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http://wdfw.wa.gov/do/newreal/release.php?id=dec1609a

WDFW NEWS RELEASE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov/

December 16, 2009

Contact: Bob Leland, (360) 902-2817

Cascade River fishery closes Dec. 19
due to low hatchery steelhead return

OLYMPIA - Low steelhead returns to the Marblemount Hatchery have prompted the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to close a portion of the Cascade River to recreational fishing beginning Dec. 19.

The Cascade will be closed from the mouth upstream to the Rockport-Cascade Road Bridge to ensure enough steelhead make it back to the hatchery to meet spawning goals, said Bob Leland, WDFW's steelhead program manager.

That portion of the Cascade River is scheduled to re-open to recreational fishing Feb. 1, 2010. However, if spawning goals are met before then, the department could re-open the river earlier, said Leland.

"Because pre-season forecasts for steelhead returns to the Skagit River Basin are down this year, additional fishing closures to protect wild steelhead also are likely this spring," said Leland.

Catch-and-release fisheries in the Skagit and Sauk rivers are among those fisheries that likely will not open next spring, Leland said.

WDFW will continue to monitor returns of wild steelhead, which are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act, said Leland.
 

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Man I know I'm dense, but what does this mean?

"Catch-and-release fisheries in the Skagit and Sauk rivers are among those fisheries that likely will not open next spring, Leland said."

According to the regs, this section of the river is open from June - April:

SAUK RIVER (Skagit/Snohomish Co.)
from mouth to Darrington Bridge (828)
ALL Species - selective gear rules.
All Game Fish First Sat. in June-Apr. 30 Catch-and-release except up to 2 hatchery STEELHEAD may be retained.

This section open through Feb:

from Darrington Bridge to Whitechuck
River (828)
ALL Species - selective gear rules.
All Game Fish First Sat. in June-Feb. 28 Catch-and-release except up to 2 hatchery STEELHEAD may be retained.


What normally opens in the spring and won't be?
 

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avs16win,

What you will likely see is an emergency closure of the entire Skagit system to the targeting of steelhead. My guess is March 1st or perhaps even Feb 1st but it may be as late as March 15th. The gist of this is they will close down the Skagit system at some point.
 

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Just an Old Man
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Fishing the rivers really sucks for the Sportsman in Washington. They don't cause the problems but they take the hits for the fish. Ocean kills and over fishing the oceans does everybody in when it is your turn to fish.
 

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I think the steelhead return will be better than expected.

Last year was a bad year for a lot of streams that have already rebounded this year to their escapement in other regions.

I have caught a few very nice coho on the rivers in the last week. Never had so much success with them this late so I am hoping that fish returns, in general, are delayed this year.

My point is, I think the steelhead on the Skagit/Sauk will fare better this year than expected but I don't think we are going to get much opportunity to fish for them.
 

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Thanks Kerry S. So there will probably be 2 to 2.5 months of fishing on those rivers in the new year. Man, where do all of the Skagit jetsleds go if that piece is closed?

I didn't think there were any hatchery steelhead in the Sauk.
 
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