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Mon., Nov. 28, 2011, 4:06 p.m.

Ferry County Commissioners steer clear of Kettle River bait fishing proposal

Paddlers on the Kettle River parallel an abandoned railway and tunnel proposed for a rail trail in Ferry County. Courtesy of Ferry County Rail Trail Partners (Courtesy of Ferry County Rail Trail Partners / The Spokesman-Review)
Paddlers on the Kettle River parallel an abandoned railway and tunnel proposed for a rail trail in Ferry County. Courtesy of Ferry County Rail Trail Partners (Courtesy of Ferry County Rail Trail Partners / The Spokesman-Review)

FISHERIES MANAGEMENT -- At a public meeting today, Ferry County Commissioners remained neutral on a proposal to repeal selective gear fishing regulations and allow bait fishing and barbed hooks in a portion of the Kettle River.

The proposal, which stems from the Kettle River Advisory Board, has stirred considerable opposition from anglers and groups who say the restrictions have allowed native trout population to grow in size and numbers despite the river's habitat limitations.

The county commissioners apparently are hearing the public concerns and the consensus that bait fishing would quickly erase gains the fishery has made under selective gear rules that restrict anglers to using artificial flies or lures with single barbless hooks.

Ultimately the decision will be made by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, which will discuss new fishing regulations proposals this week in Olympia and vote on the proposals in January or February.

For background on this important fisheries management issue, check out my Thursday outdoors column.

The Fish and Wildlife Department wants to hear your opinion on this and other proposals to be considered for the 2012-14 Washington Sportfishing Regulations pamphlets. Comments are due by Dec. 30

See all the details and proposals on the WDFW 2012 fishing proposals web page.

Send your comments on any of the proposals to: Sportfishing.Rules@dfw.wa.gov




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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