WDFW seeks input on potentially opening section of Chelan River to fishing


Media contact: Staci Lehman, 509-710-4511
Fish Program contact: Chad Jackson, 425-231-0134

SPOKANE — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is considering opening a currently closed section of the Chelan River to fishing and is seeking public input on the topic. The Department will hold a virtual meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. to accept public comment.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission earlier this year accepted a petition to initiate rule making to open the upper Chelan River from the Chelan Public Utilities District (PUD) powerhouse up to the Lake Chelan Dam to fishing. That section of river was closed in 2015 to evaluate efforts to restore resident game fish to the area and was necessary to eliminate the effect of angler harvest and/or catch-and-release mortality on fish. Results from the evaluation show that populations of resident gamefish in the upper Chelan River are abundant enough to support recreational fishing.

More information on the rule making can be found on the Petition Chelan River Fishing web page and will be explained during the virtual meeting prior to the start of public comment. The commission will be briefed on the topic, and input received, at a meeting on Sept. 23. A decision is scheduled to be made on the topic at the regularly-scheduled commission web conference on Oct. 7.

To join the Sept. 14 meeting virtually, please register in advance or join by phone at (253) 215-8782 and enter webinar ID 861 1255 8305. For those who cannot attend, more information on this petition can be found

at https://publicinput.com/PetitionChelanRiver. Comments can also be submitted there or by leaving a voicemail message at 855-925-2801 and entering project code 7813.

WDFW works to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.

Individuals who need to receive this information in an alternative format, language, or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact the Title VI/ADA Compliance Coordinator by phone at 360-902-2349, TTY (711), or email (Title6@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation.