600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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December 03, 1996
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, 360-902-2256

Elwha to close to fishing on Feb. 28

OLYMPIA -- The Elwha River, from the mouth to the Aldwell Lake Dam, will close to all angling for game fish on Feb. 28 to protect an expected low return of wild steelhead, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today.

The river will reopen to angling for game fish on June 1.

Hatchery winter-run steelhead return to the Elwha primarily from November through February, when fishing will be open for tribal fishers and non-Indian anglers. Wild steelhead return to the river in March and April, department biologists report.

The department cannot implement wild steelhead release because hatchery steelhead returning to the river have not been marked with clipped adipose fins.

The department is scheduled to issue regulation changes designed to conserve wild steelhead runs in other rivers by January.

Anglers and other persons with questions about the Elwha closure should contact Bob Leland at (360) 902-2817.