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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

February 13, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Three eastside rivers reopened for hatchery steelhead fishing

Fly7Some popular eastside steelhead fisheries reopened Thursday (Feb. 13) until further notice.

The Wenatchee River is open from the mouth to 400 feet below Tumwater Dam, including the Icicle River from the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam, and the Columbia River from Rock Island Dam upstream to 400 feet below Wells Dam.

Also whitefish fishing has reopened until further notice on the Wenatchee River from the mouth to the Highway 2 Bridge at Leavenworth.

State Fish and Wildlife has determined that wild steelhead encounters still remain under the Endangered Species Act threshold.

The openings will also cut down on the number of hatchery fish reaching and competing with wild fish on spawning grounds.

Anglers cannot release any hatchery-marked steelhead. The daily limit is two hatchery steelhead, and a 20-inch minimum size. Release all wild steelhead and do not remove them from the water before letting them go. There is a night closure and selective fishing gear rules.

Whitefish anglers must follow selective gear rules in areas open to steelhead fishing, and no bait is allowed.

Steelhead fishing between Wells and Chief Joseph Dams, and in the Methow, Okanogan, and Similkameen rivers will remain open until further notice.

A Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement is required as part of a valid fishing license.

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