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Barbed hooks are now allowed in parts of the Columbia River

Olympia, WA – As of this week, anglers in portions of the Columbia River and tributaries are no longer required to use barbless hooks.

Despite this change in much of the river, they are still required for areas within Pacific County to the Pacific Ocean.

The Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife announced that the change follows a decision on March 2, 2019 by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The change only applies for for salmon and steelhead fisheries in the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 to Chief Joseph Dam and Columbia River tributaries from Buoy 10 to McNary Dam. Barbless hooks are required when fishing for sturgeon.

Buoy 10 refers to the buoy marking the western end of a fisheries management zone, but also is used by some to refer to the entire area covering the opening of the Columbia and Astoria region.

nd steelhead fisheries in the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 to Chief Joseph Dam and Columbia River tributaries from Buoy 10 to McNary Dam.

Buoy 10 refers to the buoy marking the western end of a fisheries management zone, but also is used by some to refer to the entire area covering the opening of the Columbia and Astoria region.

WDFW says that this rule change will become permanent for the 2019/2020 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet year, which begins July 1, 2019.

Rule and Location:

A) Barbed hooks are allowed for salmon and steelhead in the following waters:

  1. Blue Creek (Lewis County), from the mouth to Spencer Road
  2. Cispus River (Lewis County)
  3. Columbia River, from a true north/south line through Buoy 10 to Chief Joseph Dam
  4. Coweeman River and tributaries (Cowlitz County)
  5. Cowlitz Falls Reservoir (Lake Scanewa) (Lewis County)
  6. Cowlitz River (Cowlitz County) Barbed hooks are also allowed for cutthroat trout in the Cowlitz River
  7. Drano Lake (Skamania County)
  8. Elochoman River (Wahkiakum County)
  9. Grays River (Wahkiakum County)
  10. Grays River, West Fork (Wahkiakum County)
  11. Kalama River (Cowlitz County)
  12. Klickitat River (Klickitat County)
  13. Lewis River (Clark County)
  14. Rock Creek (Skamania County)
  15. Tilton River (Lewis County)
  16. Toutle River (Cowlitz County)
  17. Toutle River, North Fork (Cowlitz County)
  18. Washougal River (Clark County)
  19. Washougal River, West (North) Fork (Clark/Skamania counties)
  20. White Salmon River (Klickitat/Skamania counties)

B) Selective gear rules, except: barbed hooks are allowed in the following waters:

  1. Abernathy Creek and tributaries (Cowlitz County)
  2. Cedar Creek and tributaries (tributary of N.F. Lewis) (Clark County)
  3. Coal Creek (Cowlitz County)
  4. Delameter Creek (Cowlitz County)
  5. Germany Creek (Cowlitz County) and all tributaries.
  6. Grays River (Wahkiakum County)
  7. Grays River, East Fork (Wahkiakum County)
  8. Grays River, South Fork (Wahkiakum County)
  9. Grays River, West Fork tributaries (Wahkiakum County)
  10. Green River (Cowlitz County)
  11. Hamilton Creek (Skamania County)
  12. Kalama River (Cowlitz County): From 1,000 feet above fishway at upper salmon hatchery to Summers Creek and from the intersection of 6000 and 6420 Rds. to 6600 Rd. bridge immediately downstream of Jacks Creek.
  13. Lacamas Creek (Clark County): From mouth to footbridge at lower falls.
  14. Lacamas Creek, tributary of Cowlitz River (Lewis County)
  15. Lewis River, East Fork (Clark/Skamania counties): From mouth to 400 feet below Horseshoe Falls.
  16. Little Washougal River (Clark County)
  17. Mill Creek (Cowlitz County)
  18. Mill Creek (Lewis County): From the mouth to the hatchery road crossing culvert.
  19. Olequa Creek (Lewis/Cowlitz counties)
  20. Outlet Creek (Silver Lake) (Cowlitz County)
  21. Salmon Creek (Clark County): From the mouth to 182nd Avenue Bridge.
  22. Salmon Creek (Lewis County)
  23. Skamokawa Creek (Wahkiakum County)
  24. Stillwater Creek (Lewis County)
  25. Swift Reservoir (Skamania County): From the posted markers approximately 3/8 mile below Eagle Cliff Bridge to the bridge; from the Saturday before Memorial Day through July 15.
  26. Toutle River, North Fork (Cowlitz County): From the mouth to the posted deadline below the fish collection facility.
  27. Wind River (Skamania County): from 100 feet above Shipherd Falls to Moore Bridge.
  28. White Salmon River (Klickitat/Skamania counties): From the county road bridge below the former location of the powerhouse upstream to Big Brother Falls (river mile 16).

C) Fly fishing only, except: use of barbed hooks is allowed in the following waters:

  1. Kalama River (Cowlitz County): From Summers Creek to the intersection of 6000 and 6420 Rds.
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