SRC Regs

I don't think targeting cutts requires single barbless, only salmon does. Not trying to be argumentative, just curious, and I think it's important info for people to have. I'm sure there are others out there as confused as I am.
Correct regarding "salmon". Per page 98:

When fishing for

SALMON in Marine Areas 1-13,

only single-point barbless hooks may be used.

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
If you are fishing in a marine area for sea runs, during an open salmon season there, you will likely get screwed legally if you are caught by a Game Warden when you are using trebles in that saltwater area- no matter what rod or leader etc., you are using. Another issue here is that these fish "are to be released without avoidable injury", and trebles are notoriously injurious to fish, even if barbless. We have no significant trouble keeping cutthroat, salmon or steelhead on single barbless hook flies while playing them. It helps to know how to play fish.
There seems to be a change from earlier years. It used to say, "all species, single barbless hook." Now the regs say, "Barbless hooks are required for all species in Marine areas 5-13, except forage fish jig gear." That would indicate that you could use a double or treble hook for fish other than salmon. But why would you? If you are fishing for bullheads you could use a treble I guess but anything else could cause problems if you accidently hooked a salmon using bait or lure.


Active Member
Steve -
On page 10 of the fishing rule pamphlet "Forage Fish Jig Gear" is defined as -

"Jig gearmay have up to three treble hooks or nine single-point hook, not to exceed 3/8" between point and shank. May only be used for forage fish or squid."

Further Forage Fish is defined as -

"Includes anchovy, sand lance, herring, sardine, and smelt."

I don't recall that being a change though it may have been re-worded to make things "clearer".

I am aware of what forage fish and gear is . The point was that the regs used to say, "all species, single barbless hooks." That would have included bullhead, flounder, sea bass, salmon, etc. They have revised it a bit.
Expect to be asked to sign petitions and write to the commission regarding a rule change to ban bait for trout in marine areas at the next submission cycle. I know a couple of guys who are working on it.

How do you feel about leaving them in the water until released? The same guys are sick of seeing them "Colgated", squished in one hand like a tube of toothpaste to wave in front of a camera. Like no one knows what a trout looks like.

There may be a back lash about how they're tough, it doesn't hurt them etc. I'll defer to the first message that explains why it's good for them or reduces C&R mortality. There's a reason wild steelhead aren't to be removed from the water.
I get where you are coming from Don but where do you draw the line when it comes to fishing bait? Are you going to ask that bait be prohibited in marine areas for salmon as well becasue some caught are wild? I think everyone has the right to enjoy fishing for cutthroat trout in the salwater whether they do it with a fly or a strip of herring on a spinning rod. The more anglers that are ousted from our sport because certain tequniqes are banned just to serve a certain group means less advocates for the fish and their habtat. I just hate to see less kids get involved in the sport because they have not aquired the skills yet to cast a fly rod or toss a small spinner on a spinning outfit.

I started out fishing the sound with my dad when I was 2 years old and when I was old enough to hold a rod we gear fished for salmon, lingcod, rockfish and sear run cutthroat trout all the time. We caught a lot of sea runs trolling herring on trout gear and I can not remember hooking one poorly so that it could not be safely released. I support single barbless hooks for sea runs which is consistant with the salmon regulation but I am not so sure about a bait ban. Just my humble opinion though.
I get where you are coming from Don but where do you draw the line when it comes to fishing bait? Are you going to ask that bait be prohibited in marine areas for salmon as well becasue some caught are wild? I think everyone has the right to enjoy fishing for cutthroat trout in the salwater whether they do it with a fly or a strip of herring on a spinning rod.


I don't see where I said anything about salmon. If you want to have a rational discussion on the issue that's one thing. If you're going to put words in my mouth and use specious arguments like above I don't have time for you. First, just because you saw a fish swim off doesn't mean that it survived, that idea is naive. Second, that you "don't remember seeing one so poorly hooked that it could not be safely released" when you were two years old isn't very compelling evidence. I'm sure you hooked scads of fish with bait, they are suckers for it, and that practice combined with egregiously liberal catch allowances nearly killed them off. You'll have your chance to give your input to the commission when the proposal comes around. I'd be better prepared if you are serious. See you at the hearing.

Our rational is:
Typically, herring rigs use a larger hook which causes more damage with higher C&R mortality than a smaller one, such as used on a spoon like a Castmaster, Crocodile or a fly. All of these are quite effective for SRC. Anyone who trolls for salmon is typically using heavier gear with larger baits and hooks than trout fishers, and is plying deeper water. They aren't targeting areas close in to shore so it should be obvious what the intent is. There may be incidental encounters when coho fishing, our intent is to minimize those.
Your right Don you did not say anything about salmon, I simply asked the question on where the line is drawn when it comes to banning bait. Is it sea run cutthroat trout, salmon, steelhead, perch, flounder? They are all native and their numbers are below historical levels in puget sound. Also I said I started fishing with my dad when I was 2 years old which meant I was going out on the boat with him. Later in the same sentence I said that since I could hold a rod I fished for sea run cutthroat trout, salmon, ling cod and rockfish with gear and since most 2 year olds can't hold a rod let alone fish I assumed that the people reading my comment would be able to figure out that I was a bit older than 2 when I was actually fishing.

And from my many experiences trolling bait for sea run cutthroat trout there were no more fish that were fataly hooked because that bait was being used instead of flies. The size of bait, hook and speed at which the bait is being fished prevented the cutthroat from being hooked deeply which has not always been the case in my experience while fly fishing. Although deeply hooked fish is infrequent when fly fishing for cutthroat it does happen and in my opinion happens more often than while trolling herring for them.

Also the correlation of the sea run cutthroat trout population being depressed prior to catch and release regulation because they were fished with bait is ridiculous. I would have to say the population is larger since the regulation change because you can no longer retain any sea run cutthroat trout not because of hook mortalitly from fishing bait. And if what you said is true and that fish that swim off after you release them don't always survive then I guess us fly fisherman are just as guilty of killing sea run cutthroat trout while catch and release fishing for them as someone trolling small herring.

Your stated rational is flawed and obviously self serving. Also for your information people can tie leaders with smaller hooks to fish small strips and cut plug herring. I don't expect to change your obviously one sided opinion on this topic and after this post will no longer waste my time trying to explain to you that responsible anglers fishing bait kill no more sea run cutthroat trout than responsible fly anglers in a catch and release fishery. Good fishing to you Mr. Freeman.