News

Washington Fishing Closures Due to Drought

2015 has certainly been an odd year, weather wise.  Significantly less snow pack than usual and hot weather have combined to make challenging conditions for our fisheries.

In order to reduce fish mortality and insure spawning goals are met, the state has closed several waters to fishing.  Still other waters are on “hoot owl” restrictions – which means only open from midnight to 2pm – when the water potentially a couple degrees cooler.Such a move is similar to steps taken by other states, such as Montana, in similar situations.

Closed Waters

  • North Fork Touchet River above Spangler Creek.
  • South Fork Touchet River from the mouth to Griffen Fork and above Griffen Fork.
  • Wolf Fork Touchet River from the mouth to Coates Creek and Robinson Fork.
  • Asotin Creek and tributaries (Asotin Co.) from the mouth to headwaters.
  • Kettle River and all tributaries (Ferry Co.) from the Barstow Bridge to the headwaters, all portions contained within Washington.
  • Wenatchee River (Chelan Co.) from the mouth to the Icicle River Road Bridge.
  • Icicle River (Chelan Co.) from the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam.
  • Lake Wenatchee (Chelan Co.)
  • Okanogan River from the Hwy 97 bridge upstream to Zosel Dam, except open to game fish fishing.
  • Similkameen River from the mouth upstream to Enloe Dam.
  • Ahtanum Creek, including the north and middle forks
  • Little Naches River
  • Teanaway River, including west, middle and north forks
  • Raging River (King Co.) from the mouth upstream.
  • Skykomish River (Snohomish Co.) from the mouth upstream closed to all fishing, except the section around Reiter Ponds remains open from the Gold Bar/Big Eddy Access (Hwy. 2 Bridge) upstream to the confluence of the North and South forks.
  • Wallace River (Snohomish Co.). From the mouth upstream including all tributaries.
  • Stillaguamish River (Skagit/Snohomish Co.) From Marine Drive upstream including the North and South forks and all tributaries.
  • South Fork Nooksack (Whatcom Co.) From the mouth to Skookum Creek, and from Wanlick Creek to headwaters including Wanlick and all tributaries.
  • Suiattle River (Skagit Co.) Tributaries Buck, Downey and Sulpher Creeks.
  • East Fork Lewis River from Lewisville Park downstream.
  • Washougal River from Mt. Norway Bridge downstream.

Hoot Owl Fisheries (Midnight to 2pm)

  • Walla Walla River (Walla Walla Co.) from McDonald Road Bridge to the Oregon State Boundary.
  • Touchet River (Columbia/Walla Walla Co.) from the mouth to the confluence of the North and South forks.
  • North Fork Touchet River from the mouth to Spangler Creek.
  • Tucannon River (Columbia/Garfield Co.) From the Highway 12 Bridge to Cow Camp Bridge.
  • Spokane River (Spokane/Lincoln Co.) from upstream boundary at Plese Flats Day Use Area to the Idaho State Boundary.
  • Spokane River tributaries, including Little Spokane River and tributaries (Spokane/Pend Oreille/Stevens Counties) from the State Route 25 Bridge upstream to Monroe Street Dam.
  • Colville River and all tributaries (Stevens Co.) from the mouth to the headwaters.
  • Sullivan Creek and all tributaries (Pend Oreille Co.) from the mouth to the headwaters.
  • Naches River from Tieton River to Bumping River/Little Naches River
  • Rattlesnake Creek
  • North Fork Skykomish River (Snohomish Co.) From the mouth upstream including all tributaries.
  • South Fork Skykomish River (Snohomish/King Co.) From Sunset Falls upstream and all tributaries, including the Beckler, Foss, Miller and Rapid rivers and their tributaries.
  • Sauk River (Skagit/Snohomish Co.) Above the Suiattle River including the North Fork to the falls and the South Fork to headwaters.
  • Samish River (Skagit Co.) From I-5 to headwaters, and Friday Creek upstream.
  • East Fork Lewis River from Lewisville Park upstream.
  • Washougal River from Mt. Norway Bridge upstream.

For more information please refer to the official WDFW News Release.

Even if you are fishing in waters that are unaffected by this closure, please keep the higher water temperatures in mind and treat the fish accordingly.  Fish in the morning, if possible.   Avoid catch and release, since the morality will higher than usual.  If releasing fish spend extra time to help it recover and swim off.

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