Action: WDFW is rescinding emergency rule changes on the Grande Ronde, Walla Walla, and Touchet rivers that limited steelhead retention to two hatchery fish. Beginning Feb. 1, the daily limit for hatchery steelhead in those rivers will increase to three fish, as listed in the 2017/2018 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.
Walla Walla River from the mouth to the Oregon state line.
Touchet River from the mouth to the confluence of the North and South Fork Touchet Rivers and all tributaries.
Grande Ronde River from the County Road Bridge (approximately 2.5 miles upstream from the mouth) to the Oregon state line and all tributaries.
Dates: Feb. 1, 2018
Species affected: Steelhead
Reason for action: Lagging steelhead returns during the summer of 2017 led fishery managers to close, or reduce bag limits, for steelhead fisheries in most of the Columbia River and its tributaries. Increases in the abundance of migrating steelhead over Bonneville Dam and the Snake River Dams allowed fishery managers to provide for some increases in harvest opportunities during the Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 in the Snake River and select tributaries to the Snake River. Fishery managers now feel it is appropriate to further increase limits within tributaries to remove excess hatchery steelhead.
Other Information: Anglers should refer to the 2017/2018 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for regulations.
Emergency rules remain in effect on the Snake River. More information is available at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/
WDFW did not put emergency rules in place on the lower 2.5 miles of the Grande Ronde River, so anglers should continue to refer to the 2017/2018 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for regulations.
Information Contact: Jeremy Trump, District 3 Fish Biologist, (509) 382-1005