Methow Steelhead Science

I was wondering if anyone had any links to the science behind the new regulations on the Methow that mandate the taking of hatchery steelhead. Ive been looking around the internet quite a bit lately and have found nothing. I hope that WDFW has some solid science to support these regulations (since they seem to be so controversial), thanks for any input


New Member
i dont, but Ben Dennis of the Fly Rod Ranch in Winthrop, probably can answer any/all questions concerning the Methow


Active Member
crettke, there is no maditory taking of hatchery fish on the Methow. It is only strongly encouraged. The WDFW asked that anglers keep hatchery fish in order to keep season open. The permit that was obtained to open the fishery was based on a managment fishery to remove the unneeded hatchery stock in the river to provide more room for the wild fish to spawn.
The Methow has been listed under the ESA and the WDFW has been able to convince NOAA to open the fishery to sportsmen as a way of culling out the hatchery fish to let the wild fish spawn without interference from the hatchery fish. The concern is that if sportsmen are using it simply as a C&R fishery and not keeping the hatchery fish, then all they are supposedly doing are "harrassing" the wild fish, and NOAA will therefore not allow the fishery to be held anymore. In fact, the reason the lower river is closed is because the fish were stacking up and guys were catching 20 fish in a day and not keeping their 2 fish and calling it a day. They were concerned about the mortality this would impose on the native fish and closed that section of the river where they stage.

The WDFW kind of go over this in their news release announcing the opening.