Sportfishing Rule Changes for 2016-2017

See proposed rule
language (CR-103)
2016 Recreational Fishing Rules
Concise Explanatory Statement
Fish & Wildlife Commission
Meeting Dec. 11-12, 2015

2016 – 2017 Sportfishing Rule Proposals – Briefing and Public Hearing. Audio available.

for Public Comment
Not Recommended
for further consideration
View by Region
Puget Sound Coast Not Region Specific
Liberalize limits for Bass, Channel Catfish,
and Walleye in the Columbia River
and tributaries contiguous with Oregon

Reference ID: DFW403495-16

Public Rule Proposal Received

Reference ID: DFW403495-16
Critical Conservation Need      Submission Type: Public
Region: Coast
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Steelhead
 • Trout
Rule to Change:
Statewide Freshwater Rules > Tackle > “Hook and line angling only. Barbed or barbless hooks may be used, and a hook may be single-point, double, or treble, but not more than one line with up to three hooks per angler may be used.”
New Rule Proposal:
Hoko River: From mouth to cement bridge on Lake Ozette Hwy. (upper Hoko Bridge), single barbless hooks. We also recommend that in all Selective Fishery Regulation/Single Barbless Hook fisheries on the Hoko River, that anglers be limited to one total hook (i.e. no stinger hooks, two fly rigs, etc). We are proposing to move to Selective Fishery Regulations on the Hoh and Quillayute and other Western Olympic Peninsula systems during the summer season to protect resident rainbow trout as well as juvenile anadromous. We are also proposing to maintain the single barbless hook restriction but allowing bait during the fall salmon and winter/spring steelhead seasons.
Why the change is needed:
The barbless hooks only rule has been adopted as a conservation effort in many areas including many OR rivers, parts of CA and ID, and Canada including all of British Columbia. Hooten (1987) found catch and release mortality of adult winter steelhead to be 2.5 times greater when using barbed hooks compared to barbless hooks. The use of barbless hooks reduces handling time and stress on hooked fish and adds to survival after release (Wydoski 1977). The extremely valuable juvenile steelhead, rearing for 1-3 years in freshwater, are often regularly exposed to mortality in fisheries targeting trout and adult salmon and steelhead. Compared with using barbless hooks, using barbed hooks has been proven to increase tissue damage, handling time, exposure to air, and can significantly reduce smolt numbers and adult returns. Compelling evidence shows that catch and release mortality of juvenile and adult salmon and steelhead can be greatly reduced by using barbless hooks.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change:
Submitting on behalf of the Wild Steelhead Coalition
Describe their support and/or concerns:
Developed and supported by the Wild Steelhead Coalition

Date submitted: 03/31/2015

WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation

Not Recommended for further consideration     Reference ID: DFW403495-16

Short Title
Require the use of barbless hooks on the Hoko River

Not a rule needed at this time from a conservation perspective.


Public Testimony

No public testimony.

Online Public Comments  (3 comments)

MCCABE, CHRISTOPHER   October 30, 2015
I believe the idea of barbless hooks should a recommended action to take. As an Oregonian who fishes Canada quite frequently, I can tell you this does NOT inhibit my fishing abilities and does make release much easier and quicker, thus lessening the impact of the catch to the fish. - Christopher McCabe
SIEGLE, RICHARD   October 30, 2015
again we want to catch fish not look at them.. Stop being so stupid with all these laws...
BALDWIN, JOE   November 12, 2015
I believe barbless hooks should be required for all river (and salt water) fishing in Washington state at all a time including as suggested here. Barbless hooks!