Regional News

Steelhead fishing to close on a section of the Upper Columbia River and two tributaries


Mar 08, 2016

ACTION:  Closure of steelhead fishing on the upper Columbia River, including the Okanogan and Similkameen Rivers.

 

SPECIES AFFECTED:  Steelhead.

 

EFFECTIVE DATES:  One hour after official sunset on March 9, 2016, until further notice.

 

LOCATIONS CLOSED: 

 

1.)  Mainstem Columbia River:  From the Hwy. 173 bridge at Brewster upstream to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam.

 

2.)  Okanogan River: From the mouth to the Hwy. 97 Bridge in Oroville.

 

3.)  Similkameen River: From the mouth to 400 feet below Enloe Dam.

 

REASON FOR ACTION:  The season is closed to minimize impacts to spawning steelhead.

Areas that will continue to be open for steelhead angling until further notice include:

1)    Columbia River: From Rock Island Dam to the powerlines crossing the Columbia River at Daroga State Park.

2)    Wenatchee River: From the mouth to 400 feet below Tumwater Dam. Fishing within 400 feet downstream of Dryden Dam is prohibited.

3)    Icicle River: From the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam.

4)    Entiat River: From the mouth to approximately 1/2 mile upstream to a point perpendicular with the intersection of the Entiat River Road and Hedding Street.

 

General rules for all locations open to steelhead fishing:  

1)    Mandatory retention of hatchery steelhead, as identified by a missing adipose fin with a healed scar at the location of the clipped fin.

2)    Daily limit of two (2) hatchery steelhead; 20 inch minimum size.

3)    Daily limit of five (5) hatchery rainbow trout of less than 20 inches in total length, as identified by a missing adipose fin with a healed scar at the location of the clipped fin.

4)    Anglers must stop fishing when a daily limit of two (2) hatchery steelhead are obtained, regardless of the number of hatchery rainbow trout obtained.

5)    Selective gear rules and night closure are in effect for all steelhead fishery areas, except the use of bait is allowed on the mainstem Columbia River.

6)    Steelhead with an intact adipose fin must be released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.

7)    Release all steelhead with a floy (anchor) tag attached and/or one or more round ¼ inch in diameter holes punched in the caudal (tail) fin.

8)    Motorized vessels are not allowed on the Wenatchee and Icicle rivers (Chelan County ordinance 7.20.190 Motorboat restrictions).

 

Other information: Anglers should be aware that fishing rules are subject to change and that rivers can close at any time due to impacts on natural origin steelhead. Adhering to the mandatory retention of adipose clipped steelhead is vital in allowing the fishery to continue and to provide the maximum benefit to natural origin fish.

All anglers must possess a valid fishing license and a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement to participate in these fisheries. Revenue from the endorsement supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system, including enforcing fishery regulations and monitoring the upper Columbia River steelhead fisheries. The endorsement has generated more than $1 million annually for WDFW to maintain and increase fishing opportunities throughout the Columbia River Basin.

Information contacts: Travis Maitland, Wenatchee District 7 Fish Biologist, (509) 665-3337; Ryan Fortier, Methow-Okanogan District 6 Fish Biologist, (509) 997-0316; Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-4624.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431

 


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