November 19, 2015
Action: Open the Columbia River from Rock Island Dam to the powerlines crossing the Columbia River at Doroga State Park to retention of adipose-fin clipped hatchery-origin steelhead and rainbow until further notice. Sections of the lower Wenatchee and Entiat rivers also open under similar regulations.
Effective date: Nov. 20, 2015, until further notice.
Species affected: Hatchery steelhead and rainbow trout.
Reason for action: The updated forecast of steelhead abundance indicates that hatchery-origin steelhead will return in excess of desired escapement levels. Enough natural-origin steelhead will also return to implement a fishery on these sections of the upper Columbia River and the two tributaries. The fishery will reduce the number of excess hatchery-origin steelhead and consequently increase the proportion of natural-origin steelhead on the spawning grounds.
Waters remaining open to steelhead fishing until further notice include:
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.
WDFW is conducting a steelhead radio telemetry study in the Columbia River upstream of the Yakima River over the next two years to help inform abundance estimates. Radio tagged fish will have what appears to be a heavy braided line extending from the mouth/throat of the fish. Anglers should not attempt to remove the tag unless the fish is legal to harvest. When a radio-tagged hatchery fish is harvested, anglers are asked to report and return the tag, per instructions written on the radio tag. WDFW appreciates the voluntary cooperation from the public in the management of our fish populations.
Anglers are required to possess a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement as part of their valid fishing license. 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 spring Chinook 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; Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager
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.
This concludes our 2015 Upper Columbia River Fishing Report
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