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.


Recommended
for Public Comment
Not Recommended
for further consideration
View by Category
Statewide Coastal Region
Freshwater
Statewide
Shellfish/Seaweed
Puget Sound
Region Freshwater
Coastal Region
Marine
Puget Sound
Region Marine
Eastern Washington and
Columbia Region Freshwater

Reference ID: DFW003073

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW003073
Recreational Opportunities      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Eastern Washington and Columbia Region Freshwater
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Trout
 • Steelhead
Rule to Change:
NACHES RIVER (Yakima Co.) from mouth to confluence with Tieton River TROUT First Sat. in June-Oct. 31 Min. size 12". Max. size 20". Daily limit 2. Selective gear rules. Internal combustion motors prohibited. Other Game Fish First Sat. in June-Oct. 31 Statewide min. size/daily limit. Selective gear rules. Internal combustion motors prohibited. WHITEFISH Dec. 1-Mar. 31 No min. size. Daily limit 15 WHITEFISH only. Whitefish gear rules. from confluence with Tieton River to Rattlesnake Creek TROUT First Sat. in June-Oct. 31 Catch-and-release. Selective gear rules. Internal combustion motors prohibited. Other Game Fish First Sat. in June-Oct. 31 Statewide min. size/daily limit. Selective gear rules. Internal combustion motors prohibited. WHITEFISH Dec. 1-Mar. 31 No min. size. Daily limit 15 WHITEFISH only. Whitefish gear rules. from Rattlesnake Creek upstream TROUT First Sat. in June-Oct. 31 Min. size 12". Max. size 20". Daily limit 2. Selective gear rules. Internal combustion motors prohibited. Other Game Fish First Sat. in June-Oct. 31 Statewide min. size/daily limit. Selective gear rules. Internal combustion motors prohibited. WHITEFISH Dec. 1-Mar. 31 No min. size. Daily limit 15 WHITEFISH only. Whitefish gear rules.
New Rule Proposal:
Convert the entire Naches River to Catch and Release Selective Fishery, there has been success with this in the section from Rattlesnake Creek to the Tieton Section yet the other areas have not thrived in comparison. It will offer great fishing for wild trout and also help alleviate the fly fishing pressure from the nearby Yakima River by diluting anglers and allowing them a quality fly fishing experience on a nearby stream. I propose that from the Little Naches River Confluence to the Yakima River Confluence be all Catch and Release. In addition to a dramatically increased yield in trout which serves the greater fishing public, there is an issue of juvenile steelhead retention. There are A LOT of juvenile steelhead that exceed 12" in the river during June - October and as the law reads now these are often being retained. A Catch and Release season would solve this problem without losing any recreational opportunities. A catch and release season would also simplify the Bull Trout management, because then no matter what the species it needs to be released back into the water. Although WDFW does a great job of attempting to educate the public, it stands to reason that anglers are often retaining a Bull Trout in the 12-20" range mistaking it for a different species.
Why the change is needed:
It just makes sense. The WDFW has the opportunity to provide a high quality fishing experience for wild trout on a beautiful stream. It isn't enough to make one small section of the river Catch and Release. These fish travel, move, and migrate and by expanding the catch and release section it will greatly improve escapement especially in the spawning age trout. As mentioned above, it would also preserve juvenile steelhead that meet the 12" minimum size requirement. As an angler on the Naches River I can personally testify that there are ample numbers of juvenile steelhead 12-14" especially in the section of river from the Tieton to the Yakima confluence.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change:
Yakima Valley Fly Fishers
Describe their support and/or concerns:
Just a fly fishing club that I am a part of and mentioned, they are all local Naches River anglers and seemed to support the idea.
Submitted by: ROTTER, JOE  — ELLENSBURG, WA

Date submitted: 05/17/2012

WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation

Not Recommended for further consideration     Reference ID: DFW003073

This proposal does not offer additional conservation protection that warrants adjusting the current rule. The current rule is protective of native fish while allowing a broad spectrum of recreational anglers to use the resource. Implementing the proposed rule would potentially reduce recreational use of the resource.


