• WDFW Proposal to remove panfish limits on Potholes, Moses, and Banks Lake

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 #239504  by Mike Carey
 Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:11 pm
HI All,

I got the following letters from Mike Meeseberg at Mar Don Resort. Please read and contact WDFW to voice your opinions!

October 24, 2017
To all Fishermen and Women,

The Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is working on a Rule Simplification for the state for next years’ Regulation Book which comes out on 7.1.18. The reason for this is cited as complaints from the public about the complicated rules in the book. Yes, of course, the public will complain about rules. But the rules are there to protect the resources. Most of the lakes in the state do not have limits on panfish (perch, crappie and bluegill). An exception to that rule are Banks, Moses Lake and Potholes Reservoir in Central Washington, our home.

A little history-when Grand Coulee Dam was completed and water began to flow into the Columbia Basin for irrigation purposes into these holding lakes a secondary benefit became evident…fishing. The waters were fertile and fish came through the system and propagated. In the 60’s and 70’s people fished these waters and commonly took 5-gallon buckets of the panfish. By the late 70’s the fish were disappearing at a rapid rate. The Mt. St. Helens eruption in May 1980 put the finishing touches on the fishery with the 4 inches of ash settling on the spawn. In 2005 the Central Washington Fish Advisory (cwfac.org) received a permit to build underwater habitat for our panfish on Potholes Reservoir. This is a 20-year permit and it is working after 12 years of toil. The point of the habitat is to give fish a place to live and grow away from fish and bird predation. While we are decades away from the glory days of the 60’s and 70’s, we are on the path there.

A size and quantity limit was placed on the panfish years ago to give them a chance to get re-started. Now this is threatened by the rule simplification which has both the size and quantity limits removed. These 3 lakes are famous for their amazing walleye and bass fishery. These fish also thrive on the nursery stock in the lakes, the panfish. Removing the limits not only threatens the panfish themselves but their big brothers who live on them. And, worst of all for WDFW, threatens the sale of licenses.

I would also add this: The WDFW has an APP called Fish Washington that is active today. Soon you will be able to type in a lake or river name and call up rules specific to it. So I ask this question? In the case of protection of our resources vs. rule simplification to have a smaller and easier book to read I think the protection of our resource must win the day. Especially in light of the current and upcoming APP which will easily put all info at the tip of our fingers on our smart phone.
Please go to the following link to send a comment specific to the panfish rule change:
http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/ ... y.php?id=5

For more info you can also go to: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/
We have started a Facebook page: Save our Limits

Please voice your concern by Nov 30th and help us protect our resource.

Thank you, Mike Meseberg
CWFAC, President
MarDon Resort, Owner
509.350.1591 for Mike or 509.346.2651 for Pete Fisher, Mgr. MarDon Tackle Shop


November 15, 2017

Please HELP- every fisherman, fisherwoman, every family that has visited and fished the Potholes Reservoir, Moses Lake. and or Banks Lake - go to the WDFW website and oppose the proposed lifting of all size and number limits on perch, crappie and bluegill!

These panfish fisheries are awesome fisheries in their own right - and - going strong! The Largemouth and Smallmouth bass as well as the Walleye depend on these fish for forage!

Between CWFAC's efforts to restore fry habitat and the current limits on panfish (perch, crappie, and bluegill) - it is all working extremely well! Do not allow the WDFW to devolve on an issue and policy that they have been so successfully involved in creating! It ain't broke . . . don't try to fix it!
Please help us keep the current limits on the panfish! We can all complain after the fact - but we have the opportunity - right now - to be heard! We all have until November 30, 2017 to weigh in! Please help us save this invaluable resource. Get involved!

We can make a difference – we, as a group, need to speak up!

Please go to the following link to send a comment specific to the panfish rule change:
http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/ ... y.php?id=5

For more info you can also go to: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/

We have started a Facebook page: Save our Limits for more info and to read comments from others.
Thank you,

Pete Fisher Mike Meseberg
MarDon Tackle Shop Mgr CWFAC Pres/MarDon Resort
 #239506  by hewesfisher
 Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:39 am
One thing we need to remember is the statewide policy, like statewide rules, won't apply to every body of water.

For example, statewide rules for trout include kokanee, but some lakes exclude kokanee from the trout limit. Some lakes have other restrictions different from statewide rules, like crappie with a minimum 9" rule, or no retention of trout with intact adipose fins, and many, many more.

In my opinion, a HUGE problem with the freshwater rules in WA is the number of lakes, beaver ponds, rivers, and streams with seasons and retention rules that are NOT the same as statewide rules. The department needs to put more emphasis on referencing the Special Rules section FIRST, then if the lake, beaver pond, river, stream, is NOT listed refer to statewide rules. The statewide rules are the last thing I refer to when fishing a new body of water, I ALWAYS start with the Special Rules section.

Maybe I'm mistaken, but I think all that's changing is the policy in how WDFW views panfish limits in general with exceptions as noted in the Special Rules section which has not been targeted for elimination.

From a management standpoint, I agree with a default policy "no limit" (which is mostly already that way), with exceptions noted in the Special Rules just as it is today.

I'm willing to bet Moses Lake, Potholes, Banks Lake, Roosevelt, and many others will still have the restrictions as currently listed in the Special Rules section of the pamphlet.