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600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

This document is provided for archival purposes only.
Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.

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September 02, 2015
Contact: Ron Warren, (360) 902-2799

WDFW eases restrictions, closures
on some rivers affected by drought

OLYMPIA - State fishery managers are easing drought-related fishing restrictions and closures on more than a dozen rivers where conditions have improved.

The changes are effective immediately.

To protect fish, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) previously closed or restricted fishing on more than 60 rivers and streams due to drought-induced low river flows and warm water temperatures.

Conditions in some rivers have returned to normal for this time of year thanks to recent rains and cooler weather, said Ron Warren, WDFW salmon policy lead.

"We're seeing lower water temperatures and river flows typical for late summer in several rivers around the state," Warren said. "If those conditions continue, we'll likely ease restrictions in other rivers in the coming days and weeks."

Any future changes will be posted on WDFW's drought webpage at . The webpage also contains information on fishing closures or "hoot owl" restrictions - which limit the hours that a river is open to fishing - that remain in place on more than 40 rivers and streams across Washington.

Fishing is open, or no longer restricted to specified hours, on the rivers listed by region below.

Region 3 - South Central Washington

Hoot owl restrictions lifted on:

  • Naches River from Tieton River to Bumping River/Little Naches River
  • Rattlesnake Creek
  • Yakima River from I-82 at Union Gap to South Cle Elum Bridge

Region 4 - North Puget Sound

Reopening to fishing:

  • Lower Nooksack River from Slater Road to Deming
  • Lower Skykomish River
  • Stillaguamish River from Marine Drive upstream to the North and South forks

Region 5 - Southwest Washington

Hoot-owl restrictions lifted on:

  • East Fork Lewis River from Lewisville Park upstream
  • Washougal River from Mt. Norway Bridge upstream

Reopening to fishing:

  • East Fork Lewis River from Lewisville Park downstream
  • Washougal River from Mt. Norway Bridge downstream

Region 6 - Olympic Peninsula and South Sound

Hoot owl restrictions lifted on:

  • Nisqually River

Reopening to fishing:

  • Quilcene River
  • Upper Quilleyute River
  • Lower Dickey River
  • Lower Sol Duc River
  • Lower Calawah River
  • Lower Bogachiel River
  • Lower Clearwater River
  • Salmon River

More details on the actions taken today can be found on WDFW's webpage at

The department also has rescinded a moratorium on sturgeon fishing in the Columbia Basin.

In addition, WDFW is easing restrictions on the rivers listed above for suction dredging for gold and mechanical removal of aquatic plants.