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: DFW581496

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW581496
Recreational Opportunities      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Eastern Washington and Columbia Region Freshwater
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Steelhead
Rule to Change:
TOUCHET RIVER (Columbia/Walla Walla Co.) from mouth to the confluence of North and South forks (657) Col. R. Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement (p. 16) STEELHEAD Nov. 1-Mar. 31 Daily limit 3 hatchery STEELHEAD and BROWN TROUT combined. Barbless hooks required.Touchet River Steelhead Nov. 1 to Mar. 31
New Rule Proposal:
Touchet River Steelhead Nov. 1 to Apr. 15
Why the change is needed:
We need to get the hatchery steelhead out of the Touchet river. Three years ago Fish Management shortened the STHD season in the Touchet river by 15 days and at the same time the WDFW started charging us for a Col. River salmon/steelhead endorsement license. For the last 25 years we have released 150,000 or more hatchery steelhead from the juvenile acclimation pond below the adult weir in Dayton. There is no documentation that there are any wild fish spawning below the acclimation pond. The Touchet STHD return later in the year so the window of opportunity is already shorter than for surrounding streams so why on earth would you shorten the season even more. There was no public discusion on this matter because there was absolutley no justification for it. The best available science suggest that you get the hatchery fish out of the rivers, why doesn't this apply to the Touchet river? We still release hatchery STHD into is the Grande Ronde and it is open until April 15th.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change:
All the local fishermen I have talked to think the WDFW is charging them more for license's and giving them less opportunity. The Tucannon river that is only 15 miles away from Dayton that historically was one of the best STHD fisheries in SE Washington no longer has any hatchery STHD being released into it. Another nearby opportunity lost and again without any public input.
Describe their support and/or concerns:
I think the public would like to know the names of anyone who thinks they can legitimately defend or support the reason the department used to shorten the STHD season by 15 days in the Touchet river.

Date submitted: 05/07/2012

WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation

Recommended for Public Comment     Reference ID: DFW581496

Rule Change Recommendation Short Title
Increase Touchet River hatchery summer steelhead harvest while protecting wild spawning summer steelhead

Rules Category
Eastern Washington and Columbia Region Freshwater

Type of Rule Change Proposal

County or Location Information
Walla Walla County

Short Description
Extend steelhead season by 15 days on the Touchet River

Balances the needs to protect wild spawning steelhead and to harvest hatchery steelhead from the river.

Original Rule Proposal Number(s)

Online Public Comments

Online public comments submitted for this proposal can be found here.