New Rule Proposal: An angler must stop fishing for the year when they have reached their limit of one wild steelhead harvested or for the day when they have caught and released two wild steelhead. Anglers will immediately mark the release on their report card after catching and releasing a wild steelhead.
Why the change is needed: The increasing fishing effort on the few remaining rivers open to wild steelhead fishing in Washington indicates that controls are needed to reduce catch-and-release (CnR) impacts. CnR fishing has been shown to have negative consequences on the behavior, reproductive success and survival of many species including adult steelhead (Ashbrook 2010; Hooton 2001, others). Research shows the mortality rate of CnR wild steelhead is minimally 10% to 14% as it does not include fish lost. Alaska has applied a seasonal limit of one Chinook on the Kenai River to limit the effort and harvest. The Canadian Maritime Provinces have established two fishing licenses for Atlantic salmon: a harvest license for which harvest tag (s) are issued and a Live Release License which allows only CnR fishing. Anglers are required to stop fishing when they have reached either daily limit. We recommend these regulations as a means to reduce the CnR impacts on wild 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.
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: DFW764139
This proposal would unnecessarily limit harvest opportunity. Enforcing portions of this rule would be impossible.
Online Public Comments(1 comments)
HOPPLER, WES C January 29, 2013 SEATTLE, WA Comments: Oppose this proposal.
Past attempts at recording released fish have been somewhat unsucessful, and it would be less successful if it were tied to a reduction of opportunity.
This is a rather dramatic change in the the definition of the one fish annual limit for wild fish.
Significant regulation changes have greatly reduce sport impacts in wild steelhead fisheries in recent years.
Coastal Run Size and Escapement are not on the path to doom. Recent five year averages for the Quilayute RS&E are actually higher than they were from 77-78 to 82-83.
This regulation may have significant negative consequences for wild fish health. Some anglers might decide that it would be very convenient if the fish they were playing would be "lost" and they could continue to fish. This might lead to stressful conditions for the fish as the angler plays them for a prolonged period of time trying to "loose them". Unwarranted and ineffective regulation breed contempt for rules and undermine