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Washington - Commission Takes Steps To Protect Wild Redband Trout In Lake Roosevelt

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission today took action to further protect redband rainbow trout at Lake Roosevelt, a Columbia River reservoir in northeast Washington.

The commission voted to change the daily catch limit on trout at Lake Roosevelt and extend a closure in a section of the Sanpoil River during a trout spawning period. Redband trout are a subspecies of rainbow trout found in the Columbia River and its tributaries.

The modifications were approved during a conference call held by the commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The changes do not take effect until later this year. Anglers should check the department's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/ for details in December.

Previously, anglers fishing Lake Roosevelt could keep five trout (hatchery or wild) per day, including two fish 20 inches or larger in size.

The commission voted to keep the five-trout daily limit at Lake Roosevelt in the area from Grand Coulee Dam to the Little Dalles power line crossing, but anglers fishing there will be allowed to retain only hatchery trout (adipose-fin-clipped trout). Anglers fishing that area will be required to release all wild trout.

In addition, anglers fishing from the Little Dalles power line crossing to the Canadian Border will have a daily limit of two trout (hatchery or wild fish) that are 18 inches or larger.

Commissioners also voted to extend the closure of the Sanpoil River arm of the reservoir, where redband rainbow trout stage to make their upriver spawning run. The arm will open to fishing June 1, two months later than the area has typically opened.

In other action, the commission voted to re-open fishing in tributaries in upper Lake Roosevelt, including Big Sheep and Deep creeks. Beginning next year, those streams will be open the Saturday before Memorial Day through Oct. 31. They were unintentionally closed during the Columbia Basin stream strategy rule making process in 2014.


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