the management goals of both states is to remove as many of these hatchery fish as possible through harvest so they do not spawn with native steelhead and compromise those ESA listed populations. Further restrictions on access and harvest of hatchery steelhead in the Grande Ronde River may force the states to reduce smolt releases to protect wild steelhead, and that would reduce fishing opportunities. The lower Grande Ronde River is a world class fishery that is nationally renowned. Anglers from many other states come to fish this river, sometimes for more than 10 days at a time, and the economic value of this fishery is very high.

Online Public Comments    (5 comments)

ATLAS, WILLIAM I  January 23, 2013
I authored this rule change and wanted to provide some clarification regarding the restrictions that would be placed on boats. While the response from WDFW seems to indicate the belief that this rule change would restrict access to much of the Grande Ronde, the proposed rule change would still allow boats to be used for transportation, meaning anglers could still access the entirety of the basin by boat but restrictions would limit fishing from the boat. This type of rule has been successfully adopted on several rivers in BC and Oregon. Given the relatively small size of the Grande Ronde and the high pressure during the fall months, this rule would allow more anglers the opportunity to catch fish while reducing catch rates on ESA listed wild populations, providing a better balance between the need for quality fishing opportunities and conservation. Thank you, Will Atlas Chair, FFF Steelhead Committee
SENYOHL, CHRIS J  January 28, 2013
I am against this proposal. It would limit some of the more physically challenged anglers from fishing and create more damage to the spawning areas of all fish that spawn in the river by increasing the amount of wading anglers. If the true nature of the proposal is to lessen impacts and not just to set aside more water for an exclusive group of anglers who choose to fish a certain way, than I think a better idea might be to only allow fishing from a boat or while standing on dry ground. Wading, both while fishing and as a way to access fishing areas, may do more damage than the actual fishing itself.
GAVIN, MARK J  January 28, 2013
It is not needed. The proposal favors fishing methods by a special interest group. In addition, many people are too old and or physically impaired to get out of a boat to fish this rugged terrain. The proposal violates the Americans with disabilities act as does recognize the real needs of people and make reasonable accommodation for them. Also, there is very little public bank access for many miles as there are no roads and the river is surrounded by private land. The data by the groups that originally made this proposal is not valid. In the extremely few cases where there really needs to be a conservation limitation to protect the fish make it a total closesure to all fishing methods.
SHARF, JOHN D  January 29, 2013
Not required, this would close access to fishing for people with physical limitations, like myself.
SIMONSON, WILLIAM R  January 29, 2013
This proposal should not be considered. If the need to reduce sportsfisher catch is real, then limit days/seasons. Requiring sportsfishers to exit a boat/"floating device" can pose safety issues; especially for the young and elder fishers. Don't limit fishing methods and reduce opportunities to certain fishing demographics.