WSR 02-21-059




[ Filed October 15, 2002, 11:41 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 02-18-107.

Title of Rule: Personal use fishing rules.

Purpose: Amend steelhead possession limits.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.047.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 77.12.047.

Summary: Eliminate annual possession limit for hatchery steelhead. Continue five wild fish annual possession and modify catch record card requirements.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: This will allow utilization of excess hatchery steelhead. By reducing the number of hatchery steelhead, it increases the wild fish to hatchery fish ratio, providing opportunity for recovery.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Evan Jacoby, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, (360) 902-2930; Implementation: Lew Atkins, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, (360) 902-2651; and Enforcement: Bruce Bjork, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, (360) 902-2373.

Name of Proponent: Department of Fish and Wildlife, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Currently there is a thirty fish annual limit for steelhead, of which not more than five fish may be wild steelhead. This proposal does away with the annual limit for steelhead, while continuing the wild steelhead limit. This will allow increased harvest of hatchery steelhead in waters where such fish are abundant. Utilization of these hatchery fish will result in a higher ratio of wild fish to hatchery fish. This allows for increased spawning by wild and hatchery wild cross fish. The catch record card requirements are being changed such that a person who wants to retain a wild fish must also have all catch record cards issued to that person for the year. This will provide for an enforcement mechanism for the five wild fish annual limit.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Steelhead limit and catch record card requirements.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule affects recreational fishers, not small businesses.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. Not hydraulics rules.

Hearing Location: Skagit County P.U.D., 1415 Freeway Drive, Mount Vernon, WA, on December 6-7, 2002, at 8:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Nancy Burkhart by November 22, 2002, TDD (360) 902-2207 or (360) 902-2449.

Submit Written Comments to: Evan Jacoby, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091, fax (360) 902-2930, by November 27, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: December 6, 2002.

October 15, 2002

Evan Jacoby

Rules Coordinator


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 01-24, filed 3/5/01, effective 5/1/01)

WAC 220-56-175   Catch record cards.   It is unlawful for any person to fail to comply with the catch record requirements as provided for in this section:

(1) In order to fish for or possess for personal use any crab, anadromous salmon, sturgeon, halibut taken from Catch Record Card Areas 5 through 13, or steelhead, an angler must obtain and have in personal possession a valid appropriate catch record card as described in WAC 220-69-236 except for commercially caught salmon retained for personal use as provided for in WAC 220-20-016 and commercially caught sturgeon retained for personal use as provided for in WAC 220-20-021.

(2) Any angler, after obtaining a catch record card shall validate the catch record card by completely, accurately, and legibly completing all personal identification information in ink on the catch record card prior to detaching the catch record card from the underlying copy of the catch record card or, for automated licenses, affixing the appropriate validation sticker to the catch record card. A catch record card remains valid so long as there are one or more unfilled spaces available for the species being fished for, except ((that)):

(a) In the mainstem Columbia River downstream from where the river forms the common boundary between Oregon and Washington for sturgeon a catch record card remains valid when the sturgeon portion of the catch record card is filled. A person may not retain sturgeon after the sturgeon portion of the catch record card is filled.

(b) A second or subsequent catch record card is invalid for retention of sturgeon.

(c) A second or subsequent catch record card is valid for retention of wild steelhead only if the angler in the field is in possession of all prior catch record cards issued to that angler for the licensing year in which the steelhead is retained.

(3) Immediately upon catching and possessing a salmon, steelhead, sturgeon or halibut, the angler shall enter in ink in the appropriate space the place, date of catch, species (catch type), for sturgeon, length and, for halibut, vessel type.

(4) Immediately upon retaining a Dungeness crab aboard a vessel or on the shore, the fisher must enter in ink in the appropriate space the place and date of catch, fishery type and enter a tally mark for each Dungeness crab retained from each catch record card area fished. At the end of the fishing day, the fisher shall enter the total number of crab tally marks for each fishery type.

(5) Every person possessing a catch record card shall by April 30 of the year following the year printed on the card return such card to the department of fish and wildlife.

(6) Any person possessing a catch record card shall, upon demand of any law enforcement officer or authorized department employee, exhibit said card to such officer or employee for inspection.

