Upper Columbia And Selected Tributaries Open For Steelhead
Upper Columbia River and selected tributaries to open for hatchery steelhead fishing
Action: Allow retention of hatchery steelhead.
Species affected: Hatchery steelhead
1) Mandatory retention of hatchery steelhead, identified by a missing adipose fin with a healed scar at the location of the clipped fin.
2) Daily limit two (2) hatchery steelhead.
3) Selective gear rules and night closure are in effect for all steelhead fishery areas, except the use of bait is allowed on mainstem Columbia River.
4) Adipose present steelhead must be released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.
5) Release all steelhead with a floy (anchor) tag attached and/or one or more round 1/4 inch in diameter holes punched in the caudal (tail) fin.
6) Motorized vessels are not allowed on the Wenatchee and Icicle Rivers (Chelan Co ordinance 7.20.190 Motorboat restrictions)
Effective dates and locations:
1) The mainstem Columbia River from Rock Island Dam to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam; October 8, 2014 until further notice.
2) The Wenatchee River from the mouth to the Wenatchee River at the Icicle Road Bridge, including the Icicle River from the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam; October 8, 2014 until further notice.
3) The 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; October 8, 2014 until further notice.
4) The Methow River from the mouth to the confluence with the Chewuch River in Winthrop; October 8, 2014 until further notice. Fishing from a floating device is prohibited from the second powerline crossing (1 mile upstream from the mouth) to the first Hwy 153 Bridge (4 miles upstream from the mouth).
5) The Okanogan River from the mouth to the Highway 97 Bridge in Oroville; October 8, 2014 until further notice.
6) The Similkameen River, from its mouth to 400 feet below Enloe Dam; November 1, 2014 until further notice.
Reason for action: Hatchery-origin steelhead in excess of desired escapement are forecast to return to the upper Columbia River. The fishery will reduce the number of excess hatchery-origin steelhead and consequently increase the proportion of natural-origin steelhead on the spawning grounds. Higher proportions of naturally produced spawners are expected to improve genetic integrity and stock recruitment of upper Columbia River steelhead through perpetuation of steelhead stocks with the greatest natural-origin lineage.
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, District 7 Fish Biologist, (509) 665-3337; Ryan Fortier, District 6 Fish Biologist, (509) 997-0316; Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-4624.