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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


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April 16, 1998
Contact: Madonna Luers, (509) 4546-4073

Southeast Washington fishing rules and fish stocking change

With the approach of the traditional fishing opener on the last Saturday in April, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) alerts southeast Washington anglers to changes in fishing regulations and hatchery fish stocking.

Most changes, approved earlier this year by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in accordance with WDFW's Wild Salmonid Policy, are aimed at protecting wild steelhead. Wild steelhead have been listed under the Endangered Species Act as "threatened" in the Snake River drainage, and are proposed for listing in the Walla Walla River Basin.

Some southeast streams, which had been opening in late April or were open year around, now will be open June 1 - Oct. 31. They no longer will be listed individually in the new 1998 fishing rules pamphlet, which goes into effect May 1, because they will be governed by the statewide general season rules for streams and rivers. Those streams no longer will be stocked with hatchery rainbow trout to avoid competition with wild steelhead and to reduce the chance of anglers harvesting juvenile steelhead while seeking trout. These waters are:

  • Alkali Flat Creek north of the Snake River (Whitman County)
  • Alpowa Creek near Clarkston (Asotin County)
  • Coppei Creek near Waitsburg (Columbia County)
  • Deadman Creek near Central Ferry (Garfield County)
  • Dry Creek near Dixie and Walla Walla (Walla Walla County)
  • Pataha Creek portions outside Pomeroy (Garfield County)
The portion of Pataha Creek in Pomeroy will be stocked with hatchery trout for juvenile fishing as usual.

Other changes in southeast Washington will provide expanded fishing opportunity. Lyons Park Pond in College Place and Jefferson Park Pond in Walla Walla will be open year around. Curl Lake in the upper Tucannon River Basin will change from a June 1 to an April 25 opener. A shift to use of Curl Lake for chinook salmon instead of steelhead acclimation allows for earlier release of smolts and restocking with rainbow trout.

All area lakes and ponds will be well stocked with hatchery rainbow trout to maintain fishing opportunity. Additionally, 700 sterile (triploid) rainbow trout each weighting 1.5 pounds were purchased by the Tri-State Steelheaders and the Broughton Land Company and stocked by WDFW into Bennington Lake and Lyons Park Pond in Walla Walla County and in Dayton Pond in Columbia County.