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

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March 03, 1998
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, (360) 902-2256

Why fishing closed on the Humptulips and Hoh rivers

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on Feb. 24 announced the Humptulips River, including both forks and tributaries, closed to fishing on March 1 and the Hoh River plus its south fork will close on Wednesday, March 4.

Fishing was closed to protect low runs of wild steelhead.

For background, the following additional information is provided:

Humptulips River: The Humptulips has achieved its spawning goal of 1,600 wild steelhead only once in the past four years and this year's run probably will fall below the goal. The forecast for this year is 950 fish. In 1997, only 1,012 fish returned; 1,454 returned in 1996; 2,053 in 1995 and 1,390 in 1994. Wild steelhead runs in the river generally have been in a declining trend for the past decade.

Under the guidelines of the Humptulips River Steelhead Agreement, the Quinault Indian Nation also ceased fishing at the end of February.

Hoh River: WDFW and the Hoh Tribe believe it is unlikely this year's wild steelhead run will meet the spawning goal of 2,400 fish. State and tribal fish managers estimate the wild run will be between 1,400 and 2,800 fish. If the run arrives on time, the forecast is for 1,400 to 1,800 fish. If it arrives up to three weeks late, the expected range is 2,100 to 2,800 steelhead. The biologists wish to be conservative rather than basing fisheries on hopes for a late return.