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: DFW181021

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW181021
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Puget Sound Region Marine
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Steelhead
Rule to Change:
None
New Rule Proposal:
Fishing from floating devices is not allowed February 1 through November 30 in the Hoh River from the Morgans Crossing to the Olympic National Park.
Why the change is needed:
This is an important spawning area for mid and late run wild steelhead in the Hoh River. Wild early run and South Fork steelhead rest and slowly pass though this area during the early winter months and spawn in upriver areas. By early March, later run steelhead have begun spawning in the area in good numbers, continuing throughout the spring. Boats can access every possible holding and spawning lie in the entire river, while bank anglers have less access to challenging lies. Wild steelhead are caught-and-released (CnR) in large numbers, often while in their spawning phase. Repeated and high levels of CnR can negatively influence behavior, reproduction, and survival of wild steelhead (Ashbrook 2010; Hooton, 2001; others). 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 fishery for future generations.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change:
The Wild Fish Conservancy - Trent Donohue and Nick Gayeski. Native Fish Society - Mike Moody. Bill McMillan, Biologist and Outdoor writer. John McMillan, Fish Research Scientist. Wild Salmon Center - Devona Ensmenger. Conservation Angler - Pete Soverel. Will Atlas, Steelhead Conservation Committee Federation of Fly Fishers. Doug Schaad, Conservation Committee - Washington Fly Fishing Club. Dave Steinbaugh, Waters West. Dave McCoy, Emerald Water Anglers. Bill Robinson, Fish Advocate and Chair of the WDFW SCPAG. Mike Gross, WDFW Fishery Biologist
Describe their support and/or concerns:
This Rule proposal has been discussed in detail with Mike Gross of WDFW. This proposal is supported by all listed above as well.
Submitted by: LUKE KELLY (CONTACT), WILD STEELHEAD COALITION  — KIRKLAND, WA

Date submitted: 06/14/2012

WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation

Not Recommended for further consideration     Reference ID: DFW181021

Updated 09/27/2012
UPDATED: The "no fishing from a floating device" regulation to reduce negative effects of catch and release fisheries on wild steelhead is typically not a tool used to address conservation objectives. Currently wild steelhead are meeting escapement in this river. Limiting harvest of wild steelhead to one per year per angler statewide, to be taken only in the lower stretches of rivers that are routinely meeting escapement goals, has reduced the non-treaty harvest of wild steelhead in these rivers by roughly 70 percent. Upper reaches of the north coastal streams under both State and Olympic National Park jurisdiction require selective gear and some are closed during much of the year, further limiting impacts of catch and release fishing. WDFW welcomes discussion of this and other ideas to better manage the wild steelhead stocks of the North Coast, as escapements, and catch and effort trends continue to develop in the future.


Online Public Comments    (45 comments)

DUNN, RONALD C  October 29, 2012
EDMONDS, WA  
Comments:
Please do not reconsider this again another attempt to limit access to our resources. Not all of us are phisicly able access these rivers on foot. Stop this attack to limit use of this area to only one group of anglers
BRAZDA, JEFF   December 10, 2012
ELLENSBURG, WA  
Comments:
Un needed for the protection of wild steelhead at this time. Will reduce the opertunity for recreational use and increase the opertunity for special interest groups to increase there privatised steelhead fishing on public lands.
TRIGGS, BOB   January 27, 2013
PORT TOWNSEND, WA  
Comments:
This rule proposal is well intended, and I do support it. But I feel that it does not go far enough. I spend all of my time on the Olympic Peninsula rivers, from fall to spring. The number of boat anglers here has increased dramatically over the last 13 years that I have been here. And talking with local elders here we know that this has been the trend for the past twenty to forty years. You do not have enough fish checkers and creel census data to accurately record this. As the Puget Sound regional fisheries have been reduced or closed, the displaced anglers have come here, with their trucks and campers and drift boats, and their goal is to harvest wild steelhead and salmon. Even though the limit was reduced to one wild steelhead per angler per year here, there is a significantly increased number of anglers targeting these fish on these rivers now. How could anyone expect it to have gone any other way? Not fishing from boats is a good beginning. You are running out of options.
MCMILLAN, BILL   January 26, 2013
CONCRETE, WA  
Comments:
This management practice has been a conservation tool implemented on many steelhead rivers in Oregon and British Columbia with proven success. Hoh River wild steelhead have missed their escapement goal in 10 out of the last 20 years. The Hoh River wild steelhead abundance has fallen approximately 50-75% since the 1950s and 30% since the 1980s. This proposal promotes the same fishing season for all diverse fishing methods. Without change to management and continued declines in wild steelhead escapement, the next step may be to close the Sportfishing season early, affecting the fishing opportunity for bank and floating anglers alike. The WDFW MUST find new methods to protect wild steelhead stocks from declines. The current management is not working, as can be seen with 7 out of 7 of WAs steelhead populations (ESUs) either listed under the Endangered Species Act, Chronically under-escaped, or experiencing population declines. WDFW must find new methods to protect wild ste
PAGE, DAN   January 26, 2013
YELM, WA  
Comments:
I absolutely support this Proposal. It's crazy to think some undisturbed resting areas in the Upper Hoh would not be beneficial to wild steelhead. Escapements are not being met. More needs to be done. The Hoh is like a freeway of boats/pontoons at times during late winter. Further restrictions are need--if not this then reduce the fishing in other ways during this peeriod. The Deschuttes in Oregon is the classic example of how such a restriction can improve the resource and the quality of fishing.
SAVAGLIO, BRUCE J  January 26, 2013
SEQUIM, WA  
Comments:
There should be public comment on this proposal. It ignores the fact that there is a mortality rate for released fished. While not recommending closing the fishing, the guides and drift boaters are "boasting" on there web sites and publicly about large numbers of fish. The mortality rate applied to these numbers clearly indicate large numbers of wild fish are not surviving.
EHLERT, CHUCK   January 26, 2013
WOODINVILLE, WA  
Comments:
With the increased pressure on this river, we must create some kind of sanctuary. This river has great bank access and would be easy to float and stop and fish all the good runs. REcommend this be included and approved.
ROHN, DOUGLAS A  January 25, 2013
HONOLULU, HI  
Comments:
I agree with the original proposal for the following reasons: This management practice has been a conservation tool implemented on many steelhead rivers in Oregon and British Columbia with proven success. Hoh River wild steelhead have missed their escapement goal in 10 out of the last 20 years. The Hoh River wild steelhead abundance has fallen approximately 50-75% since the 1950s and 30% since the 1980s. This proposal promotes the same fishing season for all diverse fishing methods. Without change to management and continued declines in wild steelhead escapement, the next step may be to close the Sportfishing season early, affecting the fishing opportunity for bank and floating anglers alike. The WDFW MUST find new methods to protect wild steelhead stocks from declines. The current management is not working, as can be seen with 7 out of 7 of WAs steelhead populations (ESUs) either listed under the Endangered Species Act, Chronically under-escaped, or experiencing population
SUTTON, MARCEL   January 25, 2013
SEATTLE, WA  
Comments:
Please do put in this import rule change.
BURCK, EVAN R  January 22, 2013
DUVALL, WA  
Comments:
Having spent significant time on the upper Hoh, I have seen, first hand, the impact of boat anglers being able to access every piece of holding water. I have floated this stretch many times myself, and seen what kind of numbers these boats can put up on catches. Having seen multiple spawners caught more than once, I just can't see justification for continuing to allow this practice, especially since the Hoh struggles to meet its escapement every year. I am in support of a "bank angling only" regulation on all Olympic Peninsula rivers from February through April, above hwy 101.
