Sunday, December 13, 2015

Good News!

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Yesterday morning the storm on the coast cleared. At the Northwest Marine Center in Port Townsend the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted unanimously to approve recomended sportfishing rules for the Olympic Peninsula. These rules were brought forth by the ad hoc North Coast Steelhead Advisory Group, a group of Olympic Peninsula guides, steelheaders, scientists and conservationists.

Wild Steelheaders United and Trout Unlimited played a strong roll in getting these approved, so thank you. Hundreds of you sent in comments, four local chapters and more than 20 members of WSU came to the November commission meetings. Last week five TU chapters from across Washington, followed up with their local commissioner let them know we are together in the effort to protect wild steelhead. We were not the only voices. This was a great effort by wild steelhead advocates, both gear and fly anglers. In other words we were united.

To quote Commissioner Miranda Wecker, "The North Olympic Rivers represent our last remaining stable stocks of wild steelhead....I, for one, do not want to be part of running these stocks into the ground."


What this means
In the 2016/2017 season WDFW will:

1. End the harvest of wild steelhead and rainbow trout

2. Implement a barbless rule

3. Stop the use of bait to limit impact to juvenile steelhead, smolt and resident rainbow trout.

4. Implement a no fishing from a floating device on six miles of the Hoh River. This will help provide refuge for steelhead within heavily fished river sections.


Wild steelhead face many hurdles on their way to the spawning grounds. Limiting our impact as anglers is an important step to protecting these fish. It is also an important message to fisheries managers that we are united in our desire to see these fish flourish. Recovery should not have to happen after collapse and closure, but instead through smart management and habitat restoration.

Thank you,

Dwayne Meadows
PNW Outreach Coordinator
Trout Unlimited

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