Online Public Comments    (34 comments)

JOYCE, STEVE C  October 08, 2012
ELLENSBURG, WA  
Comments:
I ask that this proposal be reinstated to this year's program, as it certainly DOES offer conservation protection, DOES protect native fish, and would NOT reduce recreational use of the resource, as mentioned in the above WDFW response reference. The fact is that the best fishing currently on the Naches River is between Rattlesnake Creek and the Tieton. This is also the section that attracts the most anglers (coincidence?). By extending this "conservation and protection" area for trout, the entire river would become more productive and the number of recreational users would certainly increase. Selective gear does NOT limit the option to fly fishing only - it eliminates the use of live bait (which has been proven to result in higher C&R mortality), and makes it easier to safely release caught fish. The Naches River is unique watershed in WA, containing a large enough food source to support good populations of quality trout if we let them grow to maturity. Thank you for
ENNIS, STUART   October 10, 2012
NACHES, WA  
Comments:
I think the rule;s for the upper naches should be kept the same,we have enough catch and release now,i live on the naches in the nile area the fishing is pretty good,i haven;t kept a fish from the naches for years ,that is my choice,if people/kids would like to keep one fish they should be able to,in the early part of summer i see the guide boats floating by,my understanding is they are the ones doing the whineing about the catch and release,thanks stu ennis
FERRIER, GLEN L  October 11, 2012
LEAVENWORTH, WA  
Comments:
I fully support the New Rule Proposal. They’re VERY FEW quality trout streams in this state. I have to go to Montana or Idaho to have quality trout fishing without huge crowds and overfished streams such as the Yakima and the Methow Rivers. It seems to me the state of Washington is only concerned about anadromous fish and Bull trout. I am a longtime fisher of Washington and have seen the trout fishery in streams suffer greatly. Many streams in my area cannot be fished at all for trout up to a blockage or certain location and then after that a kill limit is set which deprives any quality trout fishing available in that drainage at all. Bottom line, I think the state would greatly benefit from an improved trout fishery in our many beautiful streams in the state. Catch and Release works, just check the many studies done in Idaho and Montana. I also wonder if our state is concerned that if more streams are turned to Catch and Release it will lessen the sales of fishing licenses, Please rep
JOHNSON, STEVE P  October 12, 2012
SAMMAMISH, WA  
Comments:
I agree with the new rule proposal and would recommend that WDFW reconsider the change. This rule change has been supported by Region 3 biologists and managers. Please make the Naches a catch and release river. This will improve the fisheries within the Naches River system.
FERGUSON, JAMES   October 13, 2012
CAMANO ISLAND, WA  
Comments:
I agree with this proposal. It just makes sense.
SCHMITZ, JIM   October 15, 2012
TACOMA, WA  
Comments:
While reviewing this proposal by Joe Rotter, I felt that this was one that really made sense. There is no reason why this system is not managed the same as the Yakima. The Naches River has so much potential to be a safe haven for both resident and Anadromous fish to thrive and spawn successfully if given the chance. Apparently the state once again does not get the big picture. Does a healthy trout stream bring revenue to a region? This proposal should be a "no brainer". It is time to allow the trout/steelhead in the Naches to rebuild their populations and thrive for years to come. It is just unfortunate, that we have no individuals reviewing the proposals this year that have any common sense. It is time to make this river catch and release and protect what little we have left today.
BAERWALDE, MATTHEW J  October 15, 2012
SEATTLE, WA  
Comments:
I would like to extend my support for the proposed rule change making the Naches River entirely Catch and Release, selective gear regs. Most years, I fish the Naches River 5-10 days, and I almost always concentrate on the short C&R stretch, because this river reach produces more and bigger fish on average for me than other reaches where harvest is allowed. I think increasing the amount of C&R water on this special, productive fishery would be a boon to native trout and to those that fish for them for fun, providing an enhanced fishing experience for most people that use the Naches River as fishing grounds. Thank you for considering my comments. Sincerely, Matt Baerwalde 9408 37th Ave SW Seattle WA 98126 206-601-4403