BUDD, ROBERT M  January 22, 2013
HOLLIDAYSBURG, PA  
Comments:
Although the WDFW states that this is typically not a tool used to address conservation objectives. Currently wild steelhead are meeting escapement in this river. This management practice has been a conservation tool implemented on many steelhead rivers in Oregon and British Columbia with proven success. Hoh River wild steelhead have missed their escapement goal in 10 out of the last 20 years. The Hoh River wild steelhead abundance has fallen approximately 50-75% since the 1950s and 30% since the 1980s. This proposal promotes the same fishing season for all diverse fishing methods. Without change to management and continued declines in wild steelhead escapement, the next step may be to close the Sportfishing season early, affecting the fishing opportunity for bank and floating anglers alike. The WDFW MUST find new methods to protect wild steelhead stocks from declines. The current management is not working, as can be seen with 7 out of 7 of WAs steelhead populations (
JOHNSON, DANIEL L  January 22, 2013
NEWCASTLE , WA  
Comments:
I agree with this WSC proposal for reasons stated in their written justification and reflected below. WSC Original Proposal Justification: This is an important spawning area for mid and late run wild steelhead in the Hoh River. Wild early run and South Fork steelhead rest and slowly pass though this area during the early winter months and spawn in upriver areas. By early March, later run steelhead have begun spawning in the area in good numbers, continuing throughout the spring. Boats can access every possible holding and spawning lie in the entire river, while bank anglers have less access to challenging lies. Wild steelhead are caught-and-released (CnR) in large numbers, often while in their spawning phase. Repeated and high levels of CnR can negatively influence behavior, reproduction, and survival of wild steelhead (Ashbrook 2010; Hooton, 2001; others). This proposal will provide a partial refuge, increasing chances for steelhead survival and effective spawning. Over ti
JOHNSON, DANIEL L  January 22, 2013
NEWCASTLE, WA  
Comments:
I agee with WSC proposal for reasons stated in their written justification as reflected below. This is an important spawning area for mid and late run wild steelhead in the Hoh River. Wild early run and South Fork steelhead rest and slowly pass though this area during the early winter months and spawn in upriver areas. By early March, later run steelhead have begun spawning in the area in good numbers, continuing throughout the spring. Boats can access every possible holding and spawning lie in the entire river, while bank anglers have less access to challenging lies. Wild steelhead are caught-and-released (CnR) in large numbers, often while in their spawning phase. Repeated and high levels of CnR can negatively influence behavior, reproduction, and survival of wild steelhead (Ashbrook 2010; Hooton, 2001; others). This proposal will provide a partial refuge, increasing chances for steelhead survival and effective spawning. Over time this regulation should increase wild steel
CHADICK, JASON   January 22, 2013
NEAH BAY, WA  
Comments:
Dear WDFW, This rule proposal is backed by scientific study and is designed to lessen the impact of angling on a declining species. Please consider this rule change for next season's sport fishing regulations and stop making half efforts to conserve our struggling steelhead. Sincerely, Jason Chadick
CORDONNIER, JUSTIN   January 22, 2013
NEEDHAM, MA  
Comments:
This management practice has been a conservation tool implemented on many steelhead rivers in Oregon and British Columbia with proven success. Hoh River wild steelhead have missed their escapement goal in 10 out of the last 20 years. The Hoh River wild steelhead abundance has fallen approximately 50-75% since the 1950s and 30% since the 1980s. This proposal promotes the same fishing season for all diverse fishing methods. Without change to management and continued declines in wild steelhead escapement, the next step may be to close the Sportfishing season early, affecting the fishing opportunity for bank and floating anglers alike. The WDFW MUST find new methods to protect wild steelhead stocks from declines. The current management is not working, as can be seen with 7 out of 7 of WAs steelhead populations (ESUs) either listed under the Endangered Species Act, Chronically under-escaped, or experiencing population declines. WDFW must find new methods to protect wil
