Icicle River will not open for spring chinook fishing

Icicle River will not open for spring chinook fishing

Action: The Icicle River will not open for salmon fishing on May 15 as scheduled in the 2016-17 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet. The river will remain closed to salmon fishing.

Effective date:  May 15, 2017.

Species affected: Hatchery spring chinook salmon.

Effective Locations: Icicle River (Chelan County)

(1)  From the closure signs located 800 feet upstream of the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam.

(2)  From the shoreline markers where Cyo Road intersects the Icicle River at the Sleeping Lady Resort to the Icicle Peshastin Irrigation Footbridge (approximately 750 feet upstream of the Snow Lakes trailhead parking area).

Reason for action:  Preseason forecasts and current in-season run analysis estimate the number of spring chinook salmon returning to the Icicle River may not be sufficient to meet broodstock collection goals (1,640 spawners) at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery.  To avoid a potential broodstock shortage, it is necessary to close the upcoming salmon season at this time. WDFW will continue to monitor spring chinook salmon returns to the Icicle River and could open the season if numbers improve.  

Information contact: Travis Maitland, District 7 Fish Biologist, (509) 665-3337, Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-4624 ext. 224.


Moclips River


Sea-Run Cutthroat and Winter Steelhead
Flows into the Pacific Ocean at Moclips
Take Highway 109 west out of Hoquiam and follow it up the coast 30 miles to Moclips and the mouth of the river. The only road leading east out of town parallels the south side of the river.
The nearest place to find all of your amenities is Ocean Shores, 17 miles to the south, but Moclips has lodging, RV parks, groceries, gas and tackle.
Rules and Regulations:
See your Washington State fishing handbook for further updated rules and regulations.
Fishing the Moclips River:
Although this coastal stream is open during the winter months to allow for a steelhead season, the winter fishery doesn’t really amount to anything. In fact there where years in the 90’s that Fish and Game recorded no winter steelhead catches. For most people the Moclips River is to far away and the steelheading is too poor for the drive. Now on the other hand the fall fishing for Sea-Run Cutthroat can be a worthwhile endeavor. Like many other streams around the Gray’s Harbor area, the best cutthroat fishing occurs within 24 hours of the end of a heavy rain that causes a good rise in water levels. Roll a nightcrawler or a small cluster of salmon roe along the bottom to catch them and preferably on an incoming tide.


Nisqually River


The Nisqually River supports naturally reproducing populations of Chinook, chum, coho, and pink salmon, and cutthroat trout. In addition, a very large hatchery Chinook salmon program plants Chinook salmon into the river. Winter and Summer-Run Steelhead, and Sea-Run Cutthroat
Enters the Puget Sound between Tacoma and Olympia.
Take Interstate 5 to the Old Nisqually exit and follow Pacific Avenue south two miles to Reservation Road. Turn left on Reservation Road and left again on Highway 510 (Olympia/Yelm Highway), which roughly parallels the south side of the river before crossing over it at the small town of McKenna.
Grocery, gas, and tackle are available in Yelm, and lodging can be found in nearby Lacey.
Fishing the Nisqually River:
Illegal tribal netting years back all but wiped out the winter steelhead, the river is trickling back but the winter steelhead run is on the “Threatened Species Act” catch and release all wild fish on this river. In 2012 the hopeful natural escapement goal might reach 300, in 2011 268 total winter steelhead returned according to WDFW, in the past 20 or so years the top year was 1989, which produced only 3,807 winter-runs.
Wild Chinook Salmon from the Nisqually are on the “Threatened Species Act”, and the Wild Coho Salmon is not far behind. Please always catch and release all wild fish.
Hatchery “fin clipped” Salmon fishing starts to pick up at the beginning of August, this fishery is a hit and miss opportunity. The Indians don’t start netting normally until the second week of August, which gives the sportsman about a two week window of opportunity to land a nice chinook salmom from 10 to 30 pounds. There are two or three launches on the river, one being on a military post. There are a few drift boat holes that anglers usually fill, then the other majority of fishing is done from the shore. Ghost shrimp, diving plugs, and roe clusters work well here. The pinks move in in the beginning of September every other year, followed by the coho towards the end of September and into October. In the meantime, chum salmon are the biggest draw for anglers on the Nisqually these days. Chums come on strong with the first highwaters of November and provide fishing action well into January most years. Favorite spots are the long drift immediately above the Pacific Avenue bridge, and a few miles upstream near the mouth of Muck Creek. Nisqually river chums are fond of green yarn, small green steelhead bobbers, or bobber and yarn combinations.
Sea-run cutthroat trout are available in the Nisqually from about August through November, chasing the salmon eggs, but they get little attention on this river. The best cutthroat fishing is in the lower section of the river, as they sometimes go in and out with the tidal flow.

