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
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Statewide Coastal Region
Puget Sound
Region Freshwater
Coastal Region
Puget Sound
Region Marine
Eastern Washington and
Columbia Region Freshwater

Reference ID: DFW476491

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW476491
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Steelhead
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 2008) but do spawn with wild steelhead and reduce the overall productivity of a river’s 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.

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
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.

Other Comments Received