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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off I hope this posts. Forum is looking a little weird right now! Some rivers don't specifically state, "up to 2 hatchery STEELHEAD can be retained". Then rules and regs. say trout up to 14" can be kept. I know steelhead fall under the trout definition. I also understand that your not to keep wild steelhead, unless otherwise stated. (Which I wouldn't that's my own personal opinion and a whole different topic) Anyway I know there are hatchery steelhead in these waters and it just confuses me as to why this is stated like this??? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Mark
 

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My thoughts on this (& I may certainly be off base) are;
You shouldn't necessarily 'target' steelies in rivers not having (planted)runs (i.e. the rivers that 'don't list steelhead retention' in the special regs.
but, that said,
you can retain (stray) hatchery steelies even in those rivers not having planted 'runs' (you'll see the 'catch record code' list we use to record what river we caught them in doesn't mirror the list of rivers (in the special regs) that 'call out' salmon or steelie retention. For example....say you catch a hatchery steelie in klaloch creek (haven't fished it for years but for all I know it may still have some nate's in it-fish that, from WDFW perspective, we shouldn't target) but if you are there, trout fishing....say for cutties.....and you happen upon a Bogey or Salmon R. hatchery stray steelie(as the pamphlet definition of 'trout' does include steelhead)you can (I'd say 'should') take it & youv'e got a river code to record it with.
my $.02
 

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tahuyamg said:
First off I hope this posts. Forum is looking a little weird right now! Some rivers don't specifically state, "up to 2 hatchery STEELHEAD can be retained". Then rules and regs. say trout up to 14" can be kept. I know steelhead fall under the trout definition. I also understand that your not to keep wild steelhead, unless otherwise stated. (Which I wouldn't that's my own personal opinion and a whole different topic) Anyway I know there are hatchery steelhead in these waters and it just confuses me as to why this is stated like this??? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Mark
I think you mean "Trout min. size 14 inches" which is what is indicated in many rivers, and not "trout up to 14 inches". Under the "Trout min. size 14 inches", hatchery steelhead become fair game since "steelhead" are defined as "trout over 20 inches". Tokul Creek in King Co. is an example. Most of the fish caught and retained there are hatchery steelhead, and the regs for Tokul has no specific language about "only two hatchery steelhead may be kept" but it does have the ""Trout min. size 14 inches" language.

Symbiosis: Kalaloch Creek also has the "Trout min. size 14 inches", and so you can fish for and retain hatchery steelhead there (whether they are planted or stray) and be completely legal
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes I worded it wrong I ment Trout over 14"
 

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Ive asked this before on a related thread and never got an answer. I know many small S river tribs that get annual smolt plants and produce steelhead. The steelhead return to spawn and their spawn return unclipped. its not excactly a native because we put them their and theyre a different strain of steelhead that typically return earlier than the native natives. The streams close on the 29th of february to let the natives spawn. ive heard opinions that a trout is a trout is a trout, and also that anything with an adipose deserves a break. Any one know whether or not its legal for sure?
 

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Yonder said:
Ive asked this before on a related thread and never got an answer. I know many small S river tribs that get annual smolt plants and produce steelhead. The steelhead return to spawn and their spawn return unclipped. its not excactly a native because we put them their and theyre a different strain of steelhead that typically return earlier than the native natives. The streams close on the 29th of february to let the natives spawn. ive heard opinions that a trout is a trout is a trout, and also that anything with an adipose deserves a break. Any one know whether or not its legal for sure?
The unclipped hatchery fish that return to spawn assume the status of wild fish and receive the same benefits as the true natives do :lol:
 
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