LARSON, RICHARD   October 15, 2012
SUQUAMISH, WA  
Comments:
I support this proposed rules change. It would leave the fishery open to "gear" fishermen, protect the fish with the barbless single hook requirement, and add the possibility of another blue ribbon trout stream. Look at the Yakima River and see what that fishery has done for the local economy. The amount of money infused by the fishermen who love and enjoy that river, including me, affects businesses from Cle Elum to Yakima. Thanks for your consideration.
NYSTROM, CHRIS E  October 15, 2012
WENATCHEE, WA  
Comments:
I wrote in support of this proposal last week, but just learned that I had sent it to an inappropriate email address within WDFW. I see now that it has been put into the "Not Recommended for further consideration" category. I find this very difficult to believe that WDFW would come to this conclusion. There is a "decent" population of wild trout here that does not appear to be reaching it's potential. There are simply not enough fish to continue to allow anglers to remove one per day and expect it to ever improve. The reasons given by WDFW are, in my opinion, arguable. How is allowing the taking of native fish "protective", when there are obviously far fewer fish in the river than it appears capable of supporting? They are not everywhere they should be...I know...I've fished it. This is a single barbless hook, C&R proposal, not a flyfish only proposal. How would that reduce recreational use or opportunity? Once fishing improved with C&R, many more angler
JOHNSON, KIRK W  October 16, 2012
SEATTLE, WA  
Comments:
Single, barbless hook...whether spin or fly casting. First goal should be about saving the fish that aren't harvested.
PHILLIP, WILLIAM   October 16, 2012
ELLENSBURG, WA  
Comments:
I am in support of this proposal to make the Naches river system as stated a catch and release river.I have fished many rivers in the west and enjoy the benefits these rivers produce in the name of healthy trout populations.
GERRY, BRENT W  October 17, 2012
NACHES, WA  
Comments:
I would not suport this proposel. When special interest groups promote and develop a program such as this it can be good as well as bad. The good is it could develop a strong fishier. The down side is the lack of portage if any along the Naches River, the lack of sanitaion facilities,the lack of safe parking along hyway 410. Unlike other catch and release ares we have a large population along the river and with the pressure of this type of fishier it increases the chances of trespass on privet proporty. As an elected offical I understand budget challenges and the cost to the WDFW to develop and police this proposal would be unjustifiable.If I was to spend tax dollars I would like to see this river be stocked again so I can take my grand kids on a river fishing trip and teach them when to keep or release.
GERRY, BRENT W  October 17, 2012
NACHES, WA  
Comments:
I would not suport this proposel. When special interest groups promote and develop a program such as this it can be good as well as bad. The good is it could develop a strong fishier. The down side is the lack of portage if any along the Naches River, the lack of sanitaion facilities,the lack of safe parking along hyway 410. Unlike other catch and release ares we have a large population along the river and with the pressure of this type of fishier it increases the chances of trespass on privet proporty. As an elected offical I understand budget challenges and the cost to the WDFW to develop and police this proposal would be unjustifiable.If I was to spend tax dollars I would like to see this river be stocked again so I can take my grand kids on a river fishing trip and teach them when to keep or release.
SNRING, DAVE M  October 19, 2012
REDMOND, WA  
Comments:
I agree with this new rule proposal.
WEST, JOHN M  October 21, 2012
TACOMA, WA  
Comments:
Why not make the entire Naches river a C&R fishery? There are literally thousands of economic studies and surveys that PROVE the sportfishing industry is a profitable one. There are hundreds upon THOUSANDS of studies conducted that prove C&R improves fish population health, size, and density. Fisherman like to catch big fish, to make the Naches river a trophy trout fishing destination would serve to benefit the small businesses lining the 410hwy, the town of Naches, and Yakima. I do hope you reconsider this measure, if you did it might restore my hope that WDFW is actually here to protect fish and wildlife of this state which I have fought and bled for in foreign lands while in uniform.
