Opinion Columns & Blogs

Steelheading to open in selected North Central Washington streams

Portions of three North Central Washington streams plus three reservoirs on the upper Columbia River will open to fishing for steelhead Wednesday, Oct. 16.

The streams include the:

  • Methow from its mouth upstream the the Chewuch River at Winthrop.
  • Wenatchee from its mouth upstream to the Icicle River Road bridge and the Icicle River up to within 500 feet of the federal hatchery dam.
  • Okanogan from its mouth upstream to the Highway 97 bridge at Oroville.

The mainstem Columbia opens from Rock Island Dam upstream to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam.

In all open reaches, the night closure and selective gear rules apply, except that on the Columbia bait is allowed.

Also motorized vessels are not allowed on the Wenatchee and fishing afloat in the Methow from the second power crossing and the first Highway 153 bridge is banned.

Anglers must release all unmarked steelhead and keep the first two hatchery or fin-clipped fish they bring to hand then stop fishing.

Managers warn that because of the hatchery and wild fish make-up of this year's run, these fisheries could close at any time.

The Columbia from Rock Island downstream to Pasco will remain closed to steelheading. Also all persons fishing Columbia basin major streams must have a Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement which helps fund monitoring required under the federal ESA permit for this fishery.