|Subscribe | What is RSS|
Contact: Chris Donley, (509) 892-1001, ext. 307
OLYMPIA – State fishery managers are closing or restricting fishing on more than 30 rivers throughout Washington to help protect fish in areas where drought conditions have reduced flows and increased water temperatures.
The closures and restrictions take effect Saturday (July 18) at 12:01 a.m. The changes will remain in effect until further notice.
Fishing will be closed in some waters, and limited in others each day to the hours between midnight and 2 p.m. These “hoot-owl” restrictions will go into effect on rivers where fishery managers want to reduce stress on fish during the hottest time of day.
High water temperatures can be deadly for fish, such as trout, while diminished stream flows can strand migrating salmon and steelhead, said Craig Burley, fish program manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
“With such extreme drought conditions in several areas of the state, we needed to take these steps to help protect vulnerable fish in waters where we have concerns,” Burley said. “We’ll continue monitoring stream conditions throughout Washington this summer and take additional actions if necessary.”
For details on the closures and restrictions, check the emergency regulations, which will be posted tomorrow on WDFW’s webpage at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.
Fishing closures and restrictions are listed by region below. Today’s action does not include any rivers in Region 6 (South Sound/Olympic Peninsula). However, earlier this summer, the department closed fishing on a section of the Sol Duc River to protect returning chinook during drought conditions.
Region 1 – Eastern Washington
Closed to fishing:
- 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.
- 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.