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Steelhead Retention To Close On Lower Kalama River

Steelhead retention fishery to close on the lower Kalama River, barbless hooks to be voluntary

Action: Closes steelhead retention on the lower Kalama River. This rule also makes the use of barbless hooks voluntary, including when fishing under selective gear rules and in fly-fishing-only waters. All other stipulations of selective gear rules and fly fishing only rules remain in effect.

Effective date: April 1, 2019 until further notice.

Species affected: Steelhead, all species.


  • From the mouth to 1,000 feet below the fishway at the upper salmon hatchery (i.e. Kalama Falls Hatchery): Release all steelhead.
  • From the mouth upstream to the 6600 Road Bridge immediately downstream of Jacks Creek: Use of barbless hooks is voluntary.

Reason for action: To date, the number of hatchery-origin winter steelhead that have returned to Kalama River hatchery facilities is much lower than needed to meet hatchery egg collection goals. Closing steelhead retention will increase the number of hatchery fish available for broodstock and help improve hatchery returns in future years.

Additional information: Retention of 3 hatchery steelhead per day remains open in the Kalama River from 1,000 feet above the fishway at the upper salmon hatchery to the 6600 Road bridge (immediately downstream of Jacks Creek), where steelhead fisheries primarily encounter summer-run fish. Retention of hatchery spring chinook is also open in the lower river, with a daily limit of 6 fish, including no more than 1 adult.

This emergency rule also implements on the Kalama River a voluntary barbless hook policy approved by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in early March. (See the news release at Under this rule, anglers are no longer required to use barbless hooks during this fishery, although fishery managers encourage anglers to voluntarily use barbless hooks when appropriate.

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