Elwha River reopening

Bonsai

Jerry
Does anyone have any idea when the Elwha River will reopen for fishing? All I could find was info about the removal of the dams. When this all started I thought the river was planned to open in 2017. I have talked to a couple of the states environmental people and was told the fish are coming back faster than expected and they were going upstream past where the upper dam was, but that was a few years ago. I am thinking fly fishing only, selective gear rules and catch and release for a while once it does reopen.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
At the risk of sounding like a contrarian jerk, I kinda wish they would leave it completely alone. If runs recover they use it as an argument for radically different stream and river management.

Unfortunately, once the new hatchery was built the “let’s see what Mother Nature can do on her own” went out the window in my opinion.
I predict it will open again once fish populations reach a point when it is deemed there are harvestable numbers.
That hatchery wasn’t built without the intent of fish to be harvested at some point.
SF
 

Buzzy

Active Member
At the risk of sounding like a contrarian jerk, I kinda wish they would leave it completely alone. If runs recover they use it as an argument for radically different stream and river management.
I don't think your idea is contrarian and I agree. This river with its pristine drainage basin and all those "landlocked" rainbows just itching to become anadromous monsters.... - what a wonderful opportunity for man to see if nature can rebound - and rebound fully. Probably wishful thinking given the state of the ocean and other factors beyond humankind control.

And then there's Brains argument above.
 

JACKspASS

Active Member
At the risk of sounding like a contrarian jerk, I kinda wish they would leave it completely alone. If runs recover they use it as an argument for radically different stream and river management.

Agree in principle, however, isn't this experiment being played out at many river locations around the state? Do we really want another river with a 'closed' for further evaluation label?
 

Gyrfalcon21

Honoring Vets
I am with boot, I'd like to see it free from harassment of any kind. At least keep the upper headwaters closed for good.

That darn hatchery loophole is bad.
 

Bonsai

Jerry
Some good comments. I am fine keeping it close for a while. At some point it will reach a stable point where the numbers fish simply don't go up from year to year. At that point if the numbers are good open it up in stages and see what happens. I would like to see selective gear rules on many of the rivers.
 

cabezon

Sculpin Enterprises
WFF Supporter
I would LOVE to fish the Ranch Section of the Elwha again at some point for trout before I'm too decrepit. I have such great memories of camping and fishing there. But I suspect that the Park Service will extend the closure as long as they can. And I would be concerned about folks targeting summer steelhead in such small water, even for catch-and-release.
Steve
 

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