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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

December 11, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Three eastside rivers now closed for fishing, but some remain open for hatchery steelhead

Steelhead fishing in some eastside rivers has come to a close due to a smaller return and a higher number of wild steelhead.

State Fish and Wildlife fisheries managers say the closures are necessary in order to keep wild steelhead encounters below the allowable threshold.

This includes the Upper Columbia River from Rock Island Dam to Wells Dam, and the Wenatchee and Icicle rivers. Whitefish fishing is also closed on the Wenatchee.

In the meantime, steelhead and whitefish fishing in the Okanogan, Similkameen, Methow and Columbia from Wells Dam up to Chief Joseph Dam remains open until further notice.

In these areas only hatchery steelhead may be kept with a two-fish daily limit. Once an angler catches their limit they must stop fishing.

There are night closures and selective gear rules in all open areas, but bait is allowed in the open section of the Columbia mainstem.

Fishery managers are reviewing the catches and will provide a run update in January. If possible some areas could reopen for fishing at a later time.

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