Action: Anglers are required to release hatchery steelhead that have a ¼-inch diameter (round) hole punched in the upper lobe of the caudal (tail) fin
Effective dates: Oct. 1 through Dec. 6, 2016
Species affected: Hatchery steelhead
Location(s): Columbia River from the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco to the old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers (CRC 534, 535)
Reason for action: Wild and hatchery steelhead are sedated in a chemical anesthetic, MS-222, during sampling at Priest Rapids Dam. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires a 21-day withdrawal period before human consumption of fish anesthetized in MS-222. WDFW staff are applying the ¼-inch diameter hole punched in the upper lobe of the tail of sampled hatchery fish so that fishermen can visually identify fish that must be released. Hatchery steelhead marked and released at Priest Rapids Dam may be caught in the Ringold-area fishery downstream because of “fall back” below the dam.
All other current regulations apply to the fishery affected by this rule change.
Information contacts: John Easterbrooks, Region 3 Fish Program Manager, (509) 457-9330 (Yakima).