12 hours ago
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Sad Day for the Skagit and Sauk
FISHING RULE CHANGE
WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
January 15, 2010
Closure of Skagit and Sauk rivers to fishing
Action: Close the Skagit and Sauk Rivers to all fishing.
Species affected: All game fish species
Location and effective closure dates:
Skagit River from the mouth upstream to Highway 536 (Memorial Hwy. Bridge) at Mount Vernon will be closed Feb.16, 2010 through April 30, 2010.
Skagit River from the Highway 536 (Memorial Hwy. Bridge) at Mount Vernon upstream to the Gorge Powerhouse will be closed Feb.16, 2010 through May 31, 2010.
Sauk River from the mouth upstream to the Whitechuck River will be closed Feb. 16, 2010 through June 4, 2010.
Reasons for action: The closure will reduce incidental hooking mortality on wild steelhead. The 2009/2010 forecasted return of wild winter steelhead to the Skagit Basin is expected to be below the escapement floor of 6,000.
Its a sad day for steelheaders here in the Pacific Northwest with the closure of these highly revered rivers. The decline in these runs over the last several decades is a sad trend that we are seeing in all our river systems. I like to think that maybe this closure is a sign to changes to be made to help our native runs. But still as a pessimistic steelheader, I worry that this decline and closure are signs of the future in many of the river systems closer to home.
I only hope fish and game close other rivers that need it in hopes for the future.
I have to give up my week trip over my birthday to this Skagit this year, but it is well worth the hope that I will one day catch one in the future. This is a great time to help organizations like Native Fish Society, Wild Steelhead Coalition and Western Rivers Conservancy. Together there is hope for the future.