The Chehalis River will reopen to fishing and go back to the published rulebooks after a closure earlier this month due to lower than normal stream flows affecting Spring Chinook. An update from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said that the staggered openings on the upper-Chehalis are necessary to protect spring Chinook returning to the Chehalis system.
The abundance of spring Chinook is far below the escapement goal of 1,400 fish. As returning fish move farther upstream, it is possible to begin opening lower sections to angling while upstream and tributary closures achieve conservation objectives by protecting staging spring Chinook from fishing pressure.
The Chehalis River is defined in the rules pamphlet as running from the mouth (Highway 101 Chehalis River Bridge in Aberdeen) to the South Elma Bridge (Wakefield Road).
Additional information: Closed sections of the upper Chehalis and tributaries will reopen under permanent rules as described in the 2019-20 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet on the following dates:
Chehalis River, from South Elma Bridge (Wakefield Road) to Black River, including all channels, sloughs, and interconnected waterways: Sept. 16, 2019.
Chehalis River, from Black River upstream: Oct. 1, 2019.
Chehalis River, South Fork: Oct. 1, 2019.
Newaukum River, including South Fork and North Fork: Oct. 16, 2019.
Skookumchuck River: Oct. 16, 2019.
Anglers are reminded to always check for emergency rule changes prior to fishing. Rule changes can be found online at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ or by calling the fishing hotline at 360-902-2500.