Sunday, January 8, 2012
Puget Sound Rivers Closing Early
For the third consecutive year WDFW has opted to close the rivers of Puget Sound early to protect wild steelhead. Traditionally the rivers of Puget Sound supported well loved sport fisheries for wild winter steelhead throughout the spring. However poor returns in recent years have pushed runs to all time lows, resulting in a 2007 listing under the Endangered Species Act and forcing WDFW to implement stringent restrictions on sport fisheries. Unfortunately, simply closing sports fishing will not bring back populations of wild steelhead, and more needs to be done to understand and address factors that have contributed to their decline. In the long term habitat destruction has eroded the productive capacity of our Puget Sound Rivers, but in recent years biologists believe poor marine survival is among the principle factors depressing wild steelhead abundance. More information in a press release from department.