OLYMPIA, WA—At its mid-Dec. meeting, Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will explore regulations that would require steelheaders to bonk all hatchery steelhead caught on the Klickitat, Walla Walla, Snake, and Grand Ronde rivers.
The proposed rule expansion is designed to reduce the negative impact hatchery steelhead have on local populations of wild steelhead—i.e. diluting gene pools—if they’re allowed to spawn with wild fish.
“…the rule does this by requiring people to harvest hatchery origin fish,” said John Whelan, eastern regional fish program manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “We have good steelhead fishing in this area,” he added, “but we don’t want hatchery steelhead moving into areas to spawn where we don’t want them.”
View and comment on all WDFW’s proposed reg changes for the 2015-16 fishing season: here.