Deadline extended for comment on Columbia River fishin rules changes

The deadline to submit comment on proposed changes to fishing rules for the Columbia River Basin has been extended, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced recently.

WDFW will accept comments through Dec. 1, about two weeks longer than it previously planned. A meeting is planned for Dec. 12-13 in Olympia when written testimony can also be submitted.

According to its website, WDFW is recommending proposals that would:

Close all rivers, streams and beaver ponds in the Columbia River Basin to fishing unless otherwise stated in the rules pamphlet, and implement additional conservation measures to provide greater protection for juvenile anadromous fish.

Change open dates for most year-round lakes to March 1 through Oct. 31 for lakes in Asotin, Franklin, Kittitas, Yakima and Walla Walla counties.

Eliminate the retention of sturgeon on the Snake River and its tributaries. Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing would be maintained.

Adjust size and daily catch limits for kokanee in Cle Elum Lake, while removing daily limits for eastern brook, brown and lake trout.

Visit the WDFW website for more information on the 32 proposals under review. Action is expected to take place in January.