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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

January 14, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Cascade River reopens to steelhead fishing this Wednesday

Steelhead Pic1.jpg

Funny when you take fishing pressure off a certain river section you see a good return of winter steelhead.

That is what happened on the Cascade River, which closed earlier this month after the hatchery wasn’t seeing enough steelhead back to meet spawning goals.

“The water was so low, and the fish couldn’t get past the anglers who were catching them,” said Brett Barkdull, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “As soon as the fishermen were gone the fish came into the hatchery, and now we’ve reached our broodstock goal.”

The Lower Cascade River from the mouth upstream to Rockport-Cascade Road will reopen for steelhead fishing on Wednesday, Jan. 16.

“I’m sure there’s still steelhead in the river for anglers to catch because we’re getting fish everyday in the trap,” Barkdull said.

The Nooksack River was another place that was being closely monitored to ensure hatchery steelhead spawning escapement goals were being met.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if a change occurs in the Nooksack, but nothing has been announced yet,” Barkdull said.

Barkdull says he hasn’t heard any fishing reports on the North Fork Stillaguamish, but that recent spurt of water allowed a pulse of steelhead to move into the hatchery.

“The Stilly North Fork won’t close and I know that for sure as the fish moved in,” Barkdull said.

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