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: DFW546521

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW546521
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Puget Sound Region Marine
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Steelhead
Rule to Change:
New Rule Proposal:
Fishing from floating devices is not allowed February 1 through November 30 in the Calawah River from the Highway 101 Bridge upstream to the confluence of the North and South Forks.
Why the change is needed:
This is the most important spawning area for mid and late winter run wild steelhead in the Calawah River (McMillan 2007). Early run wild steelhead rest and slowly pass though this area during the early winter months or stage for a month or more before beginning to spawn sometime in late February with high levels of spawning in early-to-mid-March.. Boats can access every possible resting, holding and spawning lie in the entire river, while bank anglers have less access to challenging lies. Wild steelhead are caught-and-released (CnR) in large numbers, often while in their spawning phase. Repeated and high levels of CnR can negatively influence behavior, reproduction, and survival of many fish species, including steelhead. This proposal will provide a partial refuge, increasing chances for steelhead survival and effective spawning. Over time this regulation should increase wild steelhead abundance and diversity, improving their health and the fishery for future generations.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change:
The Wild Fish Conservancy - Trent Donohue and Nick Gayeski. Native Fish Society - Mike Moody. Bill McMillan, Biologist and Outdoor writer. John McMillan, Fish Research Scientist. Wild Salmon Center - Devona Ensmenger. Conservation Angler - Pete Soverel. Will Atlas, Steelhead Conservation Committee – Federation of Fly Fishers. Doug Schaad, Conservation Committee - Washington Fly Fishing Club. Dave Steinbaugh, Waters West. Dave McCoy, Emerald Water Anglers. Bill Robinson, Fish Advocate and Chair of the WDFW SCPAG. Mike Gross, WDFW Fishery Biologist
Describe their support and/or concerns:
This Rule proposal has been discussed in detail with Mike Gross of WDFW. This proposal is supported by all listed above as well.

Date submitted: 06/14/2012

WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation

Not Recommended for further consideration     Reference ID: DFW546521

Updated 09/27/2012
UPDATED: The "no fishing from a floating device" regulation to reduce negative effects of catch and release fisheries on wild steelhead is typically not a tool used to address conservation objectives. Currently wild steelhead are meeting escapement in this river. Limiting harvest of wild steelhead to one per year per angler statewide, to be taken only in the lower stretches of rivers that are routinely meeting escapement goals, has reduced the non-treaty harvest of wild steelhead in these rivers by roughly 70 percent. Upper reaches of the north coastal streams under both State and Olympic National Park jurisdiction require selective gear and some are closed during much of the year, further limiting impacts of catch and release fishing. WDFW welcomes discussion of this and other ideas to better manage the wild steelhead stocks of the North Coast, as escapements, and catch and effort trends continue to develop in the future.

Online Public Comments    (2 comments)

WALLACE, THOMAS M  January 28, 2013
I am not in support of this proposal. It is better for the fish and fishermen to spread the boats out than have them congregate in a few areas.
HOPPLER, WES C  January 29, 2013
Oppose this proposal and others like it for the Hoh, Sol Duc, and Bogachiel. If there are specific case of vulnerable fish and conservation issues, close the area and protect the fish. Identifying a problem area and then proposing that an angler group should be allowed to target vulnerable fish is really sad. Eliminate non-resident guides before enacting further restrictions on resident anglers. Crawling in and out of boats in the Calawah river in the winter is a poor idea. Bank angling does not necessarily mean quality experience to some of us.

Other Comments Received