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
View by Category
Statewide Coastal Region
Puget Sound
Region Freshwater
Coastal Region
Puget Sound
Region Marine
Eastern Washington and
Columbia Region Freshwater

Reference ID: DFW781021

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW781021
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Puget Sound Region Marine
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Steelhead
Rule to Change:
WILD STEELHEAD RETENTION RULES: one wild STEELHEAD per license year may be retained from one of the following rivers: Bogachiel River, Calawah River, Clearwater River, Dickey River, Hoh River, Quillayute River, Quinault River, or Sol Duc River, as listed in the special rules.
New Rule Proposal:
No wild steelhead may be retained at any time. No exceptions.
Why the change is needed:
Of the seven wild steelhead DPS’s in Washington, five are now ESA listed and the other two are in long term decline. In the 1950’s, 100 plus streams produced good harvests (WDG 1950’s), but today only 9 rivers make the WDFW modeled spawner escapements and have been open to limited harvest. The Wild Fish Conservancy recommends the state manage in a more conservative manner to assure these few remaining populations are not depleted. CnR fishing is the rule in all rivers in British Columbia and it is well respected by the sport fishing community. This rule will prevent further erosion of Washington wild populations and help rebuild their runs to the higher abundances documented in recent history (McMillan 2006; Gayeski et al. 2011), while still permitting a reasonable amount of sport fishing opportunity. We need to recognize that the Olympic Peninsula Rivers are the only waters where wild steelhead fisheries can now occur; that steelhead are highly vulnerable to CnR impacts, and if these stocks become depleted, fishing will end for wild steelhead in Washington.
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

Date submitted: 06/14/2012

WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation

Not Recommended for further consideration     Reference ID: DFW781021

We are recommending that we apply this concept on a smaller piece of the upper Hoh and evaluate its usefulness. We are suggesting applying it year-round, on water that does not open to recreational salmon fishing.

Online Public Comments    (4 comments)

DREWRY, WILLIAM   October 31, 2012
I 100% agree with this rule change. I know this law was passed to appease a few fisherman. Retention of 1 wild Steelhead per year really confuse the masses. How can a species be threatened, but we can still harves one? This law also allows guides to bring various clients who retain 2 fish per boat per day. This over the course of a season put a huge burden on a fragile resource. Please consider changing this short sighted law.
WALLCE, THOMAS M  January 28, 2013
I am not in support of this proposal. I don't believe it will help the runs improve. The wild steelhead stocks are currently managed by the tribe for maximum sustainable harvest. If sportmen are no longer allowed a share there is no law in place to prevent the tribes from harvesting more fish. As has happened in the past on the sol duc and is ongoing on the Queets.
URABECK, FRANK   January 29, 2013
This proposal should not get any further consideration
HOPPLER, WES C  January 29, 2013
Oppose this proposal. Current regulations have significantly reduced sport angler impacts. State needs to do a better job of seeing that sport angler foregone harvest actually makes it to the spawning beds before further opportunity reductions take place. Allowing some harvest strengthens and maintains the rights granted to the state by the treaty tribes.

Other Comments Received