Time is running out to go winter steelhead fishing on five local river systems.
In order to protect dwindling wild steelhead returns fishing will close Feb. 18 in the Puyallup, Nooksack, Stillaguamish, Samish and Snohomish rivers, and their tributaries.
“This is the fourth straight year that we’ve seen a downward trend in wild steelhead returns,” Bob Leland, a state Fish and Wildlife steelhead manager said in a news release. “These closures are necessary to meet the conservation objectives of our statewide steelhead management plan and comply with provisions of the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).”
Wild steelhead in the Puget Sound region have been listed as “threatened” under the ESA since 2007.
The reopening date is early June in the rivers, but for specific information be sure to look at the new 2010-2011 state Fish and Wildlife regulation pamphlet that should come out some time in April.
Puget Sound region rivers closing are:
The Puyallup River mainstem from the 11th St. Bridge in Tacoma upstream to Electron Power Plant Outlet; Carbon River from the mouth to Hwy.162 Bridge; and White (Stuck) River from the mouth to R Street Bridge in Auburn.
The Nooksack River from the mouth to the confluence of the North and South Forks; North Fork Nooksack from the mouth to Nooksack Falls; South Fork Nooksack from the mouth to Skookum Creek; and Middle Fork Nooksack from the mouth to headwaters.
The Samish River from the mouth to the Hickson Bridge.
The Stillaguamish River from sloughs south of Marine Drive to forks; North Fork of the Stillaguamish from the mouth to Swede Heaven Bridge.; South Fork of the Stillaguamish from the mouth to the Mt Loop Hwy. Bridge (above Granite Falls); and Canyon Creek from the mouth at the South Fork of the Stillaguamish to the forks.
The Snohomish River from mouth (Burlington-Northern railroad bridges) to the confluence of the Skykomish and Snoqualmie rivers including all channels, sloughs, and interconnected waterways.
The Snoqualmie River from the mouth to the boat launch at Plum Landing (~1/4 mile below Tokul Creek).
The Skykomish River from the mouth to the forks; North Fork of the Skykomish from the mouth to Deer Falls (about ¼ mile upstream of Goblin Creek); South Fork of the Skykomish from the mouth to the Sunset Falls Fishway.
The Pilchuck River from mouth to the Snohomish city diversion dam.
The Sultan River from mouth to the diversion dam at river mile 9.7.
The Tolt River from mouth to the confluence of the North and South Fork.
The Raging River from the mouth to the Highway 18 Bridge.
The Wallace River, Tokul Creek and Snoqualmie River above the boat ramp at Plum Landing will close Feb 28.