GRATE, JAY W  October 21, 2012
WEST RICHLAND, WA  
Comments:
I favor establishing Catch and Release, Limit zero, Selective Gear rules on the Naches river, along its entire length.
FITZGERALD, LARRY   October 25, 2012
YAKIMA, WA  
Comments:
I am all for making the Naches River catch and release only. I own a cabin on the Bumping River and fish both the Bumping and Naches. We need more native fish on both rivers, making the Naches catch and release would only help that cause. I've noticed numorous times people fishing on both rivers with bait. I know for a fact these guys are keeping what ever they hook! Let's make our rivers the places people want to go to get into good quality fishing.
SANTINI, CHRIS M  November 07, 2012
SAMMAMISH, WA  
Comments:
I support the change to catch and release fishing to improve the quality and overall experience on the Naches river. Sincerely, Chris Santini
KAUZLARICH, RALPH J  December 05, 2012
MOXEE, WA  
Comments:
I was raised near the Naches river and have been fishing the proposed portion (to be converted o fly fishing, catch and release ONLY) for the past seventy (70) years and was able to teach my four children conservation,and the joy of fishing as recreation in the same area. At the present time,individuals thatwant fly fishing and catch and release ONLY,they can do that on any body of water in the state without having a law, thus eliminating fishermen that would rather use spinning and/or level wind gear. I, prefer to have options since I already release about 95% of my catch. But I also enjoy a fresh trout dinner on occasion, and do believe in using GODS' renewable resources if desired. Fishing and catching is the same for ALL fisherman. One group should not have the authority to insist on type of gear used, (especially rod and reel). Purist fly fishermen can fish anywhere, but restrictive waters elimate many others. DO NOT CHANGE THIS PORTION OF THE NACHES RIVER.
ALLISON, CHET @  December 07, 2012
SPOKANE, WA  
Comments:
I have fished the Yakima River with good success and many fish, with losts of people. If the Nache is converted to a quality fishing opportunity that will take pressure off the Yakima. I myself will fish the Nache if converted to a quality fishing water of some sort. The St. Joe in Idaho is just one example of what the Nache may turn into.
HARDMAN, DENNIS J  December 11, 2012
GIG HARBOR, WA  
Comments:
I fully support year-round catch and release regulations on the Naches River.
HURLBUT, LOU K  December 12, 2012
POULSBO, WA  
Comments:
I understand the rule adoptions have been extended a month. Please reconsider this proposal. catch and release and Selective Fishery on this river makes great sense. They days of trying to fill a freezer with trout are gone. There are too many people and not enough trout. You need only look at rivers and lakes with these kind of regulations to see how popular it is. It's a success story for the state, local businesses and of course fishermen. We're not asking for fly fishing only. A gear fisherman can still fish hardware and have a great day with potential for the fish of a lifetime. If they want to fill the freezer there are many other options available. Thanks for listening.
COLLINGRIDGE, HER E  December 13, 2012
EDMONDS, WA  
Comments:
look at how the Yak has done with this rule
DOOLEY, JAMES   December 13, 2012
FEDERAL WAY, WA  
Comments:
Limiting additional area of the Naches River, or all of the river to catch and release, selective gear, would reduce the fishing pressure (crowding) on the Yakima River. This would expand the economic benefits of recreational fisher spending to the Naches communities. Reduced pressure on the Yakima fish population will reduce fish stress and perhaps improve sustainability of resident populations.
STUBER, SI   December 14, 2012
YAKIMA, WA  
Comments:
There are plenty of places for anglers to catch and keep on rivers in this area. Anglers can fish the Yakima below Roza and harvest fish or on the Tieton River, not to mention the numerous stocked lakes in the surrounding mountains. This change will make this fishery,blue-ribbon,bringing a ton of revenue to the area and displaying another good decision for WDFW. This change will also reduce the accidental harvest of protected steelhead and bull trout that I have witnessed several times as a frequent Naches fisherman. Please make the right choice so when my 1 year old and 4 year old grow old enough, they will have an amazing fishery to enjoy. Thank you.
