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Fri., Feb. 15, 2013, 10:14 a.m.

Wind River salmon-steelhead fishing changes detailed

FISHING -- Rule changes for salmon and steelhead fishing, including a two-week late-March closure, will take effect next month on the Wind River, a popular Columbia River fishery. 

Click "continue reading" for the details posted today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Action: Daily limit reduced from two to one fish. Lower river season delayed two weeks (April 1 opener) and two poles will not be allowed. The upper river will remain closed.

Species affected: Chinook and steelhead

Effective date and locations:

Effective March 16 through March 31, 2013 the entire river will be closed to fishing.

From April 1 through July 31, 2013 the daily limit will be 1 hatchery chinook or 1 hatchery steelhead from the mouth (boundary line/markers) upstream to 400 feet below Shipherd Falls. Wild chinook and wild steelhead must be released.

Until further notice, the Wind River will remain closed to all fishing from 400 feet below Shipherd Falls upstream, including all tributaries.

Other information: From the mouth to 400 feet below Shipherd Falls, night closures will be in effect from April 1 through June 30. In addition, the anti-snagging rule will be in effect from the Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge upstream from May 1 through June 30. Only fish hooked inside the mouth may be retained.

The two-pole rule has been rescinded in May and June. Also rescinded for the spring chinook fishery is the regulation that allows for the most liberal daily limit between the adjacent mainstem Columbia River or Wind River when both areas are open concurrently for salmon.

The 2012 expanded fishing area at the mouth will be used as the lower boundary for this year's fishery. Results from last year's monitoring using Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement fees showed no significant increased impacts on federally protected spring chinook bound for the upper Columbia and Snake rivers. Intensive monitoring is expected to occur again in 2013.

Reason for action: Spring chinook returns to the Wind River are projected to be below average in 2013. The expected returns are needed to provide for the hatchery escapement goals and do not provide sufficient numbers of fish for a full season fishery. The sport fishery catch and the returns to the Carson National Fish Hatchery will be monitored weekly to assess the strength of the returns.

Information contact: (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.

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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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