Anglers must release hole punch-marked steelhead in Upper Columb - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Anglers must release hole punch-marked steelhead in Upper Columbia River fisheries

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TRI-CITIES, WA - From October 1st through December 6th, anglers are required to release hatchery steelhead that have a 1/4-inch diameter hole punched in the upper lobe of the caudal tail fin.

This action is enforced in the Columbia River from the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco to the old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers.

Reason for action:  Wild and hatchery steelhead are sedated in a chemical anesthetic, MS-222, during sampling at Priest Rapids Dam. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires a 21-day withdrawal period before human consumption of fish anesthetized in MS-222. 

WDFW staff are applying the ¼-inch diameter hole punched in the upper lobe of the tail of sampled hatchery fish so that fishermen can visually identify fish that must be released. Hatchery steelhead marked and released at Priest Rapids Dam may be caught in the Ringold-area fishery downstream because of “fall back” below the dam.