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Steelhead fishing

1571 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  SeaRanger21
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.
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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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