The Methow River, a popular northeastern Washington fishery, will reopen Friday, March 1 one hour before sunrise until further notice for hatchery steelhead and whitefish.
The section of the Methow opening is from the mouth (Highway 97 Bridge) to the confluence with the Chewuch River in Winthrop.
Fishing from a floating device is prohibited from the second powerline crossing (one mile upstream from the mouth) to the first Highway 153 bridge (four miles upstream from the mouth).
In a news release state Fish and Wildlife said that by reopening steelhead fisheries in the Methow will help reduce the proportion of hatchery fish on the spawning grounds, and competition between wild origin and hatchery juvenile production.
A section of the Okanogan River around the mouth of Omak and Tonasket Creeks will be closed March 17 to protect wild steelhead staging prior to spawning within those tributaries.
This includes areas in the Okanogan from the first powerline crossing downstream of the Highway 155 Bridge in Omak (Coulee Dam Credit Union Building) to the mouth of Omak Creek, and from the Tonasket Lagoons Park boat launch to the Tonasket Bridge (4th Street).
Other areas still open for hatchery steelhead are:
Columbia River mainstem from Rock Island Dam to boundary markers below Wells Dam and from Hwy 173 Bridge at Brewster to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam.
Wenatchee River from the mouth to 400 feet below Tumwater Dam, including the Icicle River from the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam.
Okanogan River from the mouth to the Highway 97 Bridge in Oroville, except for the two closure sections listed above.
Similkameen River from the mouth to 400 feet below Enloe Dam.