BREHM, BERT   January 22, 2013
EVERETT, WA  
Comments:
This management practice has been a conservation tool implemented on many steelhead rivers in Oregon and British Columbia with proven success. Hoh River wild steelhead have missed their escapement goal in 10 out of the last 20 years. The Hoh River wild steelhead abundance has fallen approximately 50-75% since the 1950s and 30% since the 1980s. This proposal promotes the same fishing season for all diverse fishing methods. Without change to management and continued declines in wild steelhead escapement, the next step may be to close the Sportfishing season early, affecting the fishing opportunity for bank and floating anglers alike. The WDFW MUST find new methods to protect wild steelhead stocks from declines. The current management is not working, as can be seen with 7 out of 7 of WAs steelhead populations (ESUs) either listed under the Endangered Species Act, Chronically under-escaped, or experiencing population declines. WDFW must find new methods to protect wild steelh
CIRILLO, KEITH   January 22, 2013
SEATTLE, WA  
Comments:
This management practice has been a conservation tool implemented on many steelhead rivers in Oregon and British Columbia with proven success. Hoh River wild steelhead have missed their escapement goal in 10 out of the last 20 years. The Hoh River wild steelhead abundance has fallen approximately 50-75% since the 1950s and 30% since the 1980s. This proposal promotes the same fishing season for all diverse fishing methods. Without change to management and continued declines in wild steelhead escapement, the next step may be to close the Sportfishing season early, affecting the fishing opportunity for bank and floating anglers alike. The WDFW MUST find new methods to protect wild steelhead stocks from declines. The current management is not working, as can be seen with 7 out of 7 of WAs steelhead populations (ESUs) either listed under the Endangered Species Act, Chronically under-escaped, or experiencing population declines
YOST, DEREK N  January 22, 2013
EUGENE, OR  
Comments:
Hello- Please restrict fishing from a floatation device on the Hoh River from Morgans Landing to the Olympic National Park this is vital spawning habitat and walking wont kill anyone. Sometimes people need to put in effort to get to places otherwise they get trashed. Best regards, Derek Yost
TOMINE, DYLAN   January 22, 2013
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA  
Comments:
I support this rule change, and ask that you do the same. In the rationale for not recommending this rule, your comment that this is "typically not a tool used to address conservation objectives" is exactly why it should be considered. The fact is, the tools "typically" used to address wild steelhead conservation objectives are NOT WORKING. And this would be one small step toward preserving the dwindling wild steelhead returns in the Hoh River. The Hoh has missed escapement goals in 10 of the last 20 years, a statistic demonstrating the failure of "typical" tools. Thank you for your time and consideration.
ALEXANDER, ROBERT G  January 22, 2013
BEAVER, WA  
Comments:
Is the State's objective to restore wild fish populations? Or is it to "meet escapement", a negotiated (as opposed to scientific) target? And, is "successfully meeting escapement" accurately portrayed if those levels have not been attained in 10 of the past 20 years? Let's benefit from the success in other states, rather than adhering purely to what is typically not a tool used to address conservation objectives...." in the State of Washington. The health and productivity of spawning wild steelhead will benefit from the elimination of boat fishing in the recommended holding/spawning stretch of river. Fishing from boats is not required for profitable guided fishing and under the proposal there would continue to be more than ample water for guide clients and DIY sportsmen to fish from boats.
HIAR, EDWARD C  January 22, 2013
LYNNWOOD, WA  
Comments:
I believe that native fish should have additional unmolested space in our rivers. I recommend the complete removal of fishing from a boat in both our Puget Sound and Coastal Rivers. Ed Hiar
WANG, DAVID   January 22, 2013
MEDFORD, OR  
Comments:
I support the Wild Steelhead Coalition's position on regulating the boat angling fishing on the Hoh river. Both fly and traditional gear fisherman should be restricted from fish from the boat.
