Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

December 3, 2015

Fishing to close on parts of Nooksack River; release all steelhead on mainstem, South Fork, Whatcom Creek

Action: Close the North and Middle forks of the Nooksack River to all fishing, and close the mainstem Nooksack River, the South Fork and Whatcom Creek to hatchery steelhead retention.

Effective dates: Dec. 5, 2015 until further notice.

Species affected: Steelhead and other gamefish

Locations and Specific actions:

The mainstem Nooksack River from Lummi Indian Reservation boundary to the confluence of the North and South Forks: Hatchery steelhead release required.

The South Fork Nooksack from mouth to Skookum Creek: Hatchery steelhead release required.

Whatcom Creek from mouth to yellow markers below foot bridge below Dupont Street: Hatchery steelhead release required.

The Middle Fork Nooksack from mouth to city of Bellingham diversion dam: Closed to all fishing.

The North Fork from mouth to Nooksack Falls: Closed to all fishing.

Reasons for action: The Kendall Creek Hatchery and Whatcom Creek Hatchery programs did not release hatchery steelhead smolts in 2014 and thus are relying on fish returning from the 2013 release. Retention restrictions are needed to collect sufficient fish to meet egg take needs.

Other information: Salmon fisheries in the mainstem Nooksack, South Fork Nooksack, and Whatcom Creek remain open. When the broodstock needs of Kendall Creek Hatchery are met, the fishery will be reopened and revert to seasons as listed in the 2015/2016 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Information Contact: Mill Creek Regional Office, 425 775-1311, ext. 0

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

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