Skagit River reopening set, periodic closures announced some areas

September 20, 2022

Actions: Rescinds selective gear rules from the mouth to Gilligan Creek. Reopens Gilligan Creek to Cascade River Road (Marblemount Bridge). Implements bait prohibited from mouth to Cascade River Road (Marblemount Bridge). Closes all fishing Mondays through Wednesdays, Sept. 26 through Oct. 12, from Hwy. 9 Bridge in Sedro Woolley to Baker River.

Effective dates: Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, until further notice

Species affected: All species

Locations and rules: Skagit River (Skagit County)

  1. From the mouth to Hwy. 9 Bridge in Sedro Woolley: Open under rules listed in 2022/23 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, except use of bait (including scents and flavors) prohibited for all species.
  1. From Hwy. 9 Bridge in Sedro Woolley to Baker River: Open under rules listed in 2022/23 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, except use of bait (including scents and flavors) prohibited for all species; and CLOSED to all fishing Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, from Sept. 26 through Oct. 12.
  1. From Baker River to Cascade River Road (Marblemount Bridge): Open under rules listed in 2022/23 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, except use of bait (including scents and flavors) prohibited for all species.

Reason for action: Emergency rules previously placed on Skagit River fisheries, including Selective Gear Rules (SGR) and the closure of a portion of the river were successful in preventing the sport fishery from exceeding allowable Chinook impacts.  The possibility of encountering Chinook is still present, although somewhat diminished at this time. Because of this, WDFW can remove SGR restrictions and reopen the previously closed sections while implementing a bait restriction in all sections open to salmon. The bait restriction allows angling opportunity for coho and gamefish while avoiding exceeding the Chinook conservation threshold.

The periodic closures from Hwy. 9 Bridge in Sedro Woolley to Baker River are necessary to avoid gear conflicts with treaty fisheries scheduled those dates.

Additional information: Anglers are asked to respect tribal fishers and reminded to not interfere with tribal fisheries. Conflicts continue to lead to additional time and area closures to reduce conflicts. Additional periodic closures may be necessary to prevent conflicts during tribal fisheries.

Fisheries are actively monitored by WDFW. Anglers are asked to cooperate with creel personnel collecting catch information. Monitoring and evaluation of fisheries is an important part of ensuring we are meeting our conservation goals for salmon.

In-season closure, reopening, or other management actions will be announced as soon as possible. Please consider downloading the FishWA app or signing up for fishery change notifications by email at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/lists.

Information contact: Mill Creek Regional Office, 425-775-1311.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on definitions and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at 360-902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call 360-796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

Individuals who need to receive this information in an alternative format, language, or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact the Title VI/ADA Compliance Coordinator by phone at 360-902-2349, TTY (711), or email (Title6@dfw.wa.gov).