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: DFW858808

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW858808
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Steelhead
Rule to Change:
Statewide Freshwater Rules > Tackle > “Hook and line angling only. Barbed or barbless hooks may be used, and a hook may be single-point, double, or treble, but not more than one line with up to three hooks per angler may be used.”
New Rule Proposal:
Statewide Freshwater Rules > Tackle > “Hook and line angling only. Only barbless hooks may be used, and a hook may be single-point or double point but not more than one line with up to two hooks per angler may be used.”
Why the change is needed:
The barbless hooks only rule has been adopted as a conservation effort in many areas including many OR rivers, parts of CA and ID, and Canada including all of British Columbia. Hunt (1970) found that fishing seasons and daily bag limits, when used by themselves, are not effective management tools, because they do not apply to each fish that is captured. Hooten (1987) found catch and release mortality of adult winter steelhead to be 2.5 times greater when using barbed hooks compared to barbless hooks. The use of barbless hooks reduces handling time and stress on hooked fish and adds to survival after release (Wydoski 1977). The extremely valuable juvenile steelhead, rearing for 1-3 years in freshwater, are often regularly exposed to mortality in fisheries targeting trout and adult salmon and steelhead. Compared with using barbless hooks, using barbed hooks has been proven to increase tissue damage, handling time, exposure to air, and can significantly reduce smolt numbers and adult returns. Compelling evidence shows that catch and release mortality of juvenile and adult salmon and steelhead can be greatly reduced by using barbless hooks.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change:
The Wild Fish Conservancy - Trent Donohue and Nick Gayeski Native Fish Society - Mike Moody American Rivers - David Moryc, Senior Director River Protection Program Bill McMillan, Biologist and Outdoor writer John McMillan, Fish Research Scientist Wild Salmon Center - Devona Ensmenger Conservation Angler - Pete Soverel Will Atlas, Steelhead Conservation Committee – Federation of Fly Fishers Doug Schaad, Conservation Committee - Washington Fly Fishing Club Dave Steinbaugh, Waters West Dave McCoy, Emerald Water Anglers Bill Robinson, Fish Advocate and Chair of the WDFW SCPAG Mike Gross, WDFW Fishery Biologist
Describe their support and/or concerns:
Discussed in Detail with Mike Gross of the WDFW. This Rule proposal is supported by all others listed.

Date submitted: 06/14/2012

WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation

Not Recommended for further consideration     Reference ID: DFW858808

Adopting a broad regulation such as this can unnecessarily limit fishing opportunity. Further, this regulation is unnecessary in southeast Washington, where most trout streams are already selective gear rules and all steelhead fishing in this section of the state requires barbless hooks.

Online Public Comments    (0 comments)

No online public comments submitted for this proposal.

Other Comments Received