OLYMPIA – Fisheries managers are seeking public comments through Oct. 17 on a state proposal to reinstate a year-round fishing season on the Colville River in northeast Washington.
To review and comment on the proposal, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/season-setting.
The public can also provide input at meeting scheduled at 6 p.m., Oct. 2, at the department’s eastern regional headquarters, 2315 North Discovery Place, Spokane Valley.
Under the proposal, the Colville River, from its mouth upstream to the bridge at the town of the Valley including Meyers Falls Reservoir, would be open year-round for fishing for gamefish. Statewide stream rules for minimum size and daily limit would apply. This stretch previously was open year-round but was changed in 2018 to opening a Saturday before Memorial Day through Oct. 31 season to better align with stream seasons statewide.
Anglers have asked the department to reinstate a year-round fishing season on this stretch of the river, noting the river is now closed during an optimal time for trout fishing in late winter and early spring, said Bill Baker, regional biologist with WDFW.
“In the late spring and summer, water conditions make for challenging fishing opportunities,” Baker said. “We don’t see a conservation issue with re-opening this section of river to fishing year-round.”
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission also will hear testimony on the proposal during its Oct. 18-19 meeting in Olympia. For the specific day and time, check the commission’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission.
The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, is expected to take action on the proposal at its meeting in December. If the commission approves this change, the rule will take effect in early 2020.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.