The early closures include sport and commercial salmon fisheries within Grays Harbor and recreational salmon fishing in all tributaries of the harbor. Recreational salmon fishing was scheduled to run through Jan. 31 in most of the affected fisheries.
Catch data suggests the return of coho is significantly lower than the pre-season forecast, said Steve Thiesfeld, regional fish program manager for WDFW.
“With such a low return, we need to take this step now to help us reach spawning goals and other conservation objectives,” Thiesfeld said.
The major rivers – and their tributaries – that will close include the Humptulips, Hoquiam, Chehalis, Wishkah, Wynoochee, Satsop, Black, Skookumchuck, Johns, Elk and Newaukum rivers and Van Winkle Creek. For more details, anglers should check the fishing rule change at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=1711.
Thiesfeld noted that the department will continue to monitor returning coho and could re-open fisheries if the run size improves.