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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.
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Recommended for Public Comment

Rule Change Recommendation Short Title
# 8. Increase Snake River hatchery summer steelhead harvest

 • Final Rule Actions
 • See comments

Rules Category
Eastern Washington and Columbia Region Freshwater

Type of Rule Change Proposal
Recreational

Short Description
Develop consistent trout/steelhead rules on the Snake River to allow harvest of trout/steelhead from June 16 to March 31 with retention of up to 3 hatchery steelhead and barbless hooks required when fishing for steelhead.

Explanation
The existing rule(s) were put in place to protect smolts until June 16 and then allow for the removal of hatchery steelhead smolts that had not migrated. Currently, a restriction on steelhead retention from June 16 to August 31 prevents anglers from targeting wild steelhead during marginal summer water temperatures. However, water temperatures have decreased because court mandated cold water discharges from Dworshak Reservoir in Idaho now cool the water temperatures in the lower Snake River. Changing the regulation as proposed aligns the Snake River regulations better between the Snake and lower Tucannon rivers and allows the harvest of hatchery steelhead that DFW does not want to spawn naturally (as per the agency policy for segregated hatchery programs).

Original Rule Proposal Number(s)
DFW942181

Final Rule Actions

Staff Recommendation
Adopt as proposed.

Commission Action
Adopted as proposed.

Rule Modifications
No


Public Testimony

There were no comments.

Online Public Comments  (12 comments)

TRUMBO, BRAD   September 28, 2012
WALLA WALLA, WA  
Comments:
I am certain this will receive general support and I too support the opportunity to harvest hatchery steelhead. I am a steelhead angler but I am worried about delayed mortality and reduced spawning success of wild steelhead from an extra six weeks of angling pressure. Would it be possible to increase the harvest on hatchery fish to four during the currently scheduled season?
TACHELL, JONATHAN T  October 08, 2012
GIG HARBOR, WA  
Comments:
I am in favor of this proposal and in addition would like to see other rivers especially in western washington to continue to recieve plants of hatchery summer run steelhead, especially where there are no native summer steelhead present in the given river system. The trend of decreasing steelhead hatchery production is disturbing.
PEVEN, CHUCK   October 14, 2012
WENATCHEE, WA  
Comments:
Need to be consistent throughout the Columbia Basin on how to reduce the proportion of hatchery-origin spawners to reduce potential negative impacts to natural-origin fish.
CARVER SR., RUSSELL L  November 29, 2012
LAKETAPPS, WA  
Comments:
Please accept rule#8.I agree we need to remove more of the hatchery fish from the wild pool while providing more opertunity for removal of these fish.This can at least provide sports fishing opertunity and everyone agrees the hatchery fish need to be harvested. Thank you for the opertunity to respond.
DALAN, DAVID F  November 30, 2012
WALLA WALLA, WA  
Comments:
I think this is an excellent proposal. I know personally the fishing for Steelhead can be excellent in tributaries of the Snake earlier in the summer. With cooler water presenting less of a hazard to wild fish, I think the added angling opportunity would be well received.
ASHE, KEVIN   December 08, 2012
DARRINGTON, WA  
Comments:
i'm all for more hatchery fish. more opportunities for the fisherman.
DODD, JOEL D  December 16, 2012
PUYALLUP, WA  
Comments:
I support the proposed rule change.
NIELSEN, MARC   December 20, 2012
STARBUCK, WA  
Comments:
With this proposal how do you know if someone is fishing for steelhead/sturgeon/salmon. In the spring, all three will bite fresh herring and shrimp. To top that off, WDFW doesn't show up much to make people accountable. I have been fishing since Oct 20 this year and have yet to see any WDFW related person, except for the fish biologist. Also, at Little Goose Dam, fishing in the 'Locks' should be illegal and per your own rules...you can't net or take a wild fish out of the water. At the LG locks, all fish caught are netted, brought up the wall and with wild ones...they pull the hook and throw the fish back in the water...great reviving skills! You have been allowing this for years. WHY IS THIS OK? This rule proposal is about creating new Gov. jobs and making the Snake River fishing 'outfitters' a more consistent yearly income. I vote NO on this proposal because I think WDFW is good at making rules but not backing them up.
PAINE, MICHAEL N  January 03, 2013
SEATTLE, WA  
Comments:
As with all fisheries of this type, I am concerned about anglers that are sloppy regarding application of the rules regarding gear and retention. As a fly fishing steelheader, I have seen repeated infractions in selective fisheries and improper retention of wild fish. If this rule is to be changed, please step up enforcement to compensate for the inevitable loss.
SWANSON, LAWRENCE C  January 20, 2013
BENTON CITY, WA  
Comments:
I support the rule. I am also in favor of removing Dworshok Dam. I removes miles of spawning area for salmon and steelhead. When is this going to happen?
CARR, RANDY T  January 22, 2013
BELLINGHAM, WA  
Comments:
Anything you can do to keep hatchery steelhead from spawining with natives is a good idea. Also in this scenario the hatchery steelhead are competing with natives for food. Retention of hatchery steelhead should be expanded with selective gear rules.
SIMMS, RICH K  January 29, 2013
MUKILTEO, WA  
Comments:
Support