DUNPHY, LOGAN   January 22, 2013
EUGENE, OR  
Comments:
I agree with WSC: "This management practice has been a conservation tool implemented on many steelhead rivers in Oregon and British Columbia with proven success. Hoh River wild steelhead have missed their escapement goal in 10 out of the last 20 years. The Hoh River wild steelhead abundance has fallen approximately 50-75% since the 1950s and 30% since the 1980s. This proposal promotes the same fishing season for all diverse fishing methods. Without change to management and continued declines in wild steelhead escapement, the next step may be to close the Sportfishing season early, affecting the fishing opportunity for bank and floating anglers alike. The WDFW MUST find new methods to protect wild steelhead stocks from declines. The current management is not working, as can be seen with 7 out of 7 of WAs steelhead populations (ESUs) either listed under the Endangered Species Act, Chronically under-escaped, or experiencing population declines."
PARKS, MATTHEW   January 22, 2013
CORVALLIS, OR  
Comments:
I support the position of the Wild Steelhead Coalition, and the need to recover what are currently devastated runs of wild steelhead and salmon.
FLETCHER, SCOTT C  January 22, 2013
KINGSTON, WA  
Comments:
I think any fish that has made it past the gauntlet of predators from river to ocean back to the upper river should find some low pressure area to spawn. They've earned it. I am a sport angler that grew up on this river, and own property on the river still. I have fished from boats as well as from the bank using a range of methods, and would gladly give up boat fishing on this section of the river(and have) for even the chance of benefit for the fish. Not only has pressure increased since I was young, it increases even more each year since the late season closure of puget sound river fisheries. Combine this with a downward trend of returning wild steelhead and it's hard to see a bright future for wild steelhead. This is an excellent chance to get ahead of the decline before drastic measures need to be taken (like river closure), and retain sport fishing opportunities that bring a great deal of money to the area's economy. Keep in mind the mistakes of the past, or they will
RICHMAN, JIM   January 22, 2013
EDMONDS, WA  
Comments:
I think it is near sighted and unacceptable to allow all these drift boats to harvest fish in such an easy manner. And to say it is typically not a tool, makes me believe that it's possibly time for someone in an overseer position to inject some new blood into your organization. Sad to see your lack of out of the box thinking!
SLIGHTOM, BRUCE W  January 23, 2013
EUREKA, CA  
Comments:
I strongly suport this prposal.
VRADENBURG, JOHN S  January 23, 2013
FALL CITY, WA  
Comments:
This is an important spawning area for mid and late run wild steelhead in the Hoh River. Wild early run and South Fork steelhead rest and slowly pass though this area during the early winter months and spawn in upriver areas. By early March, later run steelhead have begun spawning in the area in good numbers, continuing throughout the spring. Boats can access every possible holding and spawning lie in the entire river, while bank anglers have less access to challenging lies. Wild steelhead are caught-and-released (CnR) in large numbers, often while in their spawning phase. Repeated and high levels of CnR can negatively influence behavior, reproduction, and survival of wild steelhead (Ashbrook 2010; Hooton, 2001; others). 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 fishery for future generations.
LYONS, KIMBERLY A  January 23, 2013
BOTHELL, WA  
Comments:
WDFW must find new SCIENCE BASED methods to protect wild steelhead stocks from the declines we have seen statewide. Using only the metric of making escapement, applied to stocks in Puget Sound, has contributed to run failures. Using additional metrics as evaluating long term abundances and the changes in fishing effort will add considerable knowledge to conservation evaluations. In the case of the Hoh River, the abundance has fallen approximately 50 to 75% since the 1950s and 30% since the 1980s; this slide is slower than the one in Puget Sound but of similar significance. In this proposal, a rule change has been offered that will keep people fishing full-season while protecting both holding and spawning early and late run fish. The alternative in a few years may be a closure in these areas by late February that will greatly disrupt economies, guides and other float fishers alike. Making this change now can potentially stave off more radical changes in the near future.
