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.


Recommended
for Public Comment
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for further consideration
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Recommended for Public Comment

Rule Change Recommendation Short Title
# 55. Close angling on Hutchinson Creek

 • Final Rule Actions
 • See comments

Rules Category
Puget Sound Region Freshwater

Type of Rule Change Proposal
Conservation

County or Location Information
Whatcom County

Short Description
Close to fishing to protect wild steelhead

Explanation
Shortly after the stream strategy implementation, a comprehensive winter steelhead census was conducted on the Nooksack River in order to devise methods to estimate escapement on any given year. It was discovered that in the South Fork, 60% of the total spawning was occurring in Hutchinson Creek alone. Basin wide, Hutchinson Creek had 17% of the total winter steelhead escapement. Given the purpose of the stream strategy was to protect juvenile anadromous fishes while rearing, steelhead juveniles in particular, and the high density of steelhead spawning in Hutchinson Creek, closing for protection of rearing steelhead is consistent with the intent of the stream strategy concept.

Original Rule Proposal Number(s)
DFW346127

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  (8 comments)

BAYLEY, MARTIN   December 04, 2012
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA  
Comments:
If there is currently no closure of angling on this creek, and the numbers of winter steelhead are strong regardless, then to conclude that it must be closed for good is a overexageration of the impact current fishing is having on the spawning steelhead in the creek. Please consider no further action on this recomendation. Thank you.
JOHNSON, CHRIS   December 07, 2012
BELLINGHAM, WA  
Comments:
I strongly support this rule change, Hutchinson creek is an important spawning tributary for ESA listed Salmon and Steelhead and should be protected
RINGLEE, CHRISTOPHER D  December 07, 2012
GIG HARBOR, WA  
Comments:
This is a solid, conservation based rule proposal to protect the largest spawning population on the South Fork of the Nooksack. I support the closure of this creek to anging.
ASHE, KEVIN   December 08, 2012
DARRINGTON, WA  
Comments:
no.
TURNBULL, SHAWN D  January 28, 2013
SHORELINE, WA  
Comments:
I was one of the technicians conducting spawning ground surveys during the Nooksack River winter steelhead consensus and I support this rule change. During our surveys on Hutchinson Cr. I met 2 different land owners that openely admitted to killing 5-10" trout both themselves, and allowing their grandkids to do so on a regular basis in Hutchinson Creek during the open season. The landowners did not seem to mind that they could possibly be killing juvenile steelhead as they were obiding by the law while fishing during the open season. Closing the creek to all fishing would greatly reduce the risk of wild juvenile steelhead mortality due to retention as well as hook and line mortality.
BORDERLINE BASSIN CONTENDERS, ROBERT HARRIMAN   January 15, 2013
BELLINGHAM, WA  
Comments:
We would normally not agree to this proposal, because of past usuage of the creek by kids, but after talking to some 25yr plus residents living on the creek, and because the Dept no longer plants the creek for derbys, etc. -- we would agree with the closure. sincerely, Bob Harriman, legis liaison Borderline Bassin Contenders
CLARK, GARY   January 23, 2013
BELLINGHAM, WA  
Comments:
Please approve rule #55.. Rule Change Recommendation Short Title # 55. Close angling on Hutchinson Creek This is critical that this stream be 100% sactuary for all salmonids and protects 100% of the Juvenile Steelhead and other salmonids using this stream.
SIMMS, RICH K  January 29, 2013
MUKILTEO, WA  
Comments:
Support this proposal, great job on recognizing this important tributary for wild steelhead.

Other Comments Received