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Steelhead Fishing Re-opens

Steelhead fishing re-opened on our local sections of the Columbia and Wenatchee rivers today for the first time since 1997--a good sign that the steelhead run is strengthening after nearly blinking out. This morning some of the early-bird fishermen got the worm -- or rather the steelhead. Read an account of fishermen who hit pay dirt in the Wenatchee World. For relevant info on where and when you can fish, get the rules of the river here.

Here are the basic details taken from rules issued by the  Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife:

    Action: Areas of the upper Columbia, Methow, Okanogan, and Wenatchee rivers will open to recreational fishing targeting adipose fin-clipped hatchery-origin steelhead. The daily limit is two fish, 20-inch minimum size. Rules affecting other species in these areas are changed to be consistent with steelhead rule requirements.
    Important: For all waters any steelhead caught with an intact adipose fin must be released immediately and may not be totally removed from the water before release. 
    Reason for action: The wild run returning to areas above Priest Rapids Dam is large enough to meet minimum spawning requirements. The recreational fishery will reduce the proportion of hatchery-origin steelhead on the spawning grounds, thereby minimizing impact to wild steelhead spawning in upper Columbia River tributaries. This will increase the proportion of wild steelhead on the spawning grounds and improve natural production. 
    Columbia River: from Rock Island Dam upstream to Wells Dam. Night closure and state-wide gear rules apply for all species. Release any steelhead with anchor (floy) tag attached. 
    Wenatchee River: from its mouth upstream to the Icicle Road Bridge at the west end of Leavenworth. Night closure and selective gear rules apply. Release any steelhead with anchor (floy) tag attached. Whitefish gear rules do not apply. 


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