BRAZDA, JEFF B  January 23, 2013
ELLENSBURG, WA  
Comments:
DO not follow recomendations by Wild steelhead coalition for this regulation change. Leave the regulation as is when it pertains to fishing from a boat. Allow fishing from a drift boat between ONP boundry and Morgans crossing. Reason: I feel that the WSC is attempting to privatize public water, there next step will be to close this section and then fish it privately with a grant in the name of reseasrch. Much like they do with the Skagit river now. The section is heavily fished by bank anglers and much less by boats as the water drops below 2000 cfs..there is allready plenty of refuge water in the area with the large log jams, refuge area is a major part of there argument for no-boat fishing and is completly unwarranted. This regualtion will greatly devide the allready fractured sport fishing public..
LINDQUIST, RICK   January 23, 2013
SEATTLE, WA  
Comments:
I recommend against this proposal. The mission statement of WDFW is: To preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities. This proposal does not provide sustainable recreational opportunities, and offers nothing to current strategies to grow wild fish. Closing off fishing from boats does not provide recreational opportunities. It provides the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with other fly fisher folk in fewer and fewer places. Please visualize fly fisher fold shoulder to shoulder on those few remaining bank access places casting in harmony. Hard to imagine, is it not? Not workable. Thank You.
CLARK, GARY   January 23, 2013
BELLINGHAM, WA  
Comments:
This management practice has been a conservation tool implemented on many steelhead rivers in Oregon and British Columbia with proven success. Makes more sacturary water availbe throughout a system and makes it fair for all anglers to have the same chances at catching fish while protceting the resourse. This needs to be a consideration for most small & Medium sized stream in Washinton state. WDFW must find new methods to protect wild steelhead stocks from the declines we have seen statewide. Using the only metric- making escapement- applied to stocks in Puget Sound and was in part responsible for the run failures. Using additional metrics as evaluating long term abundances and the changes in fishing effort will add considerable knowledge to conservation evaluations. In the case of the Hoh River, the abundance has fallen approximately 50 to 75% since the 1950s and 30% since the 1980s; this slide is slower than the one in Puget Sound but of similar significance.
BIGGINS, DENNIS P  January 24, 2013
HILLSBORO, OR  
Comments:
Please consider these proposals. For the future of wild fish of the Hoh. Thank you, Dennis Biggins
BAKER, NORMAN T  January 25, 2013
SEQUIM, WA  
Comments:
I support this propsal, at least in part. The management policies of WDFW of "escapement" do not, in my opinion, address the issues of catch and release stress on the steelhead while spawning. Nor do they address the effects of loss of genetic fitness by two hundred years of fishermen always taking the largest fish. In todays world of recreational fishing, a guide or any amateur fisherman who knows how to fish can target the fish and know exactly when and where they will be. Of course, they will want to "catch a big one". The fish need relief from such catch and release harassment when spawning. Thank you.
SENYOHL, CHRIS J  January 28, 2013
FALL CITY, WA  
Comments:
I am against this proposal. It would limit anglers who are more physically challenged from fishing and perhaps cause more damage by increasing the amount of wading anglers. Damage to both steelhead, salmon, bull trout and all other river spawning fishes nesting areas could increase by more people wading in those areas. If you want to limit damage in those areas perhaps fishing should only be allowed from a boat or standing on dry ground.
WESTON, TOM   January 28, 2013
LACEY, WA  
Comments:
This comment applies to all of the proposals to eliminate boat fishing late in the season on the North Coast Rivers. This would be highly descriminatory against handicaped people who are unable to hike in and fish from the bank. A separate comment applies to fly fishing proponents. Fly fishing is just another technique. It is not a religion even though many fly fishers approach it as such. Fly fishing is not deserving of special treatment in conservation measures and fishing regulations. If the fish are in trouble, close fishing to everyone - including the tribes.
