HomeHEADLINESCascade Coho Opener Delayed Due To Potential Chinook Impacts

Cascade Coho Opener Delayed Due To Potential Chinook Impacts

THE FOLLOWING IS A RULE CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Cascade River coho season opener postponed

Action: Closes all fishing.

Effective dates: Sept. 16, 2022, until further notice.

Species affected: All species.

HUNTER SHELTON HOLDS A PAIR OF SKAGIT SYSTEM COHO FROM A SEASON WELL IN THE PAST. THIS YEAR’S FISHERY IN THE NORTH CASCADES WATERSHED HAS HAD TO BE MODIFIED DUE TO POTENTIAL IMPACTS ON CHINOOK AS STATE MANAGERS INCREASE ANGLER MONITORING. (COAST FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Location: Cascade River (Skagit County) from mouth to Rockport-Cascade Rd. Bridge

Reason for action: Postponement of the opening of the Cascade River sport fishery is necessary to prevent state fisheries in the Skagit system from exceeding the state’s conservation goals for encounters of Skagit summer/fall Chinook during Skagit River system sport fisheries. The state share of Skagit summer/fall Chinook encounters is divided among state fisheries in the Skagit Basin (terminal area) and marine areas (pre-terminal). This action is necessary to preserve opportunity later in the season, and to provide for a longer season that would likely be cut very short by exceeding Chinook impacts if opened as originally scheduled. 

Additional information: Historically, many fisheries in the Skagit system were not actively monitored for catch and incidental encounters. In-season monitoring of Skagit coho fisheries began in 2021 and is expected to continue into the future. This monitoring helps guide management actions to stay within conservation goals while providing maximum opportunity. WDFW will continue to assess summer Chinook spawning activity in the Cascade River and throughout the Skagit system to reopen as soon as possible.

Emergency measures enacted in the Skagit River this season (https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/emergency-rules/skagit-river-rules-change-protect-returning-chinook-2022-09) have thus far been successful at keeping the coho sport fishery within Chinook encounter guidelines while still providing limited opportunity.  

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.