Olympic National Park Invites Public Comment on Proposed Changes to Fishing Regulations

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Date: February 24, 2011
Contact: Dave Reynolds, 360-565-2985
Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005

Olympic National Park invites recreational anglers and other interested members of the public to provide input regarding proposed changes to the park's recreational fishing regulations.

These proposed changes apply only to non-tribal, recreational fisheries within Olympic National Park. The park requests comments or additional information which may not have been considered in developing these proposals.

To be considered in the final decision regarding implementation of these proposals, comments must be received by March 24, 2011. The fishing regulations, which take effect on May 1, 2011 are available at the Olympic National Park website at https://www.nps.gov/olym/, Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles, local sporting goods stores, and are posted in many districts throughout the park.

The proposed changes and a brief explanation are presented below.

· Queets River and Salmon River, September 1 to November 30: Clarification of Regulation. Change the daily limit (September 1 to November 30) from "Release all wild Chinook" to "Release all wild Chinook. Can retain two adipose clipped hatchery Chinook".  

The proposed change would clarify the existing regulation and allow retention of two adipose clipped, hatchery Chinook salmon in the Queets and Salmon Rivers from September 1 to November 30. The retention of hatchery Chinook salmon minimizes ecological or genetic risks of these hatchery fish on wild Chinook salmon. Additionally, the retention of hatchery Chinook in the Salmon and Queets Rivers improves consistency among several other Olympic National Park rivers, where retention of hatchery fish is promoted.

· Five-Year Fishing Moratorium in Elwha River: Olympic National Park, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are working to finalize a five-year fishing moratorium in the Elwha River. The moratorium will apply to recreational, commercial and subsistence fishing in the Elwha River and its tributaries.

The fishing closure is designed to protect fish populations from harvest and incidental hooking mortality during dam removal and promote recolonization of the Elwha River system by salmonids and other fish species immediately after dam removal.

Lake Mills was closed to fishing in November 1, 2010 in preparation for the removal of the dams. The middle Elwha River (between the dams) and the upper river and associated tributaries in Olympic National Park will close to fishing on November 1, 2011 (Table 1). Fishing opportunities may reopen in 2017 depending on numbers of returning salmonids. These proposed changes do not include Lake Sutherland, which is outside park boundaries. High lakes in the Elwha basin within Olympic National Park are not affected by this moratorium and will remain open to recreational fishing each year from the last Saturday in April to October 31.

Table 1.




Current Fishing Seasons, Olympic National Park



Closure Date


Anticipated Reopening –Date to Be Determined

Elwha River, middle river and associated tributaries from park boundary upstream

June 1 to October 31

November 1, 2011


Elwha River, upper river and associated tributaries

June 1 to October 31

November 1, 2011


Lake Mills

Last Saturday in April to October 31

November 1, 2010


High elevation lakes (e.g. Lakes Margaret and Mary, Boulder Lake...)

Last Saturday in April to October 31


Annually Open

Please address your comments to:

Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, Washington 98362

Last updated: February 28, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

600 E. Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362


(360) 565-3130

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