Methow River to re-open for steelhead, whitefish;
portions of Okanogan River to close for steelheading
Actions: Open the Methow River on March 1, 2013 to fishing for steelhead and whitefish. Close two sections of the Okanogan River to fishing for steelhead on March 17, 2013.
Species affected: Steelhead and whitefish.
Fishing area locations and effective dates:
Areas that will open to fishing for steelhead and whitefish one hour before sunrise on March 1, 2013 until further notice:
Area that will close to fishing for steelhead one hour after sunset on March 17, 2013:
Reason for action: Recent analysis of the steelhead fishery in the upper Columbia River revealed additional natural origin steelhead impacts remain under current NOAA permit. Re-opening steelhead fisheries in the Methow River will help to reduce the proportion of hatchery fish on the spawning grounds and further reduce competition between natural origin and hatchery juvenile production. Sections of the Okanogan River around the mouth of Omak and Tonasket Creeks will be closed to protect natural origin steelhead staging prior to spawning within those tributaries.
Areas that will continue to be OPEN for steelhead angling until further notice include:
Areas that will continue to be CLOSED for steelhead and/or whitefish angling until further notice include:
GENERAL RULES for all locations open to steelhead fishing:
Remaining additional natural origin steelhead impacts for fisheries in the Methow River are limited, and this and other steelhead fisheries may be closed on short notice depending on participation and catch rates of natural origin fish. Anglers are advised to check daily the fishing hotline at 360-902-2500 or the webpage at WDFW -- Washington State Sport Fishing Rules https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/rules_all_freshwater.
Anglers are required to possess a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement as part of their valid fishing license.
Information contacts: Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager (Ephrata), (509) 754-4624, Bob Jateff, District 6 Fish Biologist (Methow, Okanogan), (509) 997-0316, Travis Maitland, District 7 Fish Biologist (Wenatchee, Entiat), (509) 665-3337.