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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Killian: "Welcome back recreational fishers to reopened creeks and river systems"

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An emergency closure of recreational fishing within several Olympic National Park rivers and streams ended at 12:01 p.m. on Nov. 1.

Recreational fishers are allowed back to the following river systems: Ozette River, Bogachiel River, Dickey River, Quillayute River, Hoh River, South Fork River, and Quinalt River (upper bridge downstream to park boundary), according to an Oct. 31 National Park Service news release.

"We are happy to welcome back recreational fishers to reopened creeks and river systems at Olympic National Park," Acting Deputy Superintendent Kevin Killian said in the release. "We appreciate the public's cooperation and understanding during this fall's historic drought and the resulting closures."

Furthermore, recreational fishing has since been permitted in Cedar Creek, Goodman Creek, Kalaloch Creek, and Mosquito Creek, according to the release.

An emergency closure was confirmed for river systems within Olympic National Park due to severe low-flow conditions harmful to fish in a news release issued on Oct. 5. The affected systems included the following Ozette, Bogachiel, South Fork Calawah, Sol Duc, North Fork Sol Duc, Dickey, Quillayute, Hoh, South Fork Hoh, Queets, Salmon and Quinault Rivers, including East Fork, North Fork, and Main Stem. In addition, Cedar, Goodman, Kalaloch, and Mosquito creeks were also closed.

To legally fish or harvest many items in Olympic Park Waters, a person must consider the rules as posted on the NPS website. A Washington State Recreational Fishing License is not required to fish in Olympic National Park except when fishing in the Pacific Ocean from shore, although children under 15 years of age do not require a license. No license is required to harvest surf smelt. A free Washington State catch record card is required for adults and children if fishing for salmon or steelhead.

A catch record card specific to waters in Olympic National Park is available from Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife license dealers at no cost. Salmon or steelhead that are caught and released do not need to be recorded. The catch record card requires a location code for each retained fish, according to the website.

A Washington State Shellfish/Seaweed license is required for the harvest of shellfish from the Pacific coastal area, the website reported. Harvest of seaweed, kelp, and unclassified species is prohibited.

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