Species covered in proposed rule • Not species specific
Rule to Change: SKAGIT RIVER (Skagit/Whatcom Co) The mouth is defined by a line projected from terminus (end) of the jetty with McGlinn Island to the white
monument on east end of Ika Island, then to the white monument on east end of Craft Island, then to the white monument near corner of the levee on
the west side of Dry Slough, and then to the white monument on the east side of Tom Moore Slough.
from mouth to Hwy. 536 at Mt. Vernon
(Memorial Hwy. Bridge) (830)
Dolly Varden/Bull Trout June 1-Jan. 31 Min. size 20". May be retained as part of TROUT daily limit.
All Other TROUT June 1-Jan. 31 Min. size 14". Daily limit 2.
Other Game Fish June 1-Jan. 31 Statewide min. size/daily limit.
SALMON Sept. 1-Dec. 31 Min. size 12". Daily limit 2. Release CHINOOK and CHUM.
New Rule Proposal: Revert to previous regulation allowing year-round fishing, with special gear restrictions, in Skagit River downstream of Mt. Vernon.
Why the change is needed: Closure of this reach deprives fishers of significant opportunity to pursue cutthroat trout at a time of year when streams and rivers in the area are generally unavailable. This is an important seasonal fishing opportunity. The reason for closing this reach associates with putative benefits to steelhead conservation. However, available evidence strongly indicates that there is no demonstrable impact to steelhead in this reach under the previous regulation.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change: WDFW Regional Fisheries Biologist, Brett Barkdul as well as various members of the fly fishing community in and around the Arlington, Mt. Vernon region with whom I am familiar on first-name-only basis.
Describe their support and/or concerns:
Brett is strongly supportive of my proposal to revert to the pre-2012 regulation. I have discussed the rationale for reopening the Skagit below Mt. Vernon with Brett, and he agrees that the available evidence provides ample proof that the pre-2012 regulation was entirely effective in protecting steelhead. Brett is himself aware of the unique fishing opportunity provided during springtime in the lower Skagit for cutthroat trout - a species that is relatively abundant in this area, and which can sustain fishing pressure under special gear restrictions. Brett's conclusion is that there is no credible evidence that complete closure is more effective than the previous regulation in protecting listed species - as adult steelhead move very quickly through this river reach under winter and spring conditions, flows are rarely conducive to effective presentation to adult steelhead at this time of year, and juvenile steelhead are not found in significant numbers during winter/spring below Mt. Vernon.
Submitted by: FRANKLIN, ROBERT F — ARLINGTON, WA
Date submitted: 05/16/2012
WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation
Not Recommended for further consideration Reference ID: DFW627799
The closure was implemented to protect steelhead trout migrating through that section of river. That condition has not changed.
Online Public Comments(0 comments)
No online public comments submitted for this proposal.