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600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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June 27, 1997
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, (360) 902-2256

Wild trout conservation means no hatchery plants in Hamma Hamma or Quilcene rivers

OLYMPIA -- The Hamma Hamma and Quilcene rivers on the Olympia Peninsula will not be planted with catchable-sized hatchery rainbow trout this year.

In the past, the two rivers have received hatchery trout plants prior to holidays such as July 4 and Labor Day.

The plants have been discontinued due to shortages of hatchery fish. The department also is concerned hatchery fish would compete with wild rainbow and cutthroat trout for food and space. The planting of the hatchery fish also might lead to the over harvest of wild trout.

Although current fishing regulations allow the retention of five trout per day with no minimum size limit in the upper areas of these streams, department biologists encourage fishers to release all trout less than eight inches in length. As another conservation step, they also urge anglers to keep a maximum of two trout per day that are eight inches in length or longer.