OLYMPIA - A modification to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) anti-snagging rule will allow anglers to use a broader range of lures in certain freshwater areas where anti-snagging rules are in effect.
The change goes into effect today, Sept. 9.
The redefined anti-snagging rule states that anglers must follow specific gear requirements, including the use of one, single-point hook, unless they are fishing with a buoyant lure or trolling from a floating device in waters where anti-snagging rules are in effect. Details on the modified rule and gear requirements are available online at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=815.
The change alters an anti-snagging rule adopted earlier this year during WDFW’s permanent rule-making process that required anglers to use lures (buoyant or non-buoyant) with single-point hooks while fishing for salmon and steelhead in the mainstem Columbia River from Bonneville Dam to McNary Dam, or fishing for any fish species in other affected rivers.
The single-point hook requirement was intended to address snagging problems, simplify WDFW’s previous non-buoyant lure restriction and allow anglers to more easily release non-target fish such as wild salmon and steelhead, said Craig Burley, WDFW’s fish division manager.
After hearing from members of the public who proposed alternatives to the new single-point hook requirement, the department modified the anti-snagging rule to allow the use of multiple hooks under certain circumstances, Burley said.
"The change adds some complexity to the rule, but we believe it will not interfere with the department’s ability to protect fish from snagging." Burley said.
Burley noted that WDFW will also consider further gear modifications aimed at conserving wild fish populations during the upcoming 2010-2012 sportfishing rule adoption process.
"The department’s priority is to create rules that are designed to protect Washington’s wild fish populations while continuing to provide anglers with sportfishing opportunities," Burley said.