Olympic National Park fishing regulations amended to protect rainbow trout


Recreational fishing closures put in place in Olympic National Park to protect rainbow trout populations / NPS file

Predicted declines in wild rainbow trout populations in several rivers of Olympic National Park in Washington State have resulted in the closure of recreational fishing on the rivers.

The closures, some in place now, others to come into effect in January, are being implemented on the Queets, Salmon and Quinault river systems in the park.

Park staff say the closures are necessary in part because of the poor return of wild rainbow trout from the Queets River. The 2021-2022 forecast for Queets wild rainbow trout is expected to be well below the minimum target of 4,200 wild fish leaving the fishery to spawn. Queets wild rainbow trout have failed to meet this escapement goal in each of the past five years. As a result, recreational fishing on the Queets River is now closed.

The Salmon River will be open to recreational fishing for the month of December, and two rainbow trout hatcheries may be selected. The river will then close to recreational fishing on January 1.

The forecast for 2021-2022 is for 1,756 wild rainbow trout in the Quinault River system, a number that is among the lowest returns on record, according to the park. As a result, recreational river fishing from the park’s upper deck downstream to the park boundary is now closed.

These regulatory changes are implemented in cooperation with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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