The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced fishing for steelhead and other game fish will close in the Nooksack, Snohomish, Stillaguamish and Skagit river systems, as well as several streams along the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The department said most rivers will close next Tuesday, but some near state fish hatcheries will remain open through Feb. 15 to provide anglers an opportunity to catch and keep hatchery steelhead.
Preseason estimates developed by the department last fall indicate wild steelhead will return in numbers far short of target levels, said Jim Scott, assistant director for the Fish Program. The closures are necessary to meet the conservation objectives of the agency’s statewide steelhead management plan and comply with provisions of the federal Endangered Species Act, he said in a news release.
The early closures are timed in each watershed to coincide with the traditional dates returning wild steelhead begin to arrive, said Bob Leland, the steelhead program manager.
To see the full list of closures, go to blog.thenewstribune.com/adventure.