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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few of you have sent me pm's regarding fishing the Nooksack and I believe I have stated that there are fish around, just not many. Well, the WDFW has now released emergency rules that back up what I have been saying. It is pretty sad, what has become of this river over a span of many years. While this emergency rule is in effect, the tribal members continue business as usual in all tribs and the mouth. The area that is closed, is probably some of the best waters on the entire river. I support them in their efforts for closing this upper area, hopefully they can also address the other factors that have become detrimental to all runs on this river.

https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/erules/erule.jsp?id=575

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

December 13, 2007

North Fork Nooksack River closes Dec. 15

Action: Part of the North Fork of the Nooksack River will be closed to fishing in order to ensure egg-take goals are met for hatchery winter steelhead at the Kendall Creek Hatchery.

Effective dates: Dec. 15, 2007 until further notice.

Species affected: All gamefish.

Location: The North Fork Nooksack River from the yellow post located at the upstream most corner of the hatchery grounds, approximately 1,000 feet upstream of the mouth of Kendall Creek, downstream to the Mosquito Lake Road Bridge.

Reasons for action: The Kendall Creek Hatchery in recent years has been unable to secure sufficient eggs from returning hatchery winter steelhead to meet basin production goals. Closure of the fishery, coupled with a broodstocking effort by volunteers and department staff, is expected to collect sufficient fish to meet egg take needs.

Other information: When broodstock needs are met, the fishery will revert to seasons as listed in the Sport fishing Rules 2007/2008 pamphlet edition, FISHING IN WASHINGTON.

Information Contact: Brett Barkdull, 360-466-4345 ext. 270, [email protected].
 

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I realize it has only been a week, has there been any improvement in the Nooksack returns?

Is there any other rivers in the Bellingham area to fish over the holidays?

Pat Av are fishing any of the northern rivers during your trip?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Nooksack returns to the hatchery are continually dismal. Every year there are fish in the river to be caught and sometimes in fairly decent numbers, however they can't seem to make it into the hatchery.

A lot of the problem lies in the route that the fish have to take to get up to the hatchery. There is something about how the fish must travel up to the hatchery that causes them to avoid the side channels. It has been this way for many years, and unless something is done to try and improve upon this, they may end up closing down the hatchery all together. Too much money is going into running a hatchery that is only getting roughly a few hundred fish back to the plant.

It will be a sad day when they throw in the towel on this river that was once a high producer of all species.

ps...The Nooksack is the only river in the Bellingham area that offers a shot a steelies
 

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Sorry to hear about the poor returns Thrasher. I know quite a few BC boys who love that river and they will be saddened by this news. Sorry for the sidetrac I am about to take.

I will be sticking with the northern rivers Lastcar. The Skag (and tribs), Stilly, Sky and maybe the Yak if I feel ambitious. When you are rolling in a 1985 motor home with high gas prices staying close to home is not always a bad thing. Still waiting to hear if there will be room in your boat for me Thrasher :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Nooksack has received 73 steelies back so far this winter according to the current reports.

Pat, we should have a spot for you, just not sure if we are going to be able to get out for a little bit. :wallbash:
 

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Ahh the Ol Nutsack. The most mismanaged river in our state. As Thrasher pointed out, numbers are hit & miss, and generally a miss. There is an indian reservation at the mouth and the gauntlet of nets fish have to run is sad.... just sad. That coupled with logging practices, farm runoff, development... you get the idea.
The sad thing is that iut has the potential to be one of the better rivers in the state.

A little birdie told me that the reason they closed the NF was that WDFW does not have the man power to patrol it.

The skagit has been putting out a few fish
 

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I had an interesting conversation with one of the managers of the South Fork Nooksack hatchery the other day. The biologists are so concerned with strays from the North Fork breeding with the South Fork fish that each fish captured must have a DNA analysis ($50 fee per fin) to determine its species. The fins are sent in to the lab, and the hatchery must hold the fish until lab results are returned.

The new method of placing the captured fish in its own plastic tube until harvest time is just catching on, and it sounds like they will change to this method. The fish is contained in a PVC pipe, identified on the outside with a serial number, placed in a moving water runnel. This is to keep the fish calm and healthy, and make it easier to select when lab results are in.

They biggest complaint he had is that the data collected from the wire tags the hatchery inserts into each fish has never been shared. Makes you wonder who has this data and have they actually analyzed it?
 
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