WDFW received a rulemaking petition in January 2022 asking WDFW to amend RCW 220-312-050 by opening fishing in a section of the Chelan River upstream from the Chelan PUD safety barrier to the lake. In February 2022, the Fish and Wildlife Commission voted on the petition and directed WDFW to commence rulemaking. This CR 102 carries out the Commission’s direction.
Background and summary of proposed changes
In 2015, fishing was closed in the upper Chelan River to facilitate a multi-year evaluation of resident game fish restoration efforts. Closing recreational fishing was deemed necessary and appropriate to eliminate the effect of angler harvest and/or catch-and-release mortality on resident game fish. Results from the evaluation show that populations of resident gamefish in the upper Chelan River are sufficiently abundant to support recreational fishing.
The upper reach of the Chelan River from the Chelan PUD powerhouse up to the Lake Chelan Dam (3.6-miles) is inaccessible by anadromous salmon and steelhead due to a 0.4-mile steep gorge area with several waterfalls (5-20 feet). This reach is currently closed to fishing under permanent WAC. If approved, the proposed change would open a previously closed section of Chelan River by allowing catch-and-release fishing only, using only barbless hooks with no bait. No anticipated effects are expected.
Rule Petition Decision
CR-102 Comment Period
The comment period closes on September 24, 2022.
Please note: All comments received by WDFW are part of the public record and will be available for public viewing - so please do not include private information in the text of your comments. Comments are subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act, RCW 42.56.