New WDFW Regs are out...

Shad

Active Member
#1
...and once again, I lost more precious, highly valued, and maybe most importantly, SUSTAINABLE opportunity that cost WDFW $0 to provide. Two of my favorite year-round wild trout fisheries got cut back to cookie cutter, June-Oct. kill and close fisheries. I understand the biological reasons for that season on a river like the E. Fork Satsop, where spawning salmon and outmigrating smolts need seasonal protection, but on these two rivers, both of which are behind impassable fish barriers of one sort or another, it feels like a lazy, one size fits all solution to a problem that never existed. These were self-sustaining, wild fisheries. That WDFW sees fit to limit our access to them to 5 months, with virtually no justification provided, is extremely frustrating. They have zero interest in these streams from a fisheries supplementation standpoint, and the fish populations are healthy; why "manage" them at all?

In other, equally confusing news, you can now target hatchery steelhead on the Green... C&R only!

WDFW told us they planned to simplify the rules like we had been asking. Somehow, I don't think they understood that it was the ever-increasing and ever-less sensible closures that were complicating things. Losing more and more faith and patience with that institution with each new rules encyclopedia volume....
 

bk paige

Wishin I was on the Sauk
#2
Not seeing any kill fisheries

"
TROUT Sat. before Memorial
Day-Oct. 31 Statewide min. size/daily limit, except release CUTTHROAT
TROUT and wild RAINBOW TROUT.
OTHER GAME FISH Sat. before Memorial
Day-Oct. 31 Statewide min. size/daily limit. "

Clearly states too release cutthroat and wild rainbow. So what are the people gonna kill, hatchery steelhead smolts?
 
#3
Sucks you lost water, Shad. I noticed a number of places will be open that had been open but then were closed. In the past, WDFW has been pretty responsive to opening fisheries above anadromous barriers that may have been inadvertently closed. You might try talking with the Area Habitat Biologist. Good luck!
 

Shad

Active Member
#4
Not seeing any kill fisheries

"
TROUT Sat. before Memorial
Day-Oct. 31 Statewide min. size/daily limit, except release CUTTHROAT
TROUT and wild RAINBOW TROUT.
OTHER GAME FISH Sat. before Memorial
Day-Oct. 31 Statewide min. size/daily limit. "

Clearly states too release cutthroat and wild rainbow. So what are the people gonna kill, hatchery steelhead smolts?
You're right to point out that there's nothing much to kill; I honestly didn't read past the open dates, which have been reduced from year-round to 5 months. That's the main thing that pissed me off. I could care less about whether or not killing trout is allowed; both the rivers I was referring to could easily sustain a two-fish over 14" limit (most fish are below that 14" mark anyway). No hatchery steelhead in either stream, so no hatchery steelhead smolts to kill; the dozen or so "WILD RAINBOWS" living in each river presumably used to be wild steelhead, but they aren't any more.

It's very likely (I'll be making inquiries to find out for sure) that WDFW did this under the guise of "simplifying" regulations (by reducing stream-by-stream exceptions for trout fishing). I think that's a good idea in principle, but I think they're going in precisely the WRONG direction here. What do we think is an easier regulation to understand: "year-round, catch and release" or what is written there now?

I'll withhold further bitching until I have some answers from WDFW. If they're good answers, I'll post them here and acknowledge them. Otherwise, I'll post them here, then resume my bitching.
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#5
Yeah, ever since I left 12 years ago or so the fishing has gone to hell. I left before all these stupid passes took effect. You used to be able to fish almost anyplace with the access card you got when you bought your fishing license. It doesn't work that way anymore folks.

They close rivers at spots that they never checked at before. I know of one that was closed about a mile above an impassable falls. I don't think the folks at WDFW have their heads screwed on right.
 
#6
Yeah, ever since I left 12 years ago or so the fishing has gone to hell. I left before all these stupid passes took effect. You used to be able to fish almost anyplace with the access card you got when you bought your fishing license. It doesn't work that way anymore folks.
Passes are fun to gripe about, but that's not how it works. Federal NW Forest and state Discover passes are only required at maintained access sites. Same with WDFW access passes at WDFW boat ramps and other developed access sites (where a Discover pass also works). Whether a hiker, hunter or angler, you can still park at just about any undeveloped pulloff on state or federal land without an access pass (except for state or nat parks where an entrance fee is required). It's only when using developed sites; parking lots, boat ramps and such, that a pass is required.
 

Dizane

Coast to Coast
#13
In other, equally confusing news, you can now target hatchery steelhead on the Green... C&R only!
The Green summer steelhead issue, including the justification for it, was addressed via emergency rule prior to the reg book being printed. See the below:

https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=2137

If they're not sure enough are going to come back to even meet broodstock needs due to poor survival, then C&R until broodstock is met makes sense. I supposed they could have just closed it down entirely until broodstock was met.
 

Shad

Active Member
#14
The Green summer steelhead issue, including the justification for it, was addressed via emergency rule prior to the reg book being printed. See the below:

https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=2137

If they're not sure enough are going to come back to even meet broodstock needs due to poor survival, then C&R until broodstock is met makes sense. I supposed they could have just closed it down entirely until broodstock was met.
I get that, and I am all for C&R over closures ANY DAY. It's just that the irony of catching and releasing fish that were created precisely for harvest seems awfully rich to me. On the other hand, I'd argue a steelhead that gets caught and released 5 times, then gets used for the next brood has provided a heck of a lot more value to WDFW's stakeholders (and a 100% better return on investment) than 5 steelhead caught once and bonked. I love me some C&R, because it's our best hope to delay the inevitable.

It would have been nice if they had made these rules before the wild steelhead were 95% gone....
 

DBP

Active Member
#15
...and once again, I lost more precious, highly valued, and maybe most importantly, SUSTAINABLE opportunity that cost WDFW $0 to provide. Two of my favorite year-round wild trout fisheries got cut back to cookie cutter, June-Oct. kill and close fisheries. I understand the biological reasons for that season on a river like the E. Fork Satsop, where spawning salmon and outmigrating smolts need seasonal protection, but on these two rivers, both of which are behind impassable fish barriers of one sort or another, it feels like a lazy, one size fits all solution to a problem that never existed. These were self-sustaining, wild fisheries. That WDFW sees fit to limit our access to them to 5 months, with virtually no justification provided, is extremely frustrating. They have zero interest in these streams from a fisheries supplementation standpoint, and the fish populations are healthy; why "manage" them at all?

In other, equally confusing news, you can now target hatchery steelhead on the Green... C&R only!

WDFW told us they planned to simplify the rules like we had been asking. Somehow, I don't think they understood that it was the ever-increasing and ever-less sensible closures that were complicating things. Losing more and more faith and patience with that institution with each new rules encyclopedia volume....
My main complaint is that the water that was in previous years closed till July 1 was changed to the weekend before Memorial Day. . . and there was no way for me to know it. So the state's laziness/ineptitude cost me almost a full month of fishing on my preferred water. Jackasses.
 

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