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Reports > 2008 > December > Monday 15
Monday, December 15, 2008
By Dave Graybill
Anglers that have been holding out hope for a steelhead season on the Wenatchee River will be disappointed to learn that it appears not enough fish have returned to allow for a season this year. WDFW Chelan district fish biologist Art Viola reports that insufficient numbers of wild steelhead have entered the Wenatchee River to date to meet the requirements of the NOAA Fisheries permit to open a fishing season this year. “Unfortunately it doesn’t look like we are going to be able to open a steelhead fishery on the Wenatchee this year”, said Viola. On the bright side, Viola reported that angler has been good on the Columbia River from Rocky Reach Dam to Wells Dam. “We estimate that 1,397 anglers fished 5,759 hours and caught 445 steelhead during November,” he said. “That’s a catch rate of about 12 ½ hours per fish. Water temperatures are lowering but fishing should be good until later in December.” One of the reasons that fishing is good above Rocky Reach is that over 70 percent of the fish raised for the Wenatchee River are passing by the stream and heading over the dam. Work is in progress to correct this problem and get more steelhead returning to the Wenatchee in a couple of years.