LOGAN, JOE   December 15, 2012
NORTH BEND, WA  
Comments:
Compared to other western states, Washington is far behind in quality trout water. Let's do something about it by making the Naches River a catch and release fishery. Years ago, making the upper Yakima catch and release probably seemed radical and today, it is a quality stream with quality fishing. And, it is quality for fly and gear guys alike. Finally, catch and release fishing is good for the economy, from tackle sales to boating to hiring guides.
SHERWOOD, KURT R  December 19, 2012
MAPLE VALLEY, WA  
Comments:
I support the new rule proposal for creating additional catch a release section of the Naches river. The WDFW attitude that this will reduce angler opportunity is not supported by research that shows quality fisheries increase angler participation and increase economic benefit to the surrounding communities. Long term quality fisheries promote tourism and large economic rewards to local communities, as demonstrated by studies from the eastern united states and states like Montana where quality fisheries attract tourism from all of North America and beyond.
THOMAS, A   December 29, 2012
YAKIMA, WA  
Comments:
Though a devout catch and release fly fisher and support advancing fish preservation, my sole reservation comes thinking of my young son (5), whom I am now teaching fly fishing and fish/water stewardship on the Naches River. I liken this to taking him to a baseball game and him catching a fly/home run ball and required to throw it back. Him catching a fish is almost as rare as him catching a ball. Point being, to teach his fishing values, I believe his decision to release/keep it choice is a life lesson. This instills ownership of fish enhancement by partaking in fish preservation. Empower vs. powerless. That said, the excitement and joy he has when (rare) he lands a fish and takes it home to share with mom, clean it (he does), cook it (I do) and enjoy it for what God intended is priceless. Perhaps, allow youth to retain one legal fish per day to coincide with the existing non-license 15 year old law. Cooking his fish on a campfire concludes our memory making day on th
HEILMAN, GERALD E  December 30, 2012
YAKIMA, WA  
Comments:
I have been fishing for the last 55 years on the Yakima, Naches, Klickatat, Tieton and other rivers of Washington State. I made the switch to fly fishing over 30 years ago. As part of my switch to fly fishing, I was able to personally watch the improvement of the Yakima and Naches Rivers. For example, in the catch and release sections on the Yakima and Naches Rivers, when the regulations were changed to barbless hooks and releasing all fish, the quantity and quality of fish increased dramatically. I fully expect that if all of the Naches River is changed to catch and release, the fishing experience and quality of fish will increase dramatically. As a contrast, I have seen the quality of fishing on the Klickatat decrease a lot due to bait fishing for steelhead and salmon and retaining trout over 12 inches. If the increasing number of fly fisherman on the Yakima is any indication, changing all of the Naches to catch and release will be a great success.
MATSEN, FREDERICK   December 31, 2012
SEATTLE, WA  
Comments:
We support the change for the Naches river to become a catch and release fishery. It will preserve this pristine river as a resource without reducing its attractiveness to sport fishing
OSHIE, PATRICK J  January 27, 2013
OLYMPIA, WA  
Comments:
I support the catch and release only proposal. The Naches is a beautiful river and a great fly fishing destination. Catch and release only regulation will improve and increase the fish population and quality of fishing for the folks that are willing to spend many dollars in pursuit of their passion. The businesses on highway 410 will significantly benefit from the influx of fishers that will follow a bigger and wilder fish population. Thank you.
STEELE, DARREN L  January 01, 2013
EVERETT, WA  
Comments:
Ther are plenty of put and take fisheries. It would be an economic advantage to create another quality fishery not to mention relieve pressure on the Yakima.
WOOLDRIDGE, JAMES L  January 03, 2013
FALL CITY, WA  
Comments:
I support this new rule proposal.
ROSS-HAVENS, TROY B  January 09, 2013
NACHES, WA  
Comments:
I concur with Joe, I grew up fishing the Naches, and have enjoyed every day of it. This was the river where I first learned how to fly fish. It would be highly beneficial for the trout population to extend catch-and-release/single barbless to the entire stream. I support this proposed rule change