Tokul Creek to open early for hatchery steelhead and other gamefish

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

December 20, 2017

Tokul Creek to open early for hatchery steelhead and other gamefish

Action: Open Tokul Creek from the Fish Hatchery Road Bridge to the posted boundary marker downstream of the diversion dam fish ladder for trout and other gamefish.

Effective dates: 7 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, through Feb. 15, 2018.

Species affected: Trout, hatchery steelhead and other game fish.

Location: Tokul Creek from the Fish Hatchery Road Bridge upstream to the posted boundary marker below the diversion dam fish ladder.

Rules: Tokul Creek is closed to fishing daily from 5 p.m. 7 a.m. Anti-snagging rules are in effect.

Reasons for action: This section of Tokul Creek is closed in the permanent regulations until Jan.15 to allow for winter steelhead broodstock collection at the Tokul Creek Hatchery. The Tokul Creek Hatchery facility has met those egg take goals for winter steelhead, allowing for expanded fishing opportunity in Tokul Creek.

Other information: Tokul Creek remains open from the mouth to the downstream edge of the Fish Hatchery Road Bridge as listed in the fishing rules pamphlet. Tokul Creek will close to fishing Feb. 16, 2018, to protect wild steelhead.

Information contact: WDFW Mill Creek Office, 425-775-1311


Cowlitz, Green, North Fork Toutle rivers will close to chinook salmon fishing



VANCOUVER, Wash. – Starting Oct. 2, anglers will be required to release any chinook salmon they intercept on the Cowlitz, Green and North Fork Toutle rivers due to low returns of hatchery chinook.

State fishery managers at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) said the closures are necessary to ensure that enough fall chinook return to those rivers to support hatchery production during the coming year.

All three rivers will remain open to retention of other fish species, as listed in the 2017 Sport Fishing Rules.

“This was a tough decision for fishery managers, but we can’t ignore the lagging chinook returns,” said Dan Rawding, acting WDFW regional fish manager. “We have to think about producing fish for next year too.”

According to the pre-season forecast, 3,900 hatchery fall chinook were expected to cross Barrier Dam this year, with a goal of collecting 1,900 fish for hatchery broodstock. So far, only 700 chinook have returned to the river, and Rawding said fish managers are now hoping to get 1,400 back to the hatchery.

The Cowlitz River remains open to fishing for coho salmon, summer steelhead, and sea-run cutthroat trout.

On the Green River, only 400 chinook have been collected this year out of an expected return of 1,000 hatchery fish. The broodstock goal is 800 fish at the hatchery, which produces chinook returning to the Green and North Toutle rivers.

Two other large Columbia River tributaries – the Kalama and the Washougal – will remain open to fishing for chinook salmon. There, too, chinook returns are lower than expected, but fishery managers still expect to meet hatchery broodstock goals on those rivers, Rawding said.

Rawding said WDFW will continue to monitor salmon returns in area rivers, and will consider reopening rivers to chinook fishing if returns improve in the coming weeks.

More information about these rule changes can be found on WDFW’s website at

Snohomish, Skykomish and Snoqualmie rivers to close to pink salmon fishing

September 21, 2017

Snohomish, Skykomish and Snoqualmie rivers 
to close to pink salmon fishing

Action: Closes the Snohomish River, including the Skykomish and Snoqualmie rivers, to the retention of pink salmon.

Effective Date: Sept. 22, 2017, until further notice.

Species affected: Pink salmon.

Reason for action: The rule is necessary to protect returning pink runs to the Snohomish River Watershed. In-season run-size assessments conducted by state and tribal co-managers indicate that pink run sizes are below the escapement goal in the Snohomish basin.

Other information: The Skykomish and Snoqualmie rivers are tributaries to the Snohomish River and will also close to the retention of pink salmon. The rivers will still be open to fishing for other species of salmon, with a daily limit of three coho. The Wallace River, another tributary to the Snohomish River, remains closed to all fishing. Check the 2017-18 Fishing Rules Pamphlet for specific regulations.

Information contact: Mill Creek Regional Office: (425) 775-1311.

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Sockeye fishing to close on upper Columbia River



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

July 7, 2017

Sockeye fishing to close on upper Columbia River

Action: Close sockeye salmon fishing

Effective date: 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, July 8, 2017


  • Columbia River from the Washington/Oregon border upstream to Chief Joseph Dam
  • Wenatchee River
  • Similkameen River
  • Okanogan River
  • Chelan River

Reason for action: A revised sockeye salmon forecast of approximately 100,000 for the Columbia River is half of the pre-season forecast of 200,000 fish. After subtracting fish already harvested, those destined for Lake Wenatchee, and pre-spawn mortality, all remaining sockeye must be directed toward escapement and hatchery broodstock. 

