OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has recently finished construction on a new wheelchair-accessible fishing site at the departmentís Hoodsport Hatchery on the southern end of Hood Canal.
The site, which was engineered and developed by WDFW, includes an ADA-compliant ramp, grated walkways, and a new fishing platform with a gate, fencing, handrails and fishing slots.
Only persons with disabilities who permanently use a wheelchair and/or those who have a designated harvest card are allowed to use the site and to fish adjacent waters inshore from the yellow marker buoys to the mouth of Finch Creek.
A designated harvest card issued by WDFW allows a licensed fisher with a disability to receive assistance from another licensed individual. Persons with disabilities who permanently use a wheelchair have priority over others if the site becomes crowded.
Able-bodied anglers are allowed to fish in other designated areas at the Hoodsport Hatchery.
All anglers are required to have appropriate fishing licenses and follow fishing seasons and rules for Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) as defined in the 2009-2010 Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet, available online at /fishing/regulations.
Wheelchair-accessible parking and restrooms also are available at the hatchery. Anglers should be aware that space is limited at the new site, which can accommodate only two or three wheelchairs at a time. The new site is available on a first-come, first-served basis during hatchery hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., seven days a week. People may call the hatchery at (360) 877-6408 for more information.
The Hoodsport hatchery is located on the east side of Highway 101, 200 feet north of the intersection of Highways 101 and 119.