WDFW adopt new rules impacting local sportfishing

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted sportfishing rules for local waterways at their meetings over the weekend.

During the meeting in Ridgefield, commissioners approved rules that aimed to simplify sportfishing regulations for freshwater species, including steelhead, trout, warmwater fish, sturgeon, shad and carp.

These rules – which apply to freshwater throughout the state, with some exceptions – will go into effect July 1, 2018.

Some of the rules adopted by the commission include:

  • Reducing the number of exceptions to the year-round lake season.
  • Eliminating mandatory steelhead retention.

WDFW staff withdrew a few proposals that had been put forth during the public review process.

This includes a change that would have allowed chumming statewide and another that would have eliminated a provision that requires anglers using bait to stop fishing for trout after landing the daily limit for that species, regardless of whether the fish are kept or released.

You can find a full recap of the weekend meetings at https://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings/2018/.

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