Other angler information: Fishing for summer chinook salmon remains open as specified in the 2017-2018 sport fishing rules pamphlet.

Information contact: Chad Jackson, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, Ephrata, (509) 754-4624, Travis Maitland, District 7 Fish Biologist, Wenatchee, (509) 665-3337 or Ryan Fortier, District 6 Fish Biologist, Twisp, (509) 997-0316

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 (See:  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.


Recreational salmon fishery opens June 24 in the ocean



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

June 22, 2017
Wendy Beeghley, (360) 249-4628, ext. 215

Recreational salmon fishery opens June 24 in the ocean

OLYMPIA – Sport anglers will have the opportunity to reel in salmon off the Washington coast starting Saturday, June 24.

That’s when marine areas 1 (Ilwaco), 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) open daily for salmon fishing. Marine Area 2 (Westport) will open a week later on July 1.

Fish managers expect slightly higher numbers of chinook and coho salmon will make their way through the ocean this year as compared to 2016, said Wendy Beeghley, an ocean salmon manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Due to the improved forecasts, the recreational chinook catch quota this year is 45,000, up from 35,000 in 2016.This year’s coho quota of 42,000 fish is an increase of 23,100 coho from 2016, when anglers were allowed to keep coho only in Marine Area 1. Coho retention is allowed in all four marine areas this summer.

Anglers fishing in marine areas 1 and 2 will have a daily limit of two salmon, only one of which can be a chinook. In areas 3 and 4, anglers will have a two-salmon daily limit. In all areas, anglers must release wild coho.

All four marine areas are scheduled to close to salmon fishing at the end of the day Sept. 4 but could close earlier if the quota is met.

Throughout the summer, anglers can check WDFW’s webpage at for updates.

More information about the fisheries can be found in the 2017-18 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, available at license vendors and sporting goods stores and online at


Daily limit of 4 chinook starting July 1 south of Ayock in Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal)


June 14, 2017

Daily limit of 4 chinook starting July 1 south of Ayock in Marine Area 12

Action: Anglers can keep 4 chinook daily south of Ayock Point in Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) beginning July 1.

Effective Date: July 1 through Sept. 30, 2017.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Location: South of Ayock Point within Marine Area 12.

Reason for action: State and tribal fishery managers agreed to a four-chinook limit for this area during the annual season-setting process this spring. This corrects the limit listed in the 2017/18 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Other information: Daily limit of 4 salmon, with a chinook minimum size limit of 20 inches. Release chum and wild chinook. Anglers may fish with two poles with a Two-Pole Endorsement. All waters within channels created by exposed tidelands are closed to salmon fishing at the Skokomish River mouth.

Other rules for waters south of Ayock Point remain unchanged, including Hoodsport Hatchery Zone. Check the sport fishing rules page for details on other fisheries:

Information contact: Mark Baltzell, (360) 902-2807, or Mark Downen, (360) 202-7005.

Recreational halibut fishing to open June 10 in Neah Bay, La Push and Puget Sound

June 6, 2017

Recreational halibut fishing to open June 10
in Neah Bay, La Push and Puget Sound

Action:  Open recreational halibut fishing Saturday, June 10, in Marine Areas 3 (La Push), 4 (Neah Bay), and 5-10 (Puget Sound).

Open halibut retention with bottomfish on board in the nearshore area in Marine Area 1 seven days per week effective Thursday, June 8, until further notice.

Effective date: Open recreational halibut in Marine Areas 3 through 10 effective Saturday, June 10, 2017.

Open the nearshore area in Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) for halibut retention seven days per week in effective Thursday, June 8, 2017

Species affected: Pacific halibut

Location:  Marine Areas 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Reason for action:  Sufficient quota remains to open another fishing day in the north coast (Marine Areas 3 and 4) and Puget Sound (Marine Areas 5-10) on Saturday, June 10. Catch data will be evaluated following the opening on June 10 to determine if enough quota remains for additional fishing days in the north coast and Puget Sound.  If sufficient quota remains the next potential fishing day would be Saturday, June 17

There is sufficient remaining quota to allow halibut retention in the nearshore area of Marine Area 1 seven days per week. 

These rules conform to action taken by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). 

Information contact: Heather Reed, (360) 902-2487.