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January 17, 1997
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, (360) 902-2256

Steelhead fishing areas expanded on Elochoman and Kalama rivers

OLYMPIA -- The areas open to hatchery winter steelhead fishing on the Elochoman and Kalama rivers near Department of Fish and Wildlife hatcheries will be expanded on Monday to increase sports fishing opportunities.

The department also will remove hatchery steelhead from the facilities' traps and "recycle" them down river until Feb. 1 to give anglers additional opportunities to harvest the fish.

The two moves are designed to provide fishing opportunities while protecting wild steelhead, which must be released. The adipose fin (on the back just forward of the tail) has been removed from hatchery steelhead. Wild steelhead still have adipose fins.

Effective through March 15, the following emergency regulations apply to the two rivers:

  • Elochoman River (at Beaver Creek Hatchery) -- open to angling 50 feet on each side of the weir (ladder). Beaver Creek remains closed to steelhead fishing.
  • Elochoman River (at Elochoman Salmon Hatchery) -- open from 100 feet above the hatchery trap to 200 feet below it. The river near the outlet pipes from the most downstream of the rearing ponds is open to fishing.
The Elochoman River upstream of the west fork remains closed. The entire river closed to salmon angling Jan. 1.
  • Kalama River (at Kalama Falls Hatchery) -- open to angling from 1,000 feet above the fishway at the upper Kalama Falls salmon hatchery to 400 feet below it.
Anglers should check the 1996 Fishing in Washington regulation pamphlet for additional rules.