THE FOLLOWING ARE EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICES FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Drano Lake to close to all fishing
Action: Closes Drano Lake to all fishing.
Effective date: Sept. 29, 2019 until further notice.
Species affected: All fish species.
Location: In the waters downstream of markers on point of land downstream and across from Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery and upstream of the Highway 14 Bridge.
Reason for action: The current estimate of fall Chinook salmon that will return to Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery is below the number needed to meet the 2019 broodstock collection goal. Closing the fishing season in Drano Lake will increase the number of hatchery fish available for broodstock and help ensure future hatchery returns.
Additional information: WDFW will continue coordinating with National Fish Hatchery staff to monitor the hatchery return and determine if further fishery modification is needed.
Hanford Reach steelhead fishery to remain closed
Action: Closes steelhead fishing
Effective date: Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019.
Species affected: Steelhead.
Location: Highway 395 Bridge (Kennewick/Pasco) upstream to the old Hanford townsite powerline crossing.
Reason for action: Through Sept. 24, the 2019 steelhead return is the fourth-lowest return on record since 1962 for both the Upper Columbia River and Snake River. Adult returns of Ringold Springs Hatchery-origin steelhead are currently tracking at less than 50 percent of the 2018 return. The closure is necessary to ensure sufficient numbers of steelhead will be available to meet hatchery broodstock production needs.
Additional information: This year’s return of Ringold Springs Hatchery steelhead is expected to be the lowest return on record over the past 20 years. All returning steelhead will be needed for broodstock to meet the production goal of 180,000 juvenile steelhead scheduled for release in 2021. The Hanford Reach is currently closed to steelhead retention, but was scheduled to open Oct. 1. Under this rule change, steelhead retention will remain closed through Dec. 31.