SENYOHL, AL   January 28, 2013
KIRKLAND, WA  
Comments:
The WDFW has not recomended this proposal for any further consideration. The Steelhead Trout Club of WA is in agreement with the WDFW & that this proposal should not receive any further consideration. We are against any boat fishing restrictions as proposed on the Hoh River. The Hoh River consistently meets wild Steelhead escapment goals & the current selective gear regulations & catch & release fishing provide more than enough protection for Wild Steelhead in this section of the Hoh River. Al Senyohl Pres, Steelhead Trout Club of WA (established in 1928-Washington's oldest sportsman club)
BROOKS, PETER C  January 28, 2013
SEATTLE, WA  
Comments:
I do not support this proposal because it is simply limiting accessibility and opportunity for some while favoring others. It seems to be more aimed at favoring a specific user group rather an protecting fish. If there are real problems close the reach to everyone.
WALLACE, THOMAS M  January 28, 2013
SEATTLE, WA  
Comments:
I strongly oppose this rule. It is unfair to limit type of fishing that fisherman can participate in on an open river. Many fishing techniques employed from a boat don't work well from the bank. It would make more sense to keep out of state guides out of this water than limit our paying citizens from having access. Further more this is one of my favorite summer run fisheries in the state. Many of the fish I catch from the boat are hatchery fish and should be removed from the system. This rule will do more harm than good.
GAVIN, MARK J  January 28, 2013
NORTH BEND , WA  
Comments:
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.
HOPPLER, WES C  January 29, 2013
SEATTLE, WA  
Comments:
Strongly oppose this proposal. If there is a real conservation issue, close the section, do not say "oh we have a problem, so we are just going to let a specific group target these vulnerable fish" - what kind of stewardship is that? Boat anglers are the majority user in the upper Hoh. Angling pressure is actually down in the Hoh in recent years on a number of anglers basis - ask staff for a briefing on creel survey results. Yes the Hoh has missed escapement many times in the last 20 years, but there have been regulation changes that have made some difference. Recent run-size and escapement trends are up (see more at http://www.steelheadclub.com/articles#!__articles/some-hope-for-the-hoh) Sport angler impacts have exceeded their surplus share only twice in the last 15 years. Out of state guides are an issue with the comanagers. If you feel the need to do something, curtail non resident guide opportunities before further reductions are made to resident opportunities.
SHARF, JOHN D  January 29, 2013
KENMORE , WA  
Comments:
Do not believe this is required & would limit fishing access to those of us with physical disabilites.
SIMONSON, WILLIAM R  January 29, 2013
SEATTLE, WA  
Comments:
This proposal should not be considered. The ramifications of this proposal is particualry skewed to younger and older sportsfishers. The relative safety of youth and elder fishers from being able to stay in boats/"floating devices" is signifantly greater than requiring them to getting out of boats and positioning in and along the river. If the need to reduce catching to protect steelhead is real, then limit days/seasons - not methods and demographics.
MALLOCH, STEVE   January 29, 2013
SEATTLE, WA  
Comments:
In reference to DFW181021: Let the spawners spawn!! Please eliminate boat traffic on the Hoh in this sensitive area at a most sensitive time. Steve Malloch
SIMMS, RICH K  January 29, 2013
MUKILTEO, WA  
Comments:
meeting escapement in this river. This management practice has been a conservation tool implemented on many steelhead rivers in Oregon and British Columbia with proven success. Hoh River wild steelhead have missed their escapement goal in 10 out of the last 20 years. The Hoh River wild steelhead abundance has fallen approximately 50-75% since the 1950s and 30% since the 1980s. This proposal promotes the same fishing season for all diverse fishing methods. Without change to management and continued declines in wild steelhead escapement, the next step may be to close the Sportfishing season early, affecting the fishing opportunity for bank and floating anglers alike. The WDFW MUST find new methods to protect wild steelhead stocks from declines. The current management is not working, as can be seen with 7 out of 7 of WAs steelhead populations (ESUs) either listed under the Endangered Species Act, Chronically under-escaped, or experiencing population declines. WDFW must fin

Other Comments Received