600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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February 21, 1997
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, (360) 902-2256 or Thom Johnson, (360) 765-3979

Elwha fishing closes on Feb. 28

OLYMPIA -- The Elwha River, from the mouth to the Aldwell Lake Dam, will close to all sport angling on Feb. 28 to protect an expected low return of wild steelhead.

The Lower Elwha Tribe has agreed to cease fishing by Feb. 28 to conserve wild steelhead.

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

The river has been open to tribal and sport fishers since November when hatchery winter-run steelhead return to the Elwha. Most wild steelhead return in March and April.

The department cannot use wild steelhead release regulations during March and April because most hatchery steelhead returning to the Elwha this year have not been marked with clipped adipose fins.

Wild steelhead release regulations are proposed for the 1997-98 season.

Wild steelhead release regulations also are in effect this season for all summer and winter-run steelhead in the Dungeness, Lyre, East and West Twin rivers as well as Morse and Salt creeks along the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Anglers and other persons with questions about the Elwha closure should contact Thom H. Johnson at (360) 765-3979.