Olympic National Park Concludes Emergency Fishing Closure in Most Waterways

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by Thomas O'Neill/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Olympic National Park announced that it’s concluding its emergency fishing closure today, November 1st.

The closure of recreational fishing in many rivers and streams in the park has now ended. The Queets and Salmon Rivers, however, will remain closed to recreational fishing until further notice.

Recreational fishing within Olympic National Park will reopen in the following rivers: Ozette, Bogachiel, Dickey, Quillayute, Hoh, South Fork, and Quinault. However, the Quinault River is open from the upper bridge downstream to the park boundary.

Furthermore, recreational fishing will reopen in multiple creeks. Cedar, Goodman, Kalaloch, and Mosquito Creeks also reopen.

On October 6, 2022, these rivers and creeks listed above were officially closed to recreational fishing. The reason was to protect several fish populations during ongoing severe low water flow conditions. Recent rainy weather has now restored water levels in rivers and creeks. These salmon and other fish now regained greater access to spawning areas.

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

However, the Queets and Salmon Rivers in Olympic National Park will remain closed to recreational fishing. The ban at these locations will remain until further notice. This ban will remain here due to higher than expected in-river harvest levels.

Fisheries biologists have concerns based on expected lower numbers of natural Chinook salmon returning to spawning grounds. The continued closure to recreational fishing in the Queets and Salmon Rivers provides additional protection to Chinook salmon making their way to spawning areas.

Readers can learn more about recreational fishing at Olympic National Park here.

Olympic National Park Fisherman Charges Cougar, Scares It Away

A Port Angeles, Washington man encountered a cougar when fishing inside Olympic National Park. Luckily, unlike many who come this close to a wild cougar like this, Bart Brown lives to tell the tale.

The incident occurred last Saturday. He encountered the huge cat when walking back from his favorite fishing spot, Lake Angeles.

Brown was just beginning his three-hour hike in Olympic National Park when he spotted the cougar. It was his first encounter with one after years of fishing in the area.

“She’s sitting on the edge of the trail,” Brown said. “And when I looked over, I stopped her dead in her tracks, like she slid over a little bit, you know?”

“We had a stare down,” Brown said. “And … I gripped my flashlight really tight, you know, I’m like, I’m prepared to die. She is, she was about to attack me. I’m serious. I’m dead serious.”

Jason Knight, the owner and program director of the Alderleaf Wilderness College, spoke of Brown’s experience. Knight is well-equipped to handle a situation like this as he trains people how to survive encounters with wildlife, including cougars.

“I’m not surprised,” Knight said, “because there are so many humans and we are always hiking into their territory, their habitat all the time.”

KIRO 7 has a short clip of the encounter in their video report of the incident, which can be viewed here.