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: DFW033405

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW033405
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Eastern Washington and Columbia Region Freshwater
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Steelhead
Rule to Change:
New Rule Proposal:
Klickitat River. Fishing from floating devices is not allowed from September 15 through June 30 on the Klickitat River from the Little Klickitat River confluence to the Yakima reservation. Floating devices may be used for transportation in the area.
Why the change is needed:
This is one of the two major spawning areas used by wild steelhead in the Klickitat River. Klickitat river summer steelhead are part of the ESA-listed Threatened Mid-Columbia ESU. Wild Klickitat summer run steelhead arrive, hold and some slowly pass though this area during the summer and fall months. A significant proportion of the run hold here and spawn the following spring. These fish are subject to repeated harassment from boat angling during the low, clear water conditions that normally prevail from mid-September on. Fishing effort has grown very significantly on the Klickitat River in recent years. Virtually every resting and hiding niche and spawning riffle in this area can be easily reached and fished hard and repeatedly through the use of boats. Wild steelhead are caught-and-released (CnR) in large numbers. Repeated and high levels of CnR can negatively influence behavior, reproduction, and survival of wild steelhead (Ashbrook 2010; Hooton 2001, others). This regulation will continue to allow ample sport fishing opportunity from the bank, including the accessing of bank-fishing opportunities by boat. The rule will also establish a partial reserve for resting and holding steelhead. This proposal will provide a partial refuge, increasing chances for steelhead survival and effective spawning. Over time this regulation should increase wild steelhead abundance and diversity, improving their health and the sport fishery for future generations.
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: DFW033405

The Klickitat River wild summer and winter steelhead populations are thought to be stable in numbers. The Klickitat River is stocked with hatchery summer steelhead, spring and fall Chinook, and coho salmon to provide harvest opportunities. Area specific season closures and gear restriction regulations have been implemented to protect wild steelhead. Currently about 20% of the bank is easily accessed and another 40% has limited or difficult access.

Online Public Comments    (6 comments)

EIDS, DAVID   November 21, 2012
I agree that this rule should not be recommended. I have an in-depth understanding of this fishery from the Little Klickitat upstream having floated and fished this section of river for approx.40 years. Fish are not subject to repeated harassement and are not stressed. Their argument is exagerated and not accurate. I agree with WDFW that this rule should not be recommened.
SMITH, OLIVER H  December 20, 2012
Let me start by saying I have a drift boat and fish the Klickitat approx. 40 times a rear so I have seen this first hand. I support this proposal. The Klickitat river is overrun with people fishing out of boats and the fish are constantly under attack and wild fish are caught multiple times in some cases. This cannot be good for the wild fish. I would have no problem getting out of the boat to fish.
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.
BROOKS, PETER   January 28, 2013
I do not support this proposal because it limits access and opportunity for some while favoring others, without actually addressing conservation.
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. 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
Nor required, would limit fishing opportunities to people with physical problems. See no conservation issue at his time.

Other Comments Received