Nearly the entire Nooksack system is now closed to all fishing due to drought conditions. Read the press release below, and the discussion on the Fish Whatcom forum in the Nooksack 2015 thread that includes some further explanations.


WDFW Press release:

August 27, 2015

Fishing closed in areas of Nooksack River Basin due to drought

Action: Closes current seasons for game fish, and upcoming salmon seasons in select areas of the Nooksack Basin.

Species affected:  All species.


1)   North Fork Nooksack from the mouth to North Fork Falls
2)   All tributaries draining into the North Fork Nooksack from the mouth to North Fork Falls
3)   The Middle Fork Nooksack from mouth to the City of Bellingham Diversion