Action: Reduces the daily limit to one hatchery steelhead in the Snake River and requires release of steelhead 28 inches or greater in length downstream of the Couse Creek Boat Ramp. Anglers must cease fishing after steelhead or adult salmon daily limit has been retained.
Effective date: Sept. 1, 2019, until further notice.
Species affected: Steelhead.
Regulatory Reach 1 – From the mouth of the Snake River (Burbank to Pasco railroad bridge at Snake River mile 1.25) to the Couse Creek Boat Ramp.
- Daily limit 1, release all steelhead 28 inches or greater in length. Anglers may not continue to fish for salmon or steelhead after either the steelhead or adult salmon daily limit has been retained.
Regulatory Reach 2 – From Couse Creek Boat Ramp upstream to the Idaho/Oregon state line.
- Daily limit 1, no maximum size. Anglers may not continue to fish for salmon or steelhead after either the steelhead or adult salmon daily limit has been retained.
Reason for action: The 2019 Columbia River forecasted return for upriver steelhead was 118,200 (110,200 Group A and 8,000 Group B). With continued concerns between co-managers for A and B run steelhead and impacts to wild fish, it is important to reduce limits to protect steelhead within the Snake River. Based on the low Group B steelhead forecast, Washington fishery managers are also adding restrictions to size limits in a portion of the Snake River as a conservation measure in order to reduce encounter rates and harvest on Group B steelhead. These measures should ensure that sufficient numbers of both wild and hatchery Group B fish return to their natal tributaries and hatcheries of origin in Idaho. WDFW will continue to monitor the steelhead run, seasons and harvest rules may be adjusted in coming months.
Additional information: Steelhead with unclipped adipose fins may not be removed completely from the water and must be immediately released unharmed. In addition, barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon or steelhead. Anglers should be sure to identify their catch and know regulations for other salmonid species that are in the areas. Anglers cannot remove any salmon or steelhead from the water if it is not retained as part of the daily bag limit. Anglers are reminded to refer to the 2019/2020 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including possession limits, safety closures, etc.
Please continue to check emergency rules if you are planning to fish for steelhead within the affected area.
Information contact: Jeremy Trump, District 3 Fish Biologist, (509) 382-1005.