WDFW Sportfishing Rules Updates

A portion of the Sauk River to open for catch and release steelhead fishery

Action:  Opens Catch and Release steelhead fishing in an area of the Sauk River.  

Effective date:  Feb. 3 through April 17, 2024.

Species affected:  Steelhead.    

Location:  Sauk River (Skagit/Snohomish Co.), from the mouth to the Darrington Bridge (Sauk Prairie Road Bridge).

Steelhead Rules: 

  • Open Saturdays through Wednesdays only, closed Thursdays and Fridays. Fishing for all other species remains closed 7 days per week.
  • Catch and release, except up to 2 hatchery steelhead may be retained. Wild steelhead must be released immediately and may not be removed from the water.
  • Selective Gear Rules (SGR) in effect. Night Closure in effect.
  • Fishing is prohibited from a vessel equipped with a motor.
  • Fishing for all species other than steelhead remains closed. 

 Reason for action:  The Skagit River steelhead preseason forecast is 5,215 steelhead. In accordance with the Skagit steelhead Resource Management Plan, when the preseason forecast is 4,001 to 6,000 Skagit steelhead, there are enough steelhead impacts available to safely provide some catch and release opportunity. The fishery will be five days per week, Saturdays through Wednesdays. The two day per week closure is a conservation measure to provide steelhead some daylight hours, without fishing effort, for movement and migration to spawning areas.

Additional information:  The fishery will be monitored by WDFW to estimate impacts to Skagit winter steelhead as well as all incidental catch of other fish species. Anglers are asked to cooperate with creel personnel collecting catch information.

Information contact:  Mill Creek Regional Office, 425 775-1311

source https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/emergency-rules/portion-sauk-river-open-catch-and-release-steelhead-fishery-2024-01

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