Low steelhead return shuts off Green River

The state is closing the Green River to protect the low return of wild steelhead. The lower portion is closed to all fishing, and the upper portion will close Feb. 1. The closure covers all game fish.

The lower Green, from the First Avenue South Bridge in Seattle upstream to the South 277th Bridge in Auburn, closed today and will stay shut through June 4.

The upper river, from the 277th Bridge in Auburn upstream to the Tacoma headworks dam, will be closed Feb. 1 to June 4.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife said the closure was needed to reduce the incidental mortality of wild steelhead. The 2009-2010 forecast of wild steelhead returning to the Green River is only 458 fish, well below the spawning goal of 2,000 steelhead, a news release said.


Cowlitz: Anglers are having good success at Blue Creek fishing for winter-run steelhead. The fish have been weighing up to 12 pounds and are fresh from the salt water, said Don Glaser at Barrier Dam Campground. The river is in good shape with 10 feet of visibility. Wiggle Warts, shrimp-tipped jigs or eggs all seem to be working.

Green: The upper river is still fishable, but the action has been fairly slow.

Kalama: The river level rose fast this week and the color is making visibility zero, said Wayne Orzel at Pritchard’s Western Angler.

Lewis: There are quite a few people out, and they are catching some steelhead, said a staffer at Angler’s Workshop. Most people are using bobbers and jigs. Beware of the high water.

Nisqually: River is closed to all fishing.

Olympic Coast: The rivers are still unfishable, said Curt Reed at Waters West. When the flows are reasonable, the fishing has been good, he said.

Puyallup: River is closed to salmon fishing,

Wynoochee: The river, as well as the Satsop, is blown out.

Yakima: The action seems to have slowed down in the last few days, according to a report from The Evening Hatch. The Farmlands and lower canyon remains the best options.


American: The few anglers giving it a try have been coming up empty, said David Anderson at Bill’s Boathouse.

Offut: The water temperature has risen, which has the fish more active. Patience is still needed to catch some trout, said Becky Pogue at Offut Lake Resort. Try using worms with garlic or shrimp scent or Power Bait.

Spanaway: The wind made conditions rough Friday, said Bud Herlitzka at Spanaway Park Boathouse. Anglers have been using worms and marshmallows to pick up a few fish off the dock. Boat anglers were catching a few fish, some reaching 3 pounds.

Spencer: The fishing has been pretty good, as well as at Mason Lake. Try pulling a woolly bugger or a Carey Special close to the bottom, or Power Bait or worms floated a couple feet off the bottom, said Ron Adams at Verle’s Sports Center and Marine.

Washington: The action remains slows, mostly because the anglers are getting blown off the lake.

Salt water

Fly-fishing: There hasn’t been too many people fishing in recent days, said Clark Jennings at Puget Sound Fly Co. It would be worth hitting the beaches in the Allyn area for sea-run cutthroat. Action for resident coho has been spotty.

South Sound: The action has been very slow in recent days, largely in part because of the lousy weather and the closure of the crabbing season, said a staffer at Zittels Marina. Anglers fishing off Harstine Island marked a few fish, saw lots of bait and seals but there was no catching, Adams said.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640