FISHING -- Proposed changes to fishing rules for the Columbia River Basin are open to written public comment through Dec. 1 in an extension announced by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
- Closing all rivers, streams and beaver ponds in the Columbia River Basin to fishing unless otherwise stated in the rules pamphlet, and implement additional conservation measures to provide greater protection for juvenile anadromous fish.
- Changing open dates for most year-round lakes to March 1 through Oct. 31 for lakes in Asotin, Franklin, Kittitas, Yakima and Walla Walla counties.
- Eliminating the retention of sturgeon on the Snake River and its tributaries. Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing would be maintained.
- Modifying the definition of "Fly Fishing only" waters to include the lines used in Tenkara fly fishing gear.
- Changing walleye statewide rules to a minimum size of 12 inches and a daily limit of 8 fish.
- Eliminating chumming rules on Lake Rufus Woods.
- Changing catch-and-release steelhead fishing rules in southeastern Washington streams, including the Grande Ronde, to require more hatchery steelhead to be kept.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposals at its Dec. 12-13 meeting in Olympia.
The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, is scheduled to take action on the proposed rule changes in a January meeting.
Fisheries managers have recommended 32 of the proposals submitted by the public and staff in May move forward for additional review.
A department webpage has more information about the proposals as well as those not recommended for further consideration.