Thursday, March 6, 2014/lk
OKANOGAN Steelhead fishing closes on two sections of the Okanogan River one hour before official sunrise Friday.
The affected sections include the river from the first power line crossing downstream of the state Highway 155 Bridge in Omak (Coulee Dam Credit Union Building) to the mouth of Omak Creek.
The other section is from the Tonasket Bridge (4th Street) downstream to the Tonasket Lagoons Park boat launch.
The early closures are for around the mouth of Omak and Tonasket Creeks to protect natural origin steelhead staging prior to spawning within those tributaries.
All other areas currently open to steelhead fishing on the Columbia, Okanogan, Methow, Wenatchee, and Similkameen rivers remain open.
General rules in areas open to steelhead fishing still apply: mandatory retention of adipose-fin-clipped steelhead, daily limit two (2) hatchery steelhead, 20 inch minimum size. Hatchery steelhead are identified by a missing adipose fin with a healed scar in its location.
Adipose present steelhead must be released unharmed and cannot be removed from the water prior to release.
Night closure and selective gear rules remain in effect.
Whitefish anglers must follow selective gear rules in areas open to steelhead fishing. No bait is allowed.
Anglers are required to possess a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement as part of their valid fishing license. Check the fishing hotline at 360-902-2500 or the webpage at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/rules_all_freshwater.j.