After making the announcement last week of a full closure to all sport fishing along the Washington Coast, the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife have provided additional details on their decision.
That closure goes into effect as of today, March 1, 2022.
WDFW issued a statement following questions, saying that they “recognize the broad community committed to coastal steelhead recovery” and answered some of the common questions they have been hearing.
According to their statement, state fishery managers began reviewing preliminary data in early February that suggested the coastal steelhead run size could be coming back significantly lower than expected, foreshadowing perhaps the lowest return ever recorded in some coastal rivers.
On Feb. 23, officials announced a full closure to all sport fishing throughout the Washington Coast and the Strait of Juan de Fuca to “meet management objectives and provide necessary protection for dwindling wild steelhead populations”.
Coastal tribes reportedly closed fisheries targeting steelhead starting on Monday, February 28.
As part of their Frequently Asked Questions release, they go over the data behind the decision and outline what the next steps will be looking at next season.
To view the full fishing rule change, which will go into effect on March 1, visit: https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=2805