Indian’s netting a “Hatchery Chinook Salmon” on the Nisqually River

Salmon fihing on the Nisqually River, east of Interstate 5

Hoquiam River


Winter Steelhead, Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Chum Salmon, Sea-Run Cutthroat, Piling Perch, Seaperch
Flows into the east end of Grays Harbor at Aberdeen
Take U.S.101 north from Hoquiam for about five miles, to parallel the west side of the river. East Hoquiam Road out of Hoquiam parallels the East Fork of the Hoquiam and provides good access.
A boat ramp is located on the east fork of the Hoquiam and seceral places to fish from the bank are scattered along all forks. Food, gas, lodging, and tackle are found just a few minutes away in Hoquiam or Aberdeen.
How to fish the Hoquiam River:
Although it’s stocked with a few hatchery steelhead smolts and is open for fall salmon fishing, the Hoquiam doesn’t fit into any category of a hot spot. Locals catch a few winter steelhead when the conditions are right, and the fall coho fishery is even less impressive. Sea-Run Cutthroats offer more action, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife releases hatchery Cutts here to enhance the opportunities for the fishermen. If you decide to take a trout or two for dinner, be sure that they are fin-clipped hatchery fish, release all wild fish.
The piers, bridges, and old pilings at the mouth of the Hoquiam offer decent perch fishing on an incoming tide, but few anglers fish for them. Both pile-perch and striped sea-perch are available.

Hoh River

Winter and Summer Steelhead, Chinook and Coho Salmon, Se-Run Cutthroat
Flows into the Pacific Ocean at Kalaloch
Take U.S.101 north from Hoquiam or west from Port Angeles. The highway parallels the south side of the river downstream from the Hoh River Bridge, where several gravel roads lead to the north, toward the river. Or turn west on the Lower Hoh Road just north of the bridge to drive down to the north side of the river. To reach the upper Hoh, turn east on the Upper Hoh Road about two miles north of the bridge.
A store and campground are located on the south side of the river just south of the bridge, with another store and campground on the upper river. Both campgrounds have cabins for rent. Motels and other amenities are available in Forks. Several Department of Natural Resources campgrounds are scattered along the river, including Cottonwood Campground on the lower Hoh, and Willoughby, Morgan’s Crossing, Spruce Creek, Huelsdonk, and Hoh Rain Forest Campgrounds on the upper river.
Fishing the Hoh River:
Liberal plants of more than 100,000 winter steelhead smolts and a self-sustaining run of summer steelhead combine to make the Hoh one of the better coastal steelhead rivers, despite rather intense tribal net fisheries at the mouth in the past. Anglers typically catch between 1,000 to 2,5000 winter-run steelhead here annually. March is generally the top producing month to fish the Hoh, but it also produces excellent catches from December to April. The river produces some monster fish, anywhere from the 15 to 30 pound range. The catch of summer-run is much smaller, usually from 300 to 500 fish, but that’s not bad at all when you consider that the Hoh is a dirty river from the glacial runoff on and off throughout the months in the summer. That runoff is what makes the Hoh a pristine river.
Summer salmon fishing can be very good here, especially for chinooks. There are some big spring-run fish in the river when it opens to fishing in May, and it’s possible to a catch a chinook salmon here from that point until September or even early October. While adult chinooks, some of them topping 40 pounds are the star attraction for salmon anglers, the river sometimes hosts large amounts of Jack salmon, and these 2-8 pound fish are loads of fun. Like their adult counter parts, large doses of Ghost Shrimp, and Roe will do the trick. Sea-Run Cutthroats start to enter the river in July, and by August the fishing can be quite good. Remember to release all wild Cutthroats, and all fish for that matter that are wild. Cutthroats will provide good fishing into November, and all you will need is a worm. The Hoh has a lot of downed trees, bush piles etc.. find the cover, find the Cutthroats. Several good bank fishing spots are available on both sides of the lower Hoh and off the road along the north side of the upper river. There are also a half a dozen drift boat launches and that is the way most anglers prefer to fish the river. Coho fishing starts in September and last throughout November, with the month of October providing the best of fishing. Spoons, spinners, and all medal blade lures will provide good action for the Coho run. The Quinnault Tribal Hatchey released 50,000 winter steelhead smolts into the Hoh River in (2012)

Here is the Washington State Record Winter-Run Steelhead caught on the Hoh in 2009, the moster weighed 29.5 pounds!