Clarification: regs not really that clear.......

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Spydeyrch

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Hey guys, I am thinking about hitting the Wilson this weekend with a few friends of mine. We are hoping to hit a few spots early in the morning. It will be the first time that I have fished the Wilson since I was 13 with my father and I really didn't fish it back then. I just went because my dad wanted someone to go with him.

Anywho, I have a general fishing license right now but not the steelhead/salmon license. If I were to go fishing on the wilson with the intent of only fishing for trout, what would happen if I caught a steelhead/salmon? I would obviously c&r it but would I be breaking any regs in that regard?

I realize that perhaps the hooks that I would be using for trout and the line weight would not be ideal for steelhead/salmon and therefore would make it harder to catch a steelhead/salmon, which would actually be in my favor (wouldn't need to worry about breaking regs, hehehehe), but in the off chance that we do catch one, I just want to make sure I know the regs well enough.

I read them online but they weren't very clear in this regard. I haven't called the offices yet but could do that.

My friends are a little cheap and so instead of covering the butts with paying $18 for a steelhead/salmon license for just in case, I need to make sure we wouldn't be breaking any regs.

Any thoughts, ideas?

I personally would be c&r all catches (trout, steelhead, salmon, etc.)

-Spydey
 
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everett464

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If you are fishing an light or an ultralight setup with small spinners, or bait, you are not going to get a ticket. If you start putting big slinky's and giant hooks loaded with roe out there on a big old ugly stik... you're probably risking some warden not giving you the benefit.
 
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Green_Tackle

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This is a tricky area. I cannot speak with any authority as I've always had the combined tag, however, this is how I understand it:

You would not need the combined or harvest tags if you are not going to be "angling for or taking" Salmon/Steelhead/Sturgeon/Halibut and it sounds like you are not going to be angling for those fish. However, it's fairly common to catch a steelhead when you are targeting trout in rivers and streams in which salmon/steelhead are found. You should make sure you are well prepared for releasing a steelhead or salmon. Page 33 of the regs has some tips. Trout are pretty easy to land with barbless hooks which is good to use because there are a lot of juvenile fish in the Wilson right now which we want to grow up big and strong. When I'm doing C&R on the Wilson, I de-barb my spinners so that I can release fish without handling or removing the fish from the water.
 
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Spydeyrch

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Thanks guys for the quick responses. I felt like it was a gray area. I personally am going to be purchasing a steelhead/salmon tag/license. I would love to land a nice steelie!!! Better safe than sorry, right.

@Green_Tackle -> I always de-barb them too. How do you go about de-barbing yours? I use a pair of needle-nose pliers and crimp the barb down until it doesn't exist anymore. What about you?

I will check out pg. 33 of the regs, I must have missed. it. Thanks again guys for the comments and @ everett464, thanks for the link. It helped to clarify things.

-Spydey
 
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Green_Tackle

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I always de-barb them too. How do you go about de-barbing yours? I use a pair of needle-nose pliers and crimp the barb down until it doesn't exist anymore. What about you?

Same. Bending them back with pliers works just fine for the smaller hooks. For the big really big hooks (Think off shore halibut, salmon, tuna, etc.) you can buy them de-barbed but for us fishing around our local rivers, bending the barbs is just fine.

As for page 33 in the regs, it's just the basics of C&R (don't fight the fish too long, keep the fish in the water, etc.)

Good luck landing your steelie!
 
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Spydeyrch

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Thanks for those tips Green_Tackle.

I had a few more questions. So like I previously said, I already have a Residential Annual Angling License. It was like $35 to purchase it online from the ODFW website.

I want to get a steelhead/salmon license and I see that ODFW calls it a 'Combined Angling Tag'. Yet I see two different types: Combined Angling Tag & Hatchery Harvest Tag. I am looking for some clarification regarding these two different tags and corrections if I am wrong. Primarily I am "speaking out-loud" trying to decipher the terms and regs. Thanks for your patience in advance. :)

-The CAT (Combined Angling Tag), if I understand it correctly, allows me to angle and keep Salmon, Steelhead, sturgeon, & pacific halibut (only interested in primarily steelies and maybe a little into salmon too) and it is good for a year, with a limit on the number of fish for that year.

-I don't have to have a Residential Annual Angling License to purchase a CAT.

-The HHT (Hatchery Harvest Tag) only allows me to keep adipose clipped steelies & salmon.

-So the CAT then allows me to only keep native fish (still have their adipose fin). Yet if I want the HHT, I also have to have the CAT.

-So if I want the HTT, I have to have the CAT, and so I can actually keep any of the steelies/salmon that I land. Granted they are within length, following zone and special regs applicable, etc. But concerning adipose clipped and non-adipose clipped, I would be covered.

-But how many hatchery fish does the HTT allow me to record/keep, per tag? It seems by the wording in the regs booklet that it is limited per HHT because it says: "No limit on the number of HTT an angler may purchase per year". So that makes me understand that I could fill a HHT to the max (let's just say 5 fish) and then purchase another one to catch another 5 and go on and on like that. Is this right?

-At the very least I need to have the CAT if I am going to be fishing for Steelies/Salmon ...... or if I am fishing for other fish (i.e. trout) but in Steelie/Salmon waters and there is a chance that I hook into a Steelie/Salmon (just to cover my butt, hehehe). If I happen to hook into a hatchery fish, I will c&r it because I wouldn't have a HTT.


PHEW!!!! That sure is a lot of questions/info. I hope they were clear. Thanks again guys for your input and help, I appreciate it. My friends are kind of looking up to me to make sure they are well educated for this trip we are taking this weekend and to be honest, I am not too well educated in the regs right now, hence the questions. :)

-Spydey

P.S. I guess that I could always just call the ODFW office and get the answers from them if needs be but I am at work right now and don't have that kind of time to call. :)
 
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everett464

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it is good for a year

It is good for a calendar year: Jan 1 - Dec 31. It is not prorated.

I don't have to have a Residential Annual Angling License to purchase a CAT

You will need the license to fish, a tag does not permit you to fish by itself, even for the listed species

So the CAT then allows me to only keep native fish (still have their adipose fin). Yet if I want the HHT, I also have to have the CAT.

The HHT is only for additional fish you catch over your tag. your CAT DOES allow you to keep clipped fish, where appropriate and legal as dictated by the fishery. To clarify: the HHT will not give you any additional privileges until you have maxed your tag. I would wait to buy one until you have filled your tag (good luck).

I could fill a HHT to the max (let's just say 5 fish) and then purchase another one to catch another 5 and go on and on like that. Is this right?

Yes.

f I happen to hook into a hatchery fish, I will c&r it because I wouldn't have a HTT.

Again, this would be unnecessary: see above.

I guess that I could always just call the ODFW office and get the answers from them if needs be but I am at work right now and don't have that kind of time to call

I think this is exactly the kind of thing OFF is for.

Everett
 
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Spydeyrch

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I kind of self answered one of my concerns. If I understand it correctly, I could record both native and hatchery fish on the CAT but I am still limited to 20 per year. If I don't want to record the hatchery fish on the CAT, that is where the HHT comes in, which allows me to save those spots on my CAT for natives. So, if I can purchase as many HHT per year as I want, does that mean that I am not limited to the number of hatchery fish per year that I could catch and keep?
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I know that this probably seems kind of bad, and I can see how it can be taken that way or read that way, but I honestly am just curious. I plan on and have always done c&r; except for once last weekend with a large mouth bass and when I go to privately stocked farms where it is not permissible. Other than that, I do c&r. I just want to make sure I understand the regs. :)

-Spydey
 
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everett464

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If I don't want to record the hatchery fish on the CAT, that is where the HHT comes in, which allows me to save those spots on my CAT for natives.

That is an interesting question; I don't know the answer, but it seems like a possibility.

Do you really see yourself taking 20 natives in the next four and a half months? I know it's possible, but I would probably just buy the CAT.
 
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Spydeyrch

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It is good for a calendar year: Jan 1 - Dec 31. It is not prorated.



You will need the license to fish, a tag does not permit you to fish by itself, even for the listed species



The HHT is only for additional fish you catch over your tag. your CAT DOES allow you to keep clipped fish, where appropriate and legal as dictated by the fishery. To clarify: the HHT will not give you any additional privileges until you have maxed your tag. I would wait to buy one until you have filled your tag (good luck).



Yes.



Again, this would be unnecessary: see above.



I think this is exactly the kind of thing OFF is for.

Everett

Hey thanks Evertt for the info. I was posting while I guess you posted. hehehe. Thanks again for the clarification. So to sum it up:

I need the annual angling license (which I already have), and the CAT. If I ever (which I never will) hit my max on the CATT then I could purchase a HTT which would allow me (pending regs specific to that zone) to catch and keep only hatchery fish above and beyond the CAT limit.

Thanks for the info. :)

-Spydey
 
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Spydeyrch

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That is an interesting question; I don't know the answer, but it seems like a possibility.

Do you really see yourself taking 20 natives in the next four and a half months? I know it's possible, but I would probably just buy the CAT.

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha, no actually I don't. hahahaha ;-) I barely see myself being able to catch one maybe two in the next four and a half months. But that would be something, hauling off 20 big fish, hahahaha. But out of curiosity I figured I would ask.

Thanks again for the explinations. Everything is very clear now.

I am just going to get a CAT as it will cover me for both native and hatchery fish (if I ever decide to keep one). :)

-Spydey
 
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Spydeyrch

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One last question about the regs ......

One last question about the regs ......

One other thing. Even if there is a limit to the number of fish permissible to keep per day, I can c&r as many as possible, is that correct? I had read that if I catch (and I assume keep) 2 salmon/steelhead then I can no longer angle for trout & jack salmon. But I was wondering if that just meant angle and keep trout/jack salmon or if it meant absolutely no angling (no line in the water) eve if c&r. What do you all think?

-Spydey
 
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Grego

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Once you have hit you limit you are no longer allowed to continue fishing.

The situation goes that even if you intended to C&R but a fish was injured in the process and died you are required to keep it. If you were already at your limit you would then be over and illegal at that point. This is a gray area in water that has many species of fish, like fishing for salmon/steelhead and then switching to sturgeon. But if you try to convince a game warden that the float rig is for sturgeon, it's not going to fly. Like trying to convince him that the 30-06 is for grouse during early archery season.
 
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