Out and About: Freshwater fish rules in spotlight

By Terry Otto, Columbian staff writer

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State fishery managers are inviting the public to comment on proposals to simplify recreational fishing rules for Washington rivers, streams and lakes.

Proposals are based upon general policies for freshwater species — including trout, steelhead, bass, walleye, panfish, sturgeon, and shad — that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) put forth for public review in September.

For instance, WDFW has proposed assigning most lakes, ponds and reservoirs to one of six standard seasons rather than setting a custom season for each water body. Also, the department has proposed allowing separate daily limits for trout and steelhead rather than one combined limit.

The proposed rules, listed by geographical area, are available on WDFW’s website.

The public will also have the opportunity to comment on the proposals during the Dec. 8-9 meeting of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in Olympia. The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, is scheduled to take action on the proposals during its January 2018 meeting.

“We know our regulations are complex and can be difficult to follow,” Burley said. “This is the first step toward making fishing rules easier to understand.”

Fish Black Friday for big rainbow trout

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is offering anglers opportunities for tight lines rather than long lines on the day after Thanksgiving.

The “holiday specials” include thousands of large trout averaging 15 to 16 inches in length and weighing up to three pounds.

The department is currently preparing to stock lakes in time for Black Friday, Nov. 24.

“This is a great reason to avoid the holiday shopping stress just a little longer and enjoy a fun day on the water with family and friends,” said Steve Thiesfeld, WDFW inland fish program manager.

Some of the lakes scheduled to receive fish before Black Friday include:

• Battle Ground Lake and Klineline Pond in Clark County

• Kress Lake in Cowlitz County

• Fort Borst Park Pond and South Lewis County Park Pond in Lewis County

• American and Tanwax lakes in Pierce County

• Rowland Lake in Klickitat County

• Black, Long, and Offutt lakes in Thurston County

• Elton Pond North in Yakima County

Many of those lakes will be closed to fishing the Monday before Thanksgiving Day until Thanksgiving Day to facilitate stocking efforts.

Vancouver fly fishing legend, author dies

John H. Lindsey, Jr., current International Game Fish Association (IGFA) world record holder and author, passed away November 2, 2017 at his Vancouver home. He is known for catching “Rosie,” his world record 14.14 lb. largemouth bass caught on a fly rod with a 6 lb. tippet, in Lake Meredith, Texas in 2000.

Lindsey pursued a lifelong passion for fly fishing and fly tying, fishing water bodies from Florida to Alaska. As a child he was taught to fish in the Arkansas’ Ozarks by his father and mother, who were both fishing derby winners. In his teenage years Lindsey sold hand-made flies and popping bugs to finance his college education. He actually caught Rosie with a popping bug he’d originated in 1955.

In 2016 he realized a long-held dream when he published “Big Bass Fly Fishing on Topwater: A Field Guide,” the only instructional book written by an IGFA world record holder.

Oregon, Washington seek candidates for citizen advisory boards

Fishery managers in Oregon and Washington are seeking candidates to fill positions on advisory committees that provide guidance on sport and commercial fishing issues on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The term is for three years from 2018-2020.

The two states’ fish and wildlife departments will accept nominations to their joint advisory groups on Columbia River sport and commercial fisheries through Thursday, Nov. 30. The two groups meet two to four times per year to assist with developing recommendations for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon and smelt fisheries.

“Advisory group members provide an important voice for the fishing public,” said Tucker Jones, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Program Manager for Ocean Salmon and Columbia River Fisheries. “We’re looking for candidates who are interested in filling that role.”

“Up to 20 candidates (combined) from Oregon and Washington will be chosen for each advisory group, which together represent most aspects of the fishing industry in Columbia River,” Jones said.

Any group or individual may submit a nomination. Nominations for new advisors should include the following information: A resume with contact information and a statement that describes the nominee’s fishing experience, interest in serving on the committee and ability to communicate with regional constituents. Current members may re-apply by contacting staff and expressing interest in serving an additional term.

Nominations can be submitted by mail to John North, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, 17330 SE Clackamas, OR 97015, by FAX at (971) 673-6072, or by email to john.a.north@state.or.us.

For more information, please contact John North at 971-673-6029, Tucker Jones at 971-673-6067, or visit ODFW’s Columbia River Fisheries Management page on-line.