Steelhead Fishing to open on the Columbia, Wenatchee, and Icicle Rivers on February 13, 2014.
In addition, the Wenatchee River will open on February 13, 2014 to fishing for whitefish.
FISHING AREA LOCATIONS AND EFFECTIVE DATES:
Open to fishing for steelhead one hour before sunrise on February 13, 2014 until further notice include:
· Wenatchee River: From the mouth to 400 feet below Tumwater Dam, including the Icicle River from the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam.
· Columbia River: From Rock Island Dam upstream to 400 feet below Wells Dam.
Open to fishing for whitefish one hour before sunrise on February 13, 2014 until further notice include:
· Wenatchee River: From the mouth to the Hwy 2 bridge at Leavenworth.
Recent analyses of the ongoing steelhead fisheries in portions of the upper Columbia River has revealed sufficient natural origin steelhead allowing recreational fishing to help to reduce the proportion of hatchery fish on the spawning grounds. This will further reduce competition between natural origin and hatchery juvenile production. Opening these areas to steelhead angling also allows whitefish angling opportunity on the Wenatchee.
GENERAL RULES for all locations open to steelhead fishing:
- Mandatory retention of adipose fin clipped steelhead, daily limit two (2) hatchery steelhead, 20 inch minimum size. Hatchery steelhead are identified by a missing adipose fin with a healed scar in its location.
- Adipose present steelhead must be released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.
- Night closure and selective gear rules remain in effect.
- Whitefish anglers must follow selective gear rules in areas open to steelhead fishing, no bait is allowed
OTHER ANGLER INFORMATION:
Steelhead fisheries currently open between Wells and Chief Joseph Dams, and in the Methow, Okanogan, and Similkameen Rivers will remain open until further notice.
Anglers are required to possess a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement as part of their valid fishing license. Revenue from the endorsement supports salmon or steelhead seasons in the Columbia River system, including fishery enforcement and monitoring. The endorsement has generated more than $1 million per year to maintain and increase fishing opportunities throughout the Columbia River Basin.
Information contacts: Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager (Ephrata), (509) 754-4624, Travis Maitland, District 7 Fish Biologist (Wenatchee), (509) 665-3337.