Rules Category: Eastern Washington and Columbia Region Freshwater
Species covered in proposed rule • Steelhead
Rule to Change: Selective gear rules on the Washougal River April 16th - first Friday in June.
New Rule Proposal: No selective gear rules on the Washougal River April 16th - first Friday in June.
Why the change is needed: The impact on wild steelhead and steelhead smolt is negligible.
The Kalama River (in Catch Record Code 604), the North Fork of the Lewis River and the Wind River have wild steelhead and they are not bound by the same selective gear rules. There is oviously no serious impact on the wild steelhead and steelhead smolt in these rivers so why the inconsistency in rules between rivers? I know the Wind River gets pounded with bait for fishermen targeting spring salmon during that fishery and that can start as early as March 16th below Shipherd Falls. The impact on wild steelhead is not an issue.
Every year on the Washougal river hundreds and sometimes thousands of hatchery steelhead are recycled back down from the hatchery to a lower part of the Wasougal river. The budget cost of recycling could be vastly lowered if fisherman had a better chance of catching these hatchery steelhead on their first trip up to the hatchery. Not to mention that the hatchery fish don't bite as well.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change: Various steelhead fisherman in the area.
Ron Reeves, WDFW counter for the Washougal River for the past 2 years.
Describe their support and/or concerns:
Local sports fisherman are wanting to remove the selective gear rules for the Washougal river. Its unnecessary and does not make any sense when every year we see hundreds and hundreds of these hattchery steelhead recycled.
Gary Loomis understands the hatchery program to provide interest and fishing opportunity for the sports fishery and fishermen and when that opportunity is stifled, so is the potential revenue in the area and Washington State from the fishermen who financially support these programs.
Ron Reeves, WDFW counter, has not seen any negative impact on the wild steelhead or the steelhead smolt after talking with sports fishermen over the past 2 years on the Washougal river.
Submitted by: ALLEN, TREVOR W — CAMAS, WA
Date submitted: 05/24/2012
WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation
Not Recommended for further consideration Reference ID: DFW598559
The current rule allows for the retention of hatchery summer steelhead with selective gear rules (SGR). If SGR rules are removed then the fishery would have to be eliminated because of potential impacts to outmigrating wild salmon, steelhead smolts, and adult wild winter steelhead. An intensive creel survey conducted in the river indicated there is handling of wild winter steelhead that could be at greater hooking mortality risk if bait fishing was permitted.
Online Public Comments(0 comments)
No online public comments submitted for this proposal.