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

March 13, 2009

Chehalis River Basin steelhead closure

Action: Closes a portion of the Chehalis River and its tributaries to ALL FISHING for the remainder of the winter season.

Effective dates: March 16, 2009 through April 30. 2009.

Species affected: Closed to fishing for ALL SPECIES upstream from Porter Bridge. Closed to fishing for ALL SPECIES from the mouth to Porter Bridge, except open for white sturgeon.

Location: Chehalis River (from mouth to high bridge on Weyerhaeuser 1000 line approximately 400 yards downstream of Roger Creek upstream including all forks and tributaries and the Chehalis River, South Fork from the mouth to Hwy bridge at Boistfort School) and its tributaries; Cloquallum Creek (from the mouth to Hwy. 8 Bridge to the 2nd bridge on Cloquallum Rd), Newaukum River (South, Middle and North Forks), Satsop River and East Fork (from the mouth to bridge at Schafer State Park), Skookumchuck River (from the mouth to 400' below outlet of PP&L/WDFW steelhead rearing pond located at the base of Skookumchuck Dam), Wishkah River (from the mouth to 200' below the weir at the Wishkah Rearing Ponds), and Wynoochee River (from the mouth to above mouth of Schafer Creek upstream).

Reasons for action: Early indications are both hatchery and natural steelhead returning to the Chehalis River basin are well below pre-season projections. Available data indicate escapement goals will not be met. Many independent tributaries have not achieved their spawner escapement goals in recent years; the entire Chehalis River system has not met minimum conservation goals for the last two years. To minimize overall impact to the natural spawning population and to ensure hatchery egg-take needs are achieved, the sport fishery will be closed.

Other information: Quinault Indian Nation has also closed their commercial fishery in the lower Chehalis River for the remainder of the winter steelhead season.

Information Contact: Kirt Hughes or Barbara McClellan, Region 6 Montesano

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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