(7) A catch record card shall not be transferred, borrowed, altered, or loaned to another person.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047. 01-06-036 (Order 01-24), 220-56-175, filed 3/5/01, effective 5/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.32.050. 00-11-178 (Order 00-80), 220-56-175, filed 5/24/00, effective 6/24/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080, 77.12.040. 00-08-038 (Order 00-29), 220-56-175, filed 3/29/00, effective 5/1/00; 99-17-066 (Order 99-125), 220-56-175, filed 8/13/99, effective 4/1/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080. 91-08-054 (Order 91-13), 220-56-175, filed 4/2/91, effective 5/3/91; 90-06-026, 220-56-175, filed 2/28/90, effective 3/31/90; 89-07-071 (Order 89-05), 220-56-175, filed 3/20/89; 88-05-002 (Order 88-03), 220-56-175, filed 2/4/88; 85-11-020 (Order 85-43), 220-56-175, filed 5/10/85; 80-03-064 (Order 80-12), 220-56-175, filed 2/27/80, effective 4/1/80. Formerly WAC 220-56-023.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 02-53, filed 3/29/02, effective 5/1/02)

WAC 232-12-619   Permanent Washington statewide game fish rules.   The following statewide rules apply to all waters unless modified under regional regulation exceptions.

(1) Fishing seasons open at 12:01 a.m. on the first day and close at 11:59 p.m. on the last day and fishing is allowed 24 hours per day.

(2) It is unlawful to:

(a) Use a gaff hook to land game fish.

(b) Take bullfrogs except by angling, hand dip netting, spearing (gigging) or with bow and arrow.

(c) Feed or use any substance to attract game fish unless specifically authorized by special regulations.

(d) Fish for game fish with a bow and arrow or spear.

(e) Possess fish which are under the minimum size or over the maximum size as shown in general or exceptions to state-wide rules.

(3) Seasonal steelhead limit: Each angler who possesses a valid steelhead catch record card may not retain more than ((thirty)) five wild steelhead April 1st through the following March 31st ((of which no more than five may be wild steelhead)) taken from waters in which wild steelhead retention is allowed.

(4) Military personnel, regardless of the length of time in the state of Washington, who are permanently stationed at a military installation within the state, are entitled to purchase a resident license. Military personnel must have a license to fish for game fish anywhere in the state. Dependents must establish a ninety-day residency.

(5) Wild cutthroat release: In waters requiring a wild cutthroat release, it is unlawful to possess any cutthroat that does not have a missing adipose fin and a healed scar in the location of the missing fin.

(6) Wild steelhead release: In waters requiring wild steelhead release, it is unlawful to possess any steelhead trout that does not have a missing adipose or ventral fin and a healed scar at the location of the missing fin.

(7) Free fishing weekend: The Saturday and Sunday following the first Monday in June is declared as free fishing weekend in Washington. On this weekend a fishing license is not required for any person, regardless of residency or age, to fish for or possess game fish and a fish and wildlife lands vehicle use permit is not required to utilize department parking facilities, except that it is unlawful to fish for or possess steelhead trout without the required catch record card. During free fishing weekend only the licensing requirement is affected, and all other rules remain in effect.

(8) Trout taken with bait: When fishing with bait, all trout equal to or greater than the minimum size are counted as part of the daily limit, whether kept or released, except steelhead trout may be caught and released while using bait until the daily limit is retained.

(9) Fish taken with artificial flies and lures: Where use of bait is prohibited, or where artificial flies or lures are used voluntarily, fish may be released until the daily limit is retained. If any fish has swallowed the hook or is hooked in the gill, eye or tongue, it should be kept if legal to do so.

(10) Burbot taken with set line: Where use of a set line is allowed for burbot, a single set line identified with the fisher's name and address and a maximum of five hooks may be used.

(11) Rainbow trout taken from landlocked lakes: Rainbow trout taken from landlocked lakes shall not be considered steelhead and no catch record card is required.




YEAR AROUND, unless specified otherwise under exceptions to statewide rules.


JUNE 1 THROUGH OCTOBER 31, unless specified otherwise under exceptions to statewide rules.
Note: The date set for "traditional" April openers for Lakes, Ponds, and Reservoirs for this year and future years is the last Saturday in April.

(13) Daily limits and minimum sizes:





BASS Five - release bass greater than twelve but less than seventeen inches in length, only one over seventeen inches may be retained

Bass may be caught, retained, and released alive from a livewell until a daily limit is in possession.

GRASS CARP.... It is unlawful to fish for or retain grass carp.

(except Eastern Brook trout)

A total of five trout, of which no more than two may be from Rivers, Streams, and Beaver Ponds.
None in Lakes, Ponds, and Reservoirs.
No more than two of the trout daily catch limit of 5 may be Steelhead.
Eight inches in Rivers, Streams, and Beaver Ponds.



