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Will this year's winter run include the offspring of the fish protected by the first closure of the C&R season on the Sky, Stilly, Sauk and Skagit? I thought the first of the closures was 3 years ago (2000), so with a year in the river and 2 in the salt, won't we see them return in 2003? I'm not much of a steelhead biologist, and perhaps I'm a year early, but hopefully we'll see some effect on the native return.
 

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The first closure was in the late winter/spring of 2001, so they have been closed only during the past 2 seasons. Even before the closures the runs were not doing that great, so it will take a few years before they can make a comeback. Most winter fish are at least 4 years old (2 years fresh, 2 in salt), but most 2 salts are around 5 or 6 years old. Juvenile residence in freshwater can vary though from 2 to even 5 years, while saltwater fish can go from 1 to even 5 years in salt before making the first spawning run. I'm not sure on the normal life history of the Puget Sound winter fish, but I think most are 2 or 3 salts with 2-4 years in fresh water as a juvenile. Either way, we won't be seeing 2001's returners for a while.
 
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