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.

for Public Comment
Not Recommended
for further consideration
View by Category
Statewide Coastal Region
Puget Sound
Region Freshwater
Coastal Region
Puget Sound
Region Marine
Eastern Washington and
Columbia Region Freshwater

Reference ID: DFW110945

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW110945
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Puget Sound Region Marine
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Steelhead
Rule to Change:
Bogachiel River from mouth to 101 bridge
New Rule Proposal:
Bogachiel river 101 bridge downstream to the Bogachiel hatchery. April 1 to June 1 As of April 1st extend the all ready existing selective gear/no kill water above 101 down river to the Bogachiel hatchery.
Why the change is needed:
This would help protect spawning steelhead from excessive harvest and C&R mortality, especially during periods of low water when this section of river offers very little cover for the fish.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change:
Don Freeman President, South Sound Fly Fishers Advisor, Puget Sound Recreational Enhancement Fund Advisory Board Former CCA chapter President, Olympia WA. Former member, Oregon Guides and Packers Association
Describe their support and/or concerns:
I support this proposal as well. Increased spawning success is the lynch pin of recovery for our anadromous salmonids. Protecting the stock on the Bogachiel during this critical period will not only increase the spawning success, but may well help foster a spirit of stewardship among anglers who have a personal interest in continued and improving fishing opportunity.
Submitted by: KERR, JIM  — FORKS, WA

Date submitted: 06/12/2012

WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation

Not Recommended for further consideration     Reference ID: DFW110945

The proposal is to extend selective gear and no wild harvest during the April and May time period on the Bogachiel from the 101 bridge down to the hatchery. The entire Bogachiel River is already closed for the month of May, and inserting a major change to the regulations for only one month could create confusion for a small potential gain in wild steelhead production and loss of opportunity, in a river that is exceeding its escapement goal annually.

Online Public Comments    (13 comments)

KERR, JIM   October 30, 2012
This area needs special management because it is subject to very low spring flows which make spawning fish especially vulnerable. A little additional confusion in the regs compared to saving a dozen or so spawning hens seems a small compromise.
BINDER, JOE   October 30, 2012
I wholeheartedly support this proposal, having fished this particular stretch of river during the period in question for many years. While I appreciate the concern regarding increased complexity in the regulations, one cannot overlook the amount of spawning activity and increasing fishing pressure on this stretch of river during the month of April. Please reconsider the proposal. As an avid angler who wants to see sustainable fishing opportunities on the coastal OP rivers for generations to come, another line item in the regulations is a very small price to pay. Anyone fishing the OP rivers already needs to read the regulations for the rivers they wish to fish--they are all unique from a regulation perspective--and it's hard to imagine that extending the existing selective gear rule to a lower spot in the river would add confusion or complexity.
THOMAS, JOHN   October 30, 2012
This needs to be approved.
SRIVASTAVA, ANIL J  October 30, 2012
As the owner of Puget Sound Fly Co. (a retail fishing shop) in Tacoma Washington, proposals such as this, which protect Wild Steelhead, while maintaining fishing opportunity are something that I can easily support. This will not needlessly limit fishing for any particular group, but will provide necessary sanctuary for spawning fish.
RUNESTRAND, JOSH L  October 31, 2012
I support protection of wild steelhead in Washington State. I support this rule change.
WHITAKER, DAN   October 31, 2012
As a sportsman who would gladly be abiding by this proposed rule, I find the rule proposal rebuttal very weak and somewhat offensive. How is the proposed rule in any way confusing? And how can it be shoved aside on the premise that it 'may' not make a big difference? Even if it did only help a little bit, at this point in the battle to bring back native steelhead from the brink, it seems to me that helping a little bit in as many areas as possibly would be extremely worthwhile. In fact, small fixes like this could be the only way to make any progress in the battle, as anything on a bigger scale only results in one side or the other getting up in arms, and deadlock ensues. As someone who cares greatly about the future of these fish and the ability to fish for them, I highly recommend that this proposal be strongly considered. Sincerely, Dan Whitaker
ISHII, PAUL   October 31, 2012
Jim Kerr makes sense. Eliminate keeping 1 wild steelhead for the season on all rivers. If they are endangered why keep any? Selective gear makes sense all the way to hatchery from 101 bridge. Easy to understand. By the way, understanding our rules takes an attorney to decipher. It is a public moral obligation to make rules fair and easy to implement. We have gone astray. The recreational fisher person has a vague idea of the rules. Per your rules, it states, subject to change anyway. So what is the big deal. Most float this section as access is difficult. So most will understand that preserving is better than endangering. Escapement, what really is the magic number? I figure there is no number with wild fish, you need them all to escape. C and r is effective on selective gear and w barbless hooks. It works. Go to Montana. They seemed to figure things out.
WESTERLUND, JEFF   November 01, 2012
I agree with this proposal. Protecting spawning fish and limiting harvest, of mostly wild fish I might add, would go a long way toward showing that we are serious about protecting our wild fish stocks. In response to the Not Recommended for further consideration comment, I have to say that a large majority of fishermen ARE able to understand the need for this rule change, are comfortable with river specific rules already, and therefore would not cause confusion. About a loss of opportunity, most catch and keep happens below the hatchery, so implementing this above the hatchery would not affect many. The WDFW comment also mentioned that there would be a potential gain in wild steelhead production with this rule. A gain in wild steelhead production with just this small change should be adopted. Jeff
BRONSON, JERRY G  November 05, 2012
Any small change that would benefit native steelhead spawning success is worth doing. As for the confusion it might cause, are you serious? Have you read the WA Sport Fishing Rules document lately? Get real!!
ARONIAN, JOHN   November 06, 2012
As a NY resident who is headed to Forks for his third successive trip next March it is obvious I have fallen in love with the O.P. and the wild fish in your rivers. Anything that will permit increased escapement of wild fish and restrict harmfull 'hook-up' methods should be the goal of all sportsmen who have ever experienced your rivers. So, extending restrited methods and 'wild release' is a reg. that I heartily endorse.......thanks for opportunity to respond J.A.
GRAHN, GARY   December 07, 2012
I believe there is not enough sufficient co management Data on escapement numbers on these stretch of river to Allow for a catch and kill season.
BRAZDA, JEFF B  December 10, 2012
This will increase the survival of late returning wild steelhead and be improvement upon the regulations.
SIMMS, RICH K  January 29, 2013
This proposal should of gone out for public comment. The benefit of this proposal out weighs the inconvenience of confusing the public. We just don't seem to do anything proactive that could provide a value to wild steelhead.

Other Comments Received