THE FOLLOWING ARE RULE CHANGE NOTICES FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Skagit River reopening set, periodic closures announced some areas
Actions: Rescinds selective gear rules from the mouth to Gilligan Creek. Reopens Gilligan Creek to Cascade River Road (Marblemount Bridge).Implements bait prohibited from mouth to Cascade River Road (Marblemount Bridge). Closes all fishing Mondays through Wednesdays, Sept. 26 through Oct. 12, from Hwy. 9 Bridge in Sedro Woolley to Baker River.
Effective dates: Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, until further notice
Species affected: All species
Locations and rules: Skagit River (Skagit County)
From the mouth to Hwy. 9 Bridge in Sedro Woolley: Open under rules listed in 2022/23 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, except use of bait (including scents and flavors) prohibited for all species.
From Hwy. 9 Bridge in Sedro Woolley to Baker River: Open under rules listed in 2022/23 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, except use of bait (including scents and flavors) prohibited for all species; and CLOSED to all fishing Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, from Sept. 26 through Oct. 12.
From Baker River to Cascade River Road (Marblemount Bridge): Open under rules listed in 2022/23 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, except use of bait (including scents and flavors) prohibited for all species.
Reason for action: Emergency rules previously placed on Skagit River fisheries, including Selective Gear Rules (SGR) and the closure of a portion of the river were successful in preventing the sport fishery from exceeding allowable Chinook impacts. The possibility of encountering Chinook is still present, although somewhat diminished at this time. Because of this, WDFW can remove SGR restrictions and reopen the previously closed sections while implementing a bait restriction in all sections open to salmon. The bait restriction allows angling opportunity for coho and gamefish while avoiding exceeding the Chinook conservation threshold.
The periodic closures from Hwy. 9 Bridge in Sedro Woolley to Baker River are necessary to avoid gear conflicts with treaty fisheries scheduled those dates.
Additional information: Anglers are asked to respect tribal fishers and reminded to not interfere with tribal fisheries. Conflicts continue to lead to additional time and area closures to reduce conflicts. Additional periodic closures may be necessary to prevent conflicts during tribal fisheries.
Fisheries are actively monitored by WDFW. Anglers are asked to cooperate with creel personnel collecting catch information. Monitoring and evaluation of fisheries is an important part of ensuring we are meeting our conservation goals for salmon.
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.
After delay, Lower Cascade River fall fishing season opener set
Action: Opens fisheries as listed in the 2022/23 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet beginning Sept. 24, except no bait is allowed.
Location: Cascade River from mouth to Rockport-Cascade Road
Effective date: Sept. 24 through Oct. 31, 2022
Species affected: All species
Rules: Use of bait (including scent or flavoring) is prohibited.
Reason for action: The Cascade River fall opening was postponed, limiting additional impacts against the state’s share of allowable Chinook impacts in Skagit basin fisheries. The bait restriction is a means to further limit Chinook impacts while providing angling opportunity for coho and gamefish.
Additional information: Fisheries in this section of the river, beginning Sept. 24 through Oct. 31, will be open four days per week, Wednesdays through Saturdays only. Night closure and anti-snagging rules are in effect. Coho daily limit during this time is 4 fish with a minimum size of 12″. Anglers must release all other salmon.
Sundays through Tuesdays are closed to all sport fishing to prevent gear conflicts with tribal fisheries. Anglers are asked to respect tribal fishers and reminded to not interfere with tribal fisheries. Conflicts that arise during ongoing fisheries could lead to additional time and area closures to reduce conflicts.
The Cascade River is running extremely low. Anglers are reminded to refrain from fishing in holes with holding Chinook or runs with spawning Chinook to protect the resource and limit additional impacts.
Information contact: Mill Creek Regional Office, 425-775-1311.