Thanks to a broad coalition of local anglers and guides, wild steelhead on the Humptulips River regained important protections this year when Selective Gear Rules were reinstated for the month of March. Starting this Spring, bait will once again be prohibited and anglers will be required to use unscented artificial lures or flies with a single-point, barbless hook if they are fishing between the Highway 101 Bridge, on the main stem, and the mouth of Donkey Creek on the West Fork.
Similar regulations had been in place for many years, but had been lost when Washington simplified fishing regulations the previous year. Anglers and guides recognized that the Selective Gear Rules were an effort to decrease wild steelhead mortality on adults and juveniles during the last month of the spring season when the fish were near the start of spawning. They wanted those protections to remain in place.
The Wild Steelhead Coalition was proud to work alongside the local groups who led this effort and were working to protect wild steelhead populations in their local watershed. Congratulations are due to the members and leadership of the Grays Harbor Sportfishing Coalition, the Northwest Olympic Peninsula Sportfishing Coalition, the Olympic Peninsula Guide Association and the Washington Chapter of the Northwest Guides & Anglers Association. Thanks to all of you for your hard work on this issue.