The Adventure Guys

The inside story on outside recreation for South Puget Sound and beyond

NOTICE: The Adventure Guys has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved The Adventure Guys.
Visit the new section.

Puyallup River system to close early to fishing

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on Jan. 6, 2012 at 11:30 am |
January 6, 2012 11:30 am

Fishing for steelhead and other game fish will close early in several river systems in Puget Sound and along the Strait of Juan de Fuca to protect wild steelhead. The early closures will affect the Puyallup, Nooksack, Skagit, Stillaguamish and Snohomish systems, along with several streams along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced earlier today.

Most river systems will close Feb. 1. However, the Puyallup River system will close Jan. 16, and some waters near state fish hatcheries are scheduled to close Feb. 16.

The Puyallup closure involves the White River from the mouth to the R Street Bridge in Auburn, the Carbon River from the mouth to the state Route 162 Bridge and the upper Puyallup from the mouth of the Carbon River upstream.

Pre-season estimates developed by the state last fall indicate that wild steelhead will return to those watersheds in numbers far short of target levels, said Bob Leland, steelhead program manager.

Here is the rest of the news release:

“By taking this action, we can protect wild steelhead that do make it back to these river systems,” he said.

The early closures are timed in each watershed to coincide with the traditional dates wild steelhead return to those Washington rivers, Leland said.

Wild steelhead returning to most of the rivers scheduled to close are listed as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act. Although anglers are required to release any wild steelhead they catch in these rivers, some of those fish inevitably die from the experience, Leland said.

The closures are necessary to meet the conservation objectives of WDFW’s statewide steelhead management plan and comply with provisions of the ESA, he said.

Waters closing to fishing Feb. 1, 2012, by emergency rule include:
Nooksack River System
• Nooksack River mainstem from the Lummi Indian Reservation boundary to the confluence of North and South forks.
• North Fork Nooksack River from Maple Creek to Nooksack Falls.
• Middle Fork Nooksack River from the mouth to the City of Bellingham diversion Dam.
• South Fork Nooksack River from the mouth to Skookum Creek.
Skagit River System
• Skagit River mainstem from the mouth to the Highway 530 Bridge at Rockport.
• Skagit River from the mouth of the Cascade River to the Gorge powerhouse at Newhalem.
• Sauk River from the mouth to the Whitechuck River.
• Cascade River from the Rockport-Cascade Road Bridge upstream to headwaters.

Snohomish River System
• Snohomish River from the mouth (Burlington Northern railroad bridge) upstream to the confluence of the Skykomish and Snoqualmie rivers.
• Skykomish River from the mouth to the Highway 2 Bridge at the Big Eddy Access.
• Pilchuck River from the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Snohomish city diversion dam.
• Sultan River from the mouth to 400 feet downstream of diversion dam (river mile 9.7).
• Wallace River from 200 feet upstream of water intake of salmon hatchery to Wallace Falls.
• North Fork Skykomish River from the mouth to 1,000 feet downstream of Bear Creek Falls.
• South Fork Skykomish River from the mouth to 600 feet downstream of Sunset Falls fishway.
• Snoqualmie River from the mouth to the boat ramp at Plum access.
• Tolt River from the mouth to the USGS trolley cable near confluence of North and South forks.
• Raging River from the mouth to Highway 18 Bridge.

Stillaguamish River System
• Stillaguamish River from Marine Drive upstream to forks.
• Pilchuck Creek from the mouth to Highway 9 Bridge.
• North Fork Stillaguamish River from the mouth to the mouth of French Creek.
• South Fork Stillaguamish River from the mouth to 400 feet below the Granite Falls fishway outlet.
• Canyon Creek from the mouth upstream.

Strait of Juan de Fuca
• Dungeness River from the mouth upstream to the forks at Dungeness Forks Campground.
• Morse Creek from the mouth to the Port Angeles Dam.
• Salt Creek from the mouth to the bridge on Highway 112.
• Deep Creek from the mouth upstream.
• Pysht River from the mouth upstream.
• Clallam River from the mouth upstream.
• Sekiu River from the mouth to forks.

Waters closing to fishing Feb. 16, 2012, by emergency rule include:
• North Fork Nooksack River from the mouth to Maple Creek.
• Skykomish River from the Highway 2 Bridge at the Big Eddy Access to the confluence of North and South forks.
• Wallace River from the mouth (farthest downstream railroad bridge) to 200 feet upstream of the water intake of salmon hatchery.
• Snoqualmie River from the boat ramp at Plum access to Snoqualmie Falls.
• Tokul Creek from the mouth to the posted cable boundary marker.
• North Fork Stillaguamish River from the mouth of French Creek to the Swede Heaven Bridge.
• Skagit River from the Highway 530 Bridge at Rockport to the mouth of the Cascade River.
• Cascade River from the mouth to Rockport-Cascade Road Bridge.

Leland reminds anglers that the Samish River, from the I-5 Bridge to the Hickson Bridge, closed to fishing Dec. 1. The stretch of the Samish River, from the mouth to the I-5 Bridge closed Jan.1.

*
The News Tribune now uses Facebook commenting on selected blogs. See editor's column for more details. Commenters are expected to abide by terms of service for Facebook as well as commenting rules for thenewstribune.com. Report violators to webmaster@thenewstribune.com.