Tag Archives: white salmon river

WDFW Announces Steelhead Changes On Straits Rivers, Reach, Columbia

Editor’s note: Updated at 5:30 p.m. November 8th 2019 with smolt release stats for the Hoko and Sekiu Rivers.

Heads up for Olympic Peninsula, Tri-Cities and Columbia Gorge steelheaders on several recent rule changes as one run begins and another never really got started.

We’ll take them one at a time, starting on the Eastside.

The Hanford Reach will close to steelheading as of Nov. 10 due to a very low return of summer-runs.

WITH A VERY POOR RETURN OF STEELHEAD TO THE RINGOLD SPRINGS HATCHERY, WDFW IS CLOSING THE HANFORD REACH EFFECTIVE THIS SATURDAY, NOV. 10. THE REYES BROTHERS — ISSAC, LEVI AND IVAN — SHOW OFF A SUMMER-RUN CAUGHT THERE IN MARCH 2015. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

According to state managers, only 96 have entered the Ringold Springs Hatchery so far, “the lowest return on record in the past 18 years,” putting the goal of collecting 300,000 eggs to produce 180,000 smolts in 2020 in peril.

By this time in 2017, 254 fish had checked in at the facility. In 2016, 224 had.

This year has seen an overall poor return of steelhead to the Inland Northwest, and earlier in the season retention was closed on the Columbia downstream of Highway 395 in Tri-Cities, and limits were dropped in the Snake system.

By 2016-17 catch stats, the latest available, the best fishing in the Reach was in October, with 108 retained, but the waters between Highway 295 and the old powerlines at the Hanford town site did put out dozens of fish each month through March.

Two mountain ranges away to the northwest, along with your floats and jigs you’ll want to bring a tape measure if you fish two Clallam County streams this winter.

When hatchery steelhead were released into the Hoko and Sekiu Rivers in spring 2016 and 2017, they weren’t fin clipped as usual “because of warm river temperatures and consequent fish health concerns,” according to a WDFW emergency rule-change notice

So then how do you know if you’ve caught a keeper or a wild steelhead that must be released?

Take that big fin on its back and put your measuring device against it.

“Dorsal fin heights of hatchery steelhead are shorter than comparably sized wild steelhead. The standard of 2 1/8 inches has been used elsewhere to identify unclipped hatchery steelhead,” WDFW states.

The same rule tweak was in effect last winter on the Hoko and previously on a river further south on the Olympic Peninsula.

The Hoko produced 129 hatchery steelhead during the 2016-17 season, mostly in December.

According to state fisheries biologist Mike Gross, just under 24,000 smolts were released into the Hoko for return this year, 10700 in the Sekiu.

In another e-reg, WDFW announced that the night fishing and retention closures on the lower Wind and White Salmon Rivers were being lifted effective immediately.

Those and other restrictions in the Columbia and its Gorge were put in place due to a weak return of A-run summer steelhead that pull into these thermal refuges. Their passage through the area is typically done by this time of year.

And finally, salmon and steelhead fishing will reopen on the mainstem Columbia up to Highway 395 starting Jan. 1, 2019, WDFW announced.

The big river was closed in late summer when the run of fall Chinook did not materialize in the expected numbers and catches exceeded impacts on Snake River wilds.

As kings made their way further upstream, Washington fishery managers looked for ways to reopen the waters for coho angling.

Nothing ever came to pass, but an explanation appeared in the e-reg resetting the Columbia’s regs to permanent rules:

“… (T)hese fisheries would continue to accrue fall chinook ESA impacts at a time when the non-treaty fisheries do not have additional fall chinook ESA impacts remaining.”

WDFW Relaxing 2017’s Restrictive Cowlitz, Lewis, Etc., Summer Steelhead Rules

THE FOLLOWING ARE EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE NOTICES FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Hatchery steelhead limits and night fishing changes for Southwest Washington rivers

KRISTIN BISHOP, GUIDE SHEA FISHER, AND SARA DODD SHOW OFF A QUARTET OF SUMMER 2015 COWLITZ RIVER STEELHEAD. (THEFISHERE.COM)

Actions: Increases the daily limit of hatchery steelhead in the lower reaches of the Cowlitz, Lewis, Wind, and White Salmon rivers.

Also opens the lower Cowlitz River, lower Lewis River, and the lower White Salmon River for night fishing during the last 2 weeks of June. Closes night fishing on the lower Wind River immediately through June 30.

Species affected: All species

Locations and effective dates:

· Cowlitz River: Open to night fishing June 16 to June 30, 2018 from the boundary markers at the mouth to the Lexington Drive Bridge; daily limit 3 hatchery steelhead.

· Lewis River: Open to night fishing June 16 to June 30, 2018 from the mouth of the Lewis River to the mouth of the East Fork; daily limit 3 hatchery steelhead.

White Salmon River: Open to night fishing June 16 to June 30, 2018 from the mouth to the county road bridge below the former location of the powerhouse; daily limit is a total of 2 salmon or hatchery steelhead or 1 of each. Release wild salmon and steelhead.

· Wind River: Closed to night fishing immediately through June 30, 2018 from the mouth upstream to 400 feet below the Shipherd Falls fish ladder; daily limit 2 salmon or 2 hatchery steelhead or 1 of each. Release wild salmon and steelhead.

Reason for action: Forecast returns of summer steelhead have improved for 2018, making night closures and reduced daily limits currently unnecessary in the lower reaches of the Cowlitz, Lewis and White Salmon rivers.

Additionally, the lower Wind River is typically closed to night angling between March 16 and June 30; this rule change corrects an omission in the 2017-2018 Sport Fishing Pamphlet.

Other information: All other permanent rules contained in 2017-2018 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for these waters remain in effect through June 30, 2018.

New sport fishing rules for Washington waters will take effect on July 1, 2018.

There are no night fishing closures that will take immediate effect on July 1 for the areas described in this fishing rule change. Additionally, Drano Lake will be open for night fishing beginning July 1, 2018.

Information contact: (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.

Update Columbia River salmon, steelhead fisheries listed in the 2017-18 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet

Action: Update Columbia River salmon and steelhead seasons listed in the 2017-18 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Effective dates: June 16 through June 30, 2018.

Species affected: Salmon, steelhead.

Location and updated rules:

Megler-Astoria Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam: Up to 2 hatchery steelhead may be retained.  Release all sockeye. Fishing at night is permitted in Washington waters. Release all adult chinook June 16 through June 21.

Bonneville Dam upstream to Hwy 395: Up to 2 hatchery steelhead may be retained.  Release all sockeye. Fishing at night is permitted in Washington waters.

Hwy 395 upstream to Priest Rapids Dam: Release all sockeye.

Reason for action: This emergency rule updates some Columbia River fishing seasons listed in the 2017-18 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet to reflect co-manager agreements reached during the recent North of Falcon season setting process.

Other information: The fishery for adult summer-run hatchery chinook from Megler-Astoria Bridge to Bonneville is open from June 22 through July 4 with a daily limit of 2 hatchery adult chinook or 2 hatchery steelhead or one of each.

The fishery for adult summer-run hatchery chinook from Bonneville to Hwy. 395 is open from June 16 through July 31 with a daily limit of 2 hatchery adult chinook or 2 hatchery steelhead or one of each.

The fishery for adult summer-run hatchery chinook from Hwy. 395 to Priest Rapids Dam is open from June 16 through Aug. 15, with a one hatchery adult chinook below I-182 and two hatchery adult chinook above I-182.

Check the sport fishing rules page for more information on fisheries through June 30, 2018: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.  The 2018-19 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet (July 2018-June 2019) will be available mid-June.  These 2018-19 fisheries can be seen on the North of Falcon page: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/.

Information contact: Region 5, (360) 696-6211; Region 3, (509) 575-2740.