FISHING -- Washington salmon and steelhead fishermen will not be required to use barbless hooks in the Columbia River beginning Jan. 1, according to the Vancouver Columbian.
Phil Anderson, state fish and wildlife director, said Friday he will issue an emergency rule rescinding the barbless hook regulation scheduled to debut in 2011 to avoid Washington and Oregon having conflicting rules, reported Alan Thomas.
In February, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted a package of sport-fishing regulations that included requiring barbless hooks for salmon and steelhead starting in January between the ocean and McNary Dam.
Anderson said the hope was Oregon would adopt a matching rule. Barbless hooks make the release of wild fish easier and are believed to improve fish survival from handling.
But the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission in August adopted 2011 regulations without the barbless hook rule.
For now, Anderson said, "We're going to encourage all anglers to use barbless hooks even though we don't have a regulation, as well as other means of improving release mortality (like) using knotless nets,'' he said.