THE FOLLOWING IS AN EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE AND A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Action: Opens salmon in Willapa Bay tributaries with scheduled salmon seasons, except the Naselle River. Salmon daily limit is 6 fish, up to 2 adults may be retained, and no more than 1 adult may be a wild coho. Release all chinook.
Effective date: Oct. 1 until further notice.
Species affected: Salmon.
Location: Bear River; Fork Creek; Middle Nemah River; North Nemah River; South Nemah River; North River; Smith Creek; Willapa River; Willapa River; South Fork.
Reason for action: WDFW previously closed these areas to salmon fishing to protect fall chinook, which were returning in lower numbers than expected. Over the past week, active brood stocking efforts conducted by hatchery staff and volunteers have been significantly increased, making it likely that hatchery production goals for fall chinook will be met on the Willapa and Nemah river systems. Additionally, the proportion of females in the broodstock collected in these systems is higher than expected.
Returns of fall chinook needed for hatchery production in the Naselle River system are still short of the production goal. The Naselle River will remain closed to salmon fishing.
Retention of fall chinook is prohibited in all fisheries in the Willapa Bay watershed as a conservation measure in order to focus harvest opportunity on coho.
Additional information: Gamefish seasons remain as scheduled in the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.
Lake Creek (Siuslaw River tributary) closed to salmon fishing Oct. 15-Dec. 31
SALEM, Ore.—Lake Creek, a tributary of the Siuslaw River, will be closed to salmon fishing from Oct. 15-Dec. 31. No salmon fishing will be allowed from the mouth of Lake Creek to Indian Creek.
The closure is due to this year’s low stream flows, which will concentrate fall Chinook salmon in just a few locations, making them more vulnerable to harvest. The forecast for Chinook salmon is poor this year, and Chinook in the Siuslaw basin are not expected to meet Pacific Salmon Treaty escapement goals.
“Lake Creek is the largest producer of fall Chinook in the Siuslaw basin, and it’s important we conserve these fish during low stream flow and low return years,” said John Spangler, ODFW District Fish Biologist.
For more about regulations and fishing opportunities in the Northwest Zone, see the Recreation Report, https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/northwest-zone