WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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January 03, 2003
Contact: Bob Leland, (360) 902-2817

Poor hatchery steelhead returns prompt fishing closures on seven northern Puget Sound rivers

OLYMPIA Recreational game fish fishing will close Monday (Jan. 6) on sections of seven northern Puget Sound rivers to ensure enough adult steelhead return to hatcheries to produce the next generation, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

The rivers affected by the emergency game fish fishing closure are:

  • The Cascade River from its mouth upstream to the Rockport Cascade Road Bridge
  • The North Fork Nooksack River from the mouth of Racehorse Creek upstream to the mouth of Kendall Creek
  • The Upper North Fork Stillaguamish River from the mouth of Little French Creek, approximately one mile downstream of Fortson Creek, to 25 yards upstream of the mouth of the outlet of White Horse Rearing Ponds
  • The mainstem Skykomish River from 1,500 feet upstream to 1,000 feet downstream of the Reiter Ponds outlet
  • The Upper Wallace River from the railroad trestle (downstream of Highway 2 Bridge) upstream to the mouth of Olney Creek
  • The mainstem Snoqualmie River from the Plum Access boat launch ramp, about a quarter mile downstream of the mouth of Tokul Creek, to Snoqualmie Falls
  • Tokul Creek from the mouth to the posted cable boundary marker about 700 feet upstream

"This is a precautionary measure," said Bob Leland, WDFW Steelhead Fish Manager. "The low hatchery steelhead returns on these rivers is not at a critical point yet, but it is better to be conservative at this point in the season."

The closed areas could reopen to fishing if egg take requirements are assured before the end of February.

Additional game fish and winter steelhead fishing rules are available in the WDFW 2002/2003 "Fishing in Washington" sport fishing rules pamphlet. Emergency recreational fishing rule changes are posted on the WDFW website on the Internet. The latest rule changes can also be accessed via phone, at (360) 902-2500, ext. 2.