HomeHEADLINESHEADLINESWashington Coast Salmon Rivers To Reopen In 2 Phases

Washington Coast Salmon Rivers To Reopen In 2 Phases

Editor’s note: Updated 5:33 p.m. with WDFW press release and e-regs at bottom.

Salmon fishing will reopen on Washington Coast rivers in two phases in the coming days, starting with streams from the Humptulips and Moclips south on Saturday.

That’s according to a brief statement from WDFW Fish Program manager Kelly Cunningham to the Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Fish Committee this afternoon.

He said rivers north of the Hump would reopen on Monday, Halloween. However, that excludes the Queets system, which is being kept closed due to “emerging conservation concerns” and Chinook retention will not be allowed on the Bogachiel, Calawah, Dickey, Hoh, Quillayute, Sol Duc, and Upper Quinault and their tribs. 

Watch for an announcement from Olympic National Park for park waters here.

GARY LUNDQUIST HOLDS A NICE COHO CAUGHT ON ONE OF THE WASHINGTON COAST RIVER STRETCHES THAT WASN’T CLOSED FOR MOST OF OCTOBER DUE TO LOW FLOWS. (COAST FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Cunningham said that coho have been responding to recent rains and moving up the systems and turning up at hatchery facilities.

State and national park managers had closed salmon fishing on much of the Washington Coast in early October as rivers dropped to all-time record lows for this time of year and concerns grew about Chinook and coho not being able to move upstream and concentrated harvest.

The North Coast reopener comes as the National Weather Service now predicts “heavy rain” on Sunday for the Forks area. Check the Northwest River Forecast Center for expected flows.

THE NORTHWEST RIVER FORECAST CENTER.
Bulk Ammo In-Stock

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

OLYMPIA – Fishing is reopening on most rivers and tributaries for salmon and all game fish beginning Saturday, Oct. 29, on the southern coast and Monday, Oct. 31, on the northern coast, fishery managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

“Stock assessment information and increased flows from the recent precipitation suggest salmon in many rivers have been able to migrate upstream to spawning grounds, following the unprecedented low flows we’ve experienced over the last month,” said James Losee, WDFW Region 6 fish program manager.

On the southern coast from the Moclips River south to the Bear River fishing will reopen Saturday, Oct. 29 under permanent rules for salmon and all game fish species.

On the northern coast from the Quinault River north to the Sol Duc River fishing will reopen Monday, Oct. 31 for salmon (Chinook salmon release rule implemented on several rivers) and all game fish species. All Chinook salmon must be released until further notice in the Bogachiel, Calawah, Dickey, Hoh, Quillayute, Sol Duc, and Upper Quinault rivers and tributaries. 

The Queets River system (Clearwater and Salmon rivers) is closed until further notice to all fishing due to emerging conservation concerns associated with recent in-river fishery activity.

Anglers can find a list of specific streams reopening by checking the emergency regulations on the WDFW webpage. Look under rules listed in the 2022-23 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for additional information. Anglers can be notified of in-season rule changes as they are announced by signing up for email notifications at wdfw.wa.gov/about/lists. The National Park Service (NPS) manages fisheries within the park and fishing regulations can be found on the NPS webpage.

Willapa Bay watershed fishery changes

October 27, 2022

Action:  Returns Willapa Bay tributaries to permanent rules as listed in the 2022/23 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Effective date:  Saturday, October 29, 2022

Species affected:  All species.

Locations (including all tributaries to listed areas):

  1. Bear River (Pacific Co.)
  2. Fork Creek (Pacific Co.)
  3. Naselle River (Pacific Co.), from the mouth upstream
  4. Naselle River South Fork (Pacific Co.)
  5. Nemah River, Middle, North and South forks (Pacific Co.)
  6. Niawiakum River (Pacific Co.)
  7. North River (Pacific Co.), from the mouth (Hwy. 105 Bridge) upstream
  8. Palix River (Pacific Co.)
  9. Salmon Creek (Pacific Co.)
  10. Smith Creek (Pacific Co.)
  11. Willapa River (Pacific Co.), from mouth (City of South Bend boat launch) upstream
  12. Willapa River South Fork (Pacific Co.)

Reason for action:  Recent rain events have led to increased stream flows, allowing Chinook to migrate upstream to spawning grounds. Data also indicates wild coho returns are sufficient to allow limited retention (as listed in 2022/23 rules pamphlet) in areas previously requiring wild coho release by emergency rule.

Additional information:  Anglers can be notified of in-season rule changes as they are announced by signing up for WDFW Regulation Updates at wdfw.wa.gov/about/lists.

Information contact:  Region 6 office, 360-249-4628

Grays Harbor tributary fisheries update

October 27, 2022

Action:  Returns Grays Harbor and local independent tributaries to permanent rules as listed in the 2022/23 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Effective date:  Saturday, October 29, 2022

Species affected:  All Species.

Locations (includes all tributaries to listed areas):  

  1. Black River (Grays Harbor/Thurston Co.)
  2. Chehalis River (Grays Harbor Co.), mainstem from Fuller Bridge upstream, and all forks and tributaries from the mouth upstream.
  3. Cloquallum Creek (Grays Harbor/Mason Co.)
  4. Copalis River (Grays Harbor Co.)
  5. Elk River (Grays Harbor Co.)
  6. Hoquiam River including West and East forks (Grays Harbor Co.)
  7. Humptulips River including all forks (Grays Harbor Co.)
  8. Joe Creek (Grays Harbor Co.)
  9. Johns River (Grays Harbor Co.)
  10. Moclips River (Grays Harbor Co)
  11. Newaukum River, including all forks (Lewis Co.)
  12. Satsop River (Grays Harbor Co.), including all forks.
  13. Skookumchuck River (Lewis/Thurston Co.)
  14. Van Winkle Creek (Grays Harbor Co.)
  15. Wishkah River (Grays Harbor Co.), from the mouth to 200’ below the weir at the Wishkah Rearing Ponds and from 150’ upstream to 150’ downstream of the Wishkah adult attraction channel/outfall structure (within the posted fishing boundary).
  16. Wynoochee River (Grays Harbor Co.)

Reason for action:  Recent rain events have led to increased stream flows, allowing Chinook to migrate upstream to spawning grounds.

Additional information:  Anglers can be notified of in-season rule changes as they are announced by signing up for WDFW Regulation Updates at wdfw.wa.gov/about/lists.

Information contact:  Region 6 office, 360-249-4628

North coast tributary fisheries update

October 27, 2022

Action: Returns many north coast tributaries to permanent rules as listed in the 2022/23 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet. Requires release of all Chinook in areas open for salmon fishing. Maintains closure of streams within the Queets River system (Clearwater and Salmon rivers).  

Species affected:  All Species.

Effective dates, Locations, and rules:

The following locations (including all tributaries to listed areas) return to permanent rules as listed in the 2022/23 rules pamphlet, beginning Oct. 31:  

  1. Bear Creek (Clallam Co.) (Bogachiel Tributary)
  2. Bear Creek (Clallam Co.) (Sol Duc Tributary)
  3. Beaver Creek (Clallam Co.)
  4. Big River (Clallam Co.), outside of Olympic National Park
  5. Bogachiel River (Clallam Co.), from the Hwy. 101 Bridge to Olympic National Park boundary
  6. Calawah River, (Clallam Co.), including North and South Forks, from the Hwy. 101 Bridge upstream to the Olympic National Park boundary 
  7. Cedar Creek (Jefferson Co.), outside of Olympic National Park
  8. Dickey River, East and West Fork (Clallam Co.)
  9. Goodman Creek (Jefferson Co.), outside of Olympic National Park boundary
  10. Hoh River (Jefferson Co.), from Morgans Crossing boat launch upstream to Olympic National Park boundary below mouth of South Fork Hoh
  11. Hoh River, South Fork (Jefferson Co.), outside of Olympic National Park boundary
  12. Kalaloch Creek (Jefferson Co.) outside Olympic National Park boundary
  13. Mosquito Creek (Jefferson Co.) from Olympic National Park boundary upstream
  14. Ozette Lake Tributaries (Clallam Co.), outside of Olympic National Park
  15. Sitkum River (Clallam Co.)
  16. Sol Duc River (Clallam Co.), from the concrete pump station at Sol Duc Hatchery upstream to the National Park Boundary
  17. Sooes River (Tsoo-Yess River) (Clallam Co.), outside of the Makah Indian Reservation
  18. Thunder Creek (Clallam Co.)

The following locations (including all tributaries to listed areas) remain Closed Waters, until further notice:

  1. Clearwater River (Jefferson Co.)
  2. Salmon River (Jefferson Co.)

These areas and their tributaries return to permanent rules as listed in the 2022/23 rules pamphlet beginning Oct. 31, except anglers must release ALL Chinook in the following locations, until further notice:

  1. Bogachiel River (Clallam Co.), from the mouth to Hwy. 101 Bridge
  2. Calawah River, (Clallam Co.), from the mouth to Hwy. 101 Bridge
  3. Dickey River (Clallam Co.), from Olympic National Park boundary upstream to the confluence of the east and west forks
  4. Hoh River (Jefferson Co.), from Olympic National Park boundary upstream to Morgans Crossing boat launch
  5. Quillayute River (Clallam Co.), from Olympic National Park boundary upstream to confluence of the Sol Duc and Bogachiel rivers
  6. Quinault River, Upper (Grays Harbor/Jefferson Co.), from the mouth at upper end of Quinault Lake upstream to Olympic National Park boundary
  7. Sol Duc River (Clallam Co.), from the mouth to concrete pump station at Sol Duc Hatchery

Reason for action:  Recent and forecasted  rain events are expected to restore stream flows sufficiently to allow for spawning salmon to continue migrations to their spawning grounds, allowing for fishing seasons to resume. Chinook non-retention is necessary to help achieve escapement goals, as normal spawn timing has been impacted greatly by lack of water due to dry weather conditions over summer and into fall.

Additional information:  For Queets River fishing rules, contact Olympic National Park or see their fishing rules website at https://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/fishing.htm.

Anglers can be notified of in-season rule changes as they are announced by signing up for WDFW Regulation Updates at wdfw.wa.gov/about/lists.