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

February 17, 2005

Skykomish River closes to fishing

Action: The Skykomish River will close to all fishing March 1, 2005. The closure effects the spring (March and April) catch-and-release season.

Effective date: March 1 through May 31, 2005

Species affected: Steelhead and all other game fish.

Location: Skykomish River from its mouth (near the Highway 522 Bridge) to the Sultan River.

Reason for action: The forecast for Snohomish River system wild winter steelhead returning this winter (2004/2005) is 2,883; which is only 44 percent of the basins wild winter steelhead spawning escapement goal of 6,500. Due to the low run size forecast this year every effort is being taken to minimize impacts on the wild run of steelhead. The closure of the catch-and-release fishery will prevent incidental hooking mortality and disturbance of spawning fish.

Additional Information: In order for a catch-and-release wild winter steelhead fishery to occur, the forecast must be at least 80% of the escapement goal or 5,200 fish. A spring fishery for hatchery steelhead will not be considered because the forecasted wild run is only 44 percent of escapement needs and by the end of February most hatchery fish have either been harvested or spawned.

Information contact: Chad Jackson, District Fish Biologist, (425) 775-1311, ext. 113

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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