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

December 24, 2008

A portion of the North Fork Stillaguamish River will close to fishing

Action: Part of the North Fork Stillaguamish River in the Fortson area will be closed to fishing in order to ensure egg-take goals are met for hatchery winter steelhead at the Whitehorse Hatchery.

Effective dates: Dec. 29, 2008 until further notice.

Species affected: Trout and All game fish.

Location: That portion of the North Fork Stillaguamish River, extending downstream from the Whitehorse Bridge approximately 4 river miles to the French Creek confluence, will be closed to fishing. This closure includes the Whitehorse Hatchery effluent and Fortson Hole area of the North Fork Stillaguamish.

Reasons for action: Whitehorse Hatchery has not collected enough returning hatchery winter steelhead broodstock, and is in jeopardy of failing to meet egg take goals. This fishing closure will help increase the number of hatchery winter steelhead returning to the Whitehorse facility.

In the past, egg collection shortfalls at Whitehorse were supplemented with winter steelhead eggs from adjacent watersheds. As part of the ongoing Hatchery Reform initiative, WDFW will only use locally collected broodstock to support the North Fork Stillaguamish River winter steelhead hatchery program. Steelhead eggs from other watersheds will no longer be used at this facility to supplement shortfalls in egg-take collection goals. This new approach to broodstock collection was recommended by the independent Hatchery Scientific Review Group (HSRG), and is identified as an artificial production strategy in the WDFW Statewide Steelhead Management Plan.

Other information: When broodstock needs are met, the fishery will revert to seasons as listed in the Sport fishing Rules 2008/2009 pamphlet edition, FISHING IN WASHINGTON

Information Contact: Aaron Bosworth, 425-775-1311 x 101, boswoadb@dfw.wa.gov

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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