Petition Chelan River Fishing

Rule-making status: Withdrawn

Rule Making Reference# P2022-11
The Department is considering a proposed change that would open a previously closed section of Chelan River by allowing catch-and-release fishing only, using only barbless hooks with no bait.

In 2015, fishing was closed in the upper Chelan River to facilitate a multi-year evaluation of resident game fish restoration efforts.  Closing recreational fishing was deemed necessary and appropriate to eliminate the effect of angler harvest and/or catch-and-release mortality on resident game fish.  Results from the evaluation show that populations of resident gamefish in the upper Chelan River are sufficiently abundant to support recreational fishing.

The upper reach of the Chelan River from the Chelan PUD powerhouse up to the Lake Chelan Dam (3.6-miles) is inaccessible by anadromous salmon and steelhead due to a 0.4-mile steep gorge area with several waterfalls (5-20 feet). This reach is currently closed to fishing under permanent WAC. Open the currently closed portion of the Chelan River to recreational fishing.  No anticipated effects are expected.  This proposal would change the existing closed fishing rule and open it up to recreational fishing.

Public comments

The comment period closed as of September 24, 2022.

To view comments on this proposal, please visit the Chelan River Fishing Rule Making public engagement page.


Public hearing

September 22-24, 2022 at 8:00 am
In-person at the Ocean Shores Convention Center: 120 W Chance a La Mer NW, Ocean Shores, WA 98569
and online via webinar

See or contact the Commission office at (360) 902-2267 or for instructions on how to join the meeting.

A decision was reached during the Fish and Wildlife Commission's October 7, 2022 meeting. Due to access and safety concerns that were raised during the public comment period, the Commission decided to not adopt the Department's proposed rule that had resulted from the granted petition. As a result, the Department will be withdrawing the proposed rule from further consideration.

For more information

Staff Contact:

Assistance for Additional Accessibility and Persons with Disabilities Contact: 
Title VI/ADA Compliance Coordinator  
Phone: (360) 902-2349, TTY: 1-800-833-6388 OR 711  

Petition Chelan River Fishing - Timeline

  • October 7, 2022

    Commission Decision on the Proposed Rule

    Due to property access and safety concerns that were raised during the public comment period, the Fish and Wildlife Commission decided to not adopt the proposed rule.

  • September 22-24, 2022

    Fish and Wildlife Commission Public Hearing

    Verbal public testimony accepted at this time.

  • July 20, 2022

    CR-102 Rule Proposal Filed

    The public was encouraged to submit written comments on the proposed rule at this time.

  • February 25, 2022

    Rule Petition Briefing and Decision

    The Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to grant the petition and directed the agency to initiate rule making.