PORT ANGELES — Olympic National Park will close the Queets River to recreational fishing on Feb. 1 due to conservation concerns over wild steelhead.
Other rivers on the west side of the park will be closed to recreational fishing in April.
According to an Olympic National Park press release, park officials are particularly concerned over the forecasted low return of Queets River wild steelhead. The 2020-21 forecast for Queets wild steelhead is expected to be well below the escapement goal of 4,200 fish. Queets wild steelhead have failed to meet that escapement goal in each of the last four years, and returns in recent years were among the lowest on record.
The early sport fishing closure in the Queets River system is designed to allow for opportunity to harvest early timed hatchery steelhead while better protecting the wild run.
As of Dec. 14, the use of bait was prohibited. Anglers must use artificial lure with a barbless single-point hook.
On the Salmon River, the use of bait was prohibited on Dec. 14. Anglers must use artificial lure with a barbless single-point hook on this river, as well.
The Quillayute will close to recreational fishing on April 1, while the Dickey River and the Hoh River mouths on the coastal unit of the park will also close to recreational fishing on April 1.
Anglers should note that fishing in the Hoh River (non-mouth) system and the Bogachiel River within the park will remain open through April 15.
Peninsula Daily News