Contact: Fish Program, 360-902-2700
Public Affairs Contact: Eryn Couch, 360-890-6604
OLYMPIA - The Skagit River will close to sockeye fishing June 16 to July 15 due to low projected returns, fishery managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
With an expected return of as many as 13,242 or as few as 8,056, forecasted returns of wild Skagit sockeye are the lowest they’ve been in the last five years and potentially below fishery manager’s broodstock goals.
“Given this forecast, largely as a result of poor ocean conditions, we’re taking these steps to ensure we’re meeting our commitments to conservation,” said Brett Barkdull, WDFW fish biologist.
The closure begins at the highway 536 bridge (Memorial Highway Bridge) in Mount Vernon to Gilligan Creek.
The river remains open for gamefish fisheries. Fishery managers will continue to monitor other area rivers and streams.
“Assuming this closure helps us to meet our sockeye Skagit River management goals, we’ll be prioritizing providing a future harvest opportunity at Baker Lake—something we heard was important to anglers as part of this year’s salmon season-setting process,” said Barkdull.
Anglers are encouraged to visit https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ to see in-season rule changes.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.