OP Steelhead Angler’s Season Discussion

by Ravae O’Leary

On October 26 at 6 p.m., the Olympic Peninsula Guides’ Association and the City of Forks hosted a discussion for anglers on OP Steelhead. There were 20 in attendance at the Forks City Hall and 9 attending remotely. Upon a quick survey of the room, many of those in attendance hadn’t tuned into the WDFW town hall the night before, so the first part of the meeting was spent with Bob Kratzer updating the group with information from WDFW’s Town Hall.

The group then had in depth conversations on Emergency Regulations. A summary of suggestions and subsequent tally of support is below:

• Allow Boat fishing (7)

• Allow Bait through December or possible January 15 (6)

• Quillayute: Hatchery down on Sol Duc fishing from a boat. Calawah: 101 down fishing from a boat. Bogachiel: Mill creek down fishing from a boat. Allow 2 weeks into April on the Sol Duc. Hoh: Upper River (Oxbow down) Dec-Feb boat fishing. Mar no fishing from floating device. (2)

• Use of barbs & triple hooks during hatchery season (2)

• Open through the first two weeks of April (2)

• Potentially trade by closing above the Hatchery on Sol Duc after March 1

• Or potential trade by giving up 2 weeks of the early season

• Dec-Feb regulation book fishery (1)

• No fishing one day of the week (Wednesday) (1)

• Using the CSAG Plans to get at uncertainty (1)

We also talked about ideas for evaluating no fishing out of boat regulation. Some ideas included:

• Rotate weeks on the Hoh upper river vs. lower river fishing from a boat and not. With heavy creel. (WDFW suggested)

• Guides tally up time and days in and out of boats what catch rates are.

• Create a statistically valid study with ability to control variables more than relying on creeling/individual anglers.

• Actively enforce and get baseline.

This is a summary of the discussion that was also sent on to WDFW. It is also important to send on your thoughts on to WDFW directly through the input box on this website (part way down the webpage): https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/management/steelhead/coastal