Tag Archives: wallace river

Skykomish, Wallace, NF Stilly Closing Due To Low Steelhead Returns

THE FOLLOWING ARE EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICES FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Portions of Skykomish and Wallace rivers to close to fishing

Action: Closes the Skykomish and Wallace rivers to fishing.

DUE TO LOW RETURNS OF HATCHERY STEELHEAD, THE SKYKOMISH (HERE), WALLACE AND NORTH FORK STILLAGUAMISH WILL CLOSE TO FISHING. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Effective date: Jan. 7, 2019 through Feb. 15, 2019.

Species affected: All species.

Location: Skykomish River, from the mouth to the forks
Wallace River, from the mouth to 200 feet above the hatchery water intake.

Reason for action: The Wallace River and Reiter Ponds hatcheries currently have less than half of the early winter steelhead broodstock on hand needed to meet egg take goals. The early winter steelhead goals are 140,000 smolt from Reiter Ponds and 27,600 smolt from the Wallace Hatchery.

Additional information: Fishing will reopen when egg take goals have been met. The Snoqualmie, Snohomish rivers and tributaries remain open as described in the fishing rules pamphlet.

North Fork Stillaguamish River to close to fishing

Action: Closes the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River to fishing.

Effective date: Jan. 7, 2019 through Feb.15, 2019.

Species affected: All species.

Location: North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, from the mouth upstream to the Swede Heaven Bridge (includes the Fortson Hole area).

Reason for action: The Whitehorse Hatchery does not have enough early winter steelhead broodstock on hand to meet egg take goals. The goal is 130,000 smolt and the hatchery currently has 72,400 eggs on hand.

Additional information: Fishing will reopen when egg take goals have been met.

Snohomish System Coho Fishing Closing Or Under Hatchery-only Restrictions

Updated 11:32 a.m., Sept. 27, 2018

State fishery managers are closing a large portion of traditionally one of the strongest coho systems in Western Washington due to a low return of wild fish.

THIS ONE KINDA HURTS — THE SNOHOMISH RIVER, WHERE JON PULLING CAUGHT THIS COHO WITH GUIDE JIM STAHL (LEFT) A FEW SEASONS BACK, WILL CLOSE FOR SALMON FISHING AS OF SEPT. 29 DUE TO A LOW RETURN OF WILD SILVERS. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

The Snohomish River, Snoqualmie River and Skykomish River above the mouth of the Wallace River will close to salmon fishing effective this Saturday, Sept. 29, according to an emergency rule-change notice out from WDFW this morning.

“In-season run size updates indicate that the Snohomish wild coho run is lower than the pre-season forecast. These measures are needed to protect future runs of coho by increasing chances wild spawner escapement goals are met,” the agency stated.

The Skykomish from its mouth to the Wallace and the Wallace, where hatchery coho are headed, will remain open but only for adipose-fin-clipped silvers.

If fish numbers improve, there’s a chance the rivers could reopen, according to WDFW. On Facebook, anglers were reporting good numbers in the system, and state catch stats showed strong saltwater catches in early September.

In the background is a move earlier this year by the National Marine Fisheries Service that listed Snohomish coho as an “overfished” stock.

That’s a determination that means “the stock is depressed and signals conservation concern.  Under these conditions, a rebuilding plan must be developed to improve the escapement, generally rebuilding the stock within 10 years,” according to NMFS.

Escapements during a recent three-year period fell short of goals, triggering a recommendation that harvests be reduced. Federal, tribal and state biologists are working to understand the reasons why the run has been weaker, the agency says.

In the meanwhile, last Sunday marked the last day to fish for coho off the mouth of the Snohomish, Marine Area 8-2, and Sunday is the final day for waters further out, Areas 5, 6, 8-1 and 9.

This year has seen a number of lower than expected returns due to recent years’ ocean conditions and drought, including Columbia River Chinook and steelhead, Willapa Bay kings, and Cowlitz and Washougal Rivers fall Chinook, leading to closures or reduced limits.

WDFW also today announced that the limit on adult salmon in Drano Lake was being reduced to one a day.

At least one closure, however, was in part to try and collect more fall king eggs to benefit orcas in future years, Samish Chinook.

In 2016, when the Snohomish system was closed from the outset of the season, managers were able to open fisheries in mid-October when it became apparent there were enough returning.