Five - to be considered part of the trout daily catch limit.


Five. None.

(a) The following game fish species are managed as trout:

Eastern brook trout

Brown trout

Cutthroat trout

Dolly Varden/Bull trout

Golden trout


Kokanee/Silver trout

Lake trout

Landlocked Atlantic salmon

Rainbow trout/Steelhead

Landlocked chinook and coho

(b) Wild steelhead release is required year-round except as provided in exceptions to statewide rules.

(c) All waters, statewide, are CLOSED YEAR AROUND to fishing for or retaining Dolly Varden/Bull Trout.

Where exceptions to the above closure for Dolly Varden/Bull Trout occur under individual listings in the exceptions to state-wide rules, Dolly Varden/Bull Trout count as part of the combined trout daily limit of five.

WALLEYE Five, not more than one over twenty-two inches Sixteen inches
Walleye may be caught, retained, and released alive from a livewell until a daily limit is in possession.
WHITEFISH Fifteen None


No Limit None


(14) Daily wild steelhead limit: It is unlawful for any person to retain more than one wild steelhead per day from those waters in which wild steelhead retention is allowed.

(15) Possession limit. Except as otherwise provided, the possession limit is two daily limits in fresh, frozen or processed form.

(16) Marine waters rules: These rules apply to all marine waters contained within the boundaries of Washington state, within Puget Sound, Hood Canal, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the San Juan Islands, the Straight of Georgia, and the Pacific Ocean, including estuaries (river mouths) from salt water upstream to a line between the outermost headlands measured at the highest high tide (usually the debris line furthest inshore on surrounding beaches), unless otherwise described under area regulations (see individual areas, below):

(a) Fishing hours: Twenty-four hours per day year around except those waters of Area 10 west of the Lake Washington Ship Canal to a north-south line 175 feet west of the Burlington-Northern Railroad Bridge are closed waters.

(b) License requirements: A valid current Washington state department of fish and wildlife saltwater license, and, if appropriate, a sport catch record card, is required to fish for game fish including steelhead in marine waters. All steelhead taken from marine areas shall be entered on the catch record card using the words Marine Area and followed by the appropriate marine area code number.

(c) Gear restrictions: Angling gear only, and in those waters of Area 10 downstream of the First Avenue South Bridge to an east-west line through southwest Hanford Street on Harbor Island and parallel to southwest Spokane Street where it crosses Harbor Island, nonbuoyant lure restriction July 1 through November 30. In all areas, underwater spearfishing, spearing, gaffing, clubbing, netting, or trapping game fish is unlawful.

(d) All species: Release all fish except up to two hatchery steelhead may be retained per day.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.047. 02-08-048 (Order 02-53), 232-12-619, filed 3/29/02, effective 5/1/02. Statutory Authority: 2000 c 107 7. 00-16-091 (Order 00-134), 232-12-619, filed 7/31/00, effective 8/31/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080, 77.12.040. 00-08-038 (Order 00-29), 232-12-619, filed 3/29/00, effective 5/1/00; 99-15-081 (Order 99-102), 232-12-619, filed 7/20/99, effective 8/20/99; 99-08-029 (Order 99-13), 232-12-619, filed 3/30/99, effective 5/1/99. Statutory Authority: 1998 c 191 and RCW 75.08.080. 99-03-029 (Order 99-02), 232-12-619, filed 1/13/99, effective 2/13/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040 and 75.08.080. 98-06-031, 232-12-619, filed 2/26/98, effective 5/1/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 75.08.080 and 75.12.040. 97-18-035, 232-12-619, filed 8/27/97, effective 9/27/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040. 97-07-076 (Order 97-50), 232-12-619, filed 3/19/97, effective 5/1/97; 96-11-079 (Order 96-45), 232-12-619, filed 5/13/96, effective 6/13/96; 95-17-063 (Order 95-103), 232-12-619, filed 8/15/95, effective 9/15/95; 95-05-008 (Order 95-11), 232-12-619, filed 2/1/95, effective 5/1/95. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.04.055 and 77.12.040. 93-21-070 (Order 617), 232-12-619, filed 10/20/93, effective 4/16/94. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040. 93-10-054 (Order 600), 232-12-619, filed 4/30/93, effective 5/31/93. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.04.055 and 77.12.040. 92-01-084 (Order 524), 232-12-619, filed 12/16/91, effective 4/16/92.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office