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Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
Contact: Rainey McKenna, 360-565-2985
Due to concerns about the status, trends, and escapement of Hoh River Chinook salmon, Olympic National Park is closing the Hoh River watershed to recreational fishing effective tomorrow. The fishing closure includes those portions of the upper Hoh River, South Fork Hoh River, all tributaries, and the Hoh River mouth within Olympic National Park.
The Hoh River mouth will be closed to recreational fishing from May 19 through August 31.The Hoh River, South Fork Hoh River, and their tributaries will be closed from May 19 through October 31.
This emergency closure is designed to maximize the protection of wild spring/summer Chinook salmon in Olympic National Park. The state and tribal forecast for spring/summer Chinook is expected to be below the escapement floor of 900 adults. Escapement refers to the number of Chinook that escape commercial and recreational fisheries and reach spawning grounds. Hoh River spring/summer Chinook have failed to meet the escapement floor in seven of the last eight years. Spawning for this unique wild population primarily occurs in Olympic National Park.
"The National Park Service seeks to provide diverse recreational fishing opportunities while ensuring the preservation and restoration of native fish," said Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum."However, with the run size at low numbers it is critical to provide additional protection for Chinook."
While the Hoh River watershed is closed, anglers are encouraged to explore other areas in the park for fishing.
Olympic National Park sport fishing regulations for 2015-2016 are now available on the park's website at https://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/fishing.htm, as well as at park visitor centers, fee booths, ranger stations, and area fishing stores.