WDFW Announces New Fishing Restrictions [AP]Announcements from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife today confirm what many anglers had feared: the seasonal harvest of many species will be severely restricted in the near future. Perhaps the most popular species, the bluegill was once thought to thrive in a majority of Washingtons lakes. What we see now is that theyre nowhere near as prolific as wed once imagined, said department spokesman Burt Braemer. Catch record card analysis indicates that over the last two years, only .002 bluegill were retained per rod per trip. Restoration of the bluegill habitat along with reduced fishing pressure is designed to provide a window for the fragile species to maintain suitable populations. The department hopes to act early enough to avoid another fiasco like the one they faced with wild steelhead. In other cases, there is no way to restore appropriate habitat, and in those cases the department must be prepared to find some creative solutions, said Longview guide William Angler. Losing the bluegill fishery places a burden on guides, tackle store owners, and local communities that once depended on the thriving recreational fishery for these pretty little fish. But that isnt their only woe. Fourteen other species will face harvest restrictions when the WDFWs new fishing regulations are published later this month, among them the stickle-backed spindlefish, the sculpin, the common mud-burrower, the long-nosed beak dab, and the gutter sucker, named after a line from poet Oscar Wilde: We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Opening day of the traditional fishing season, usually the last weekend in April, has been moved to July 17 this year to allow additional time for fathead minnows in the eastern part of the state to reach spawning escapement goals. Some anglers fear the minnow fishery may eventually go the way of the long lamented bass. Ooh, I miss those bass, said fisherman Ned Muckyanker of Tonasket. Carp just arent the samenowhere near as tasty. Many others agree. Look, closing these fisheries is the last straw, said one disgruntled fisherman. I meanperhaps its time we take up golf, if its too dangerous to put a hook in a gutter sucker. Other anglers were more optimistic, noting that this years pea-nosed chub populations appear to be able to support a harvest. Still, there is a bright side, said another unidentified angler, which can be seen by disregarding everything here except the first letter of each paragraph.