Rule to Change: TROUT First Sat. in June- End of Specific Season Min. size 14". Daily limit 2. Selective gear rules
All Game Fish First Sat. in June-End of Specific Season Catch-and-release except up to 2 hatchery STEELHEAD may be retained.
All Game Fish First Sat. in June-Oct. 31 Statewide min. size/daily limit. Selective gear rules.
Change voluntary retention of hatchery steelhead to mandatory retention of hatchery steelhead.
New Rule Proposal: Mandatory Retention of all hatchery steelhead - Statewide
Why the change is needed: Unharvested hatchery steelhead create a negative impact to wild steelhead populations when allowed to reach spawning grounds in the wild where they compete with wild steelhead for spawning sites and/or interbreed with them. This is a critical conservation measure to reduce the overall impact of hatchery steelhead on wild steelhead populations through the required retention of hatchery fish. Hatchery steelhead stray far worse than wild steelhead and often spawn in rivers other than those from which they were released. Hatchery steelhead have lost most of their wild productivity (Araki et.al. 2008) but do spawn with wild steelhead and reduce the overall productivity of a riverís local wild population. Hatchery steelhead also spawn together, thereby competing for spawning sites with wild steelhead, and their fry compete with wild fry for food and space (Kostow 2009). The state steelhead management plan describes the need to increase the harvest rates on hatchery-origin fish. This regulation is already in place during steelhead fisheries in the upper Columbia and its tributaries that provide both angling opportunity while reducing impacts to recovering ESA listed steelhead.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change: Wild Steelhead Coalition, Federation of Fly Fishers Steelhead Committee, The Conservation Angler.
David Low, WDFW Area Biologist
Gary Marston, WDFW
Describe their support and/or concerns:
Support similar or identical proposal.
Submitted by: GAYESKI (WILD FISH CONSERVANCY, NICK J — DUVALL, WA
Date submitted: 06/14/2012
WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation
Not Recommended for further consideration Reference ID: DFW476491
The public should be encouraged to harvest hatchery steelhead, but anglers that wish to catch and release should not be forced to retain hatchery steelhead on a statewide basis.
Online Public Comments(1 comments)
HOPPLER, WES C January 29, 2013 SEATTLE, WA Comments: Oppose this proposal. See comments on DFW234122.
Support the retention of hatchery fish, but rule offers no provision for what to do about a landed down river (spawned) hatchery fish that poses no genetic threat that I do not want to keep or waste.