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Curiously short steelhead gets Snake River fishermen in hot water

This is one way to try to meet the 28-inch maximum size limit for Snake River steelhead. Officers were not fooled.
This is one way to try to meet the 28-inch maximum size limit for Snake River steelhead. Officers were not fooled. Courtesy Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

An angler above Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River had good reason to be nervous.

Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife officers conducting a boat patrol on the river stopped to talk to two men fishing from a jetty in the area, according to the agency.

One of the men was nervous and admitted to having a steelhead in his truck.

When the officers took a look, they found a large, B-run buck steelhead with the tail cut off to leave the fish just under 27 inches long.

Current fishing regulations limit catches to a 28-inch maximum to allow the larger B-run fish to pass through because of the limited number of them returning.

The fish clearly had been well over 30 inches before the angler’s surgery on it, according to officers.

The fisherman was belligerent and claimed it had been of legal length, but his friend admitted it was not, officers said.

The fish was seized and multiple tickets issued.

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