Fish and Wildlife Commission amends four sportfishing rules
Thursday, April 18, 2013 11:32 am
for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), voted to change the annual catch limit for white sturgeon to two fish per year in Washington’s waters beginning May 1. The rule, as previously adopted, would have limited anglers to one sturgeon per year.
The commission did, however, keep in place a new rule that prohibits retention of white sturgeon by anglers fishing in the lower Columbia River below Bonneville Dam, the Washington coast, Puget Sound and their tributaries beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Catch-and-release fishing for the species will be allowed in those areas.
That rule is part of a package of nearly 70 sportfishing rule changes the commission approved at a meeting in Moses Lake.
Miranda Wecker, commission chair, said today’s conference call was an opportunity for commissioners to revisit some of those decisions. “After further discussion, the commission voted to amend some of the changes made earlier this month,” she said.
The commission also approved the following amendments to rules adopted at the meeting:
The commission did, however, keep a new rule that will reduce the daily catch limit of cabezon to one fish in those marine areas and prohibit the retention of cabezon measuring less than 18 inches in length.
Most of the rule changes adopted by the commission take effect May 1. Summaries of the rule changes, as adopted, will be available on WDFW’s website later this month.
In other action, the commission approved a 2013 triploid trout-stocking plan that calls for 52,000 large rainbow trout to be planted into more than 100 lowland lakes statewide. Triploids – trout bred so that they cannot reproduce – average 1½ pounds apiece. Information about fishing prospects at lakes throughout the state is available at WDFW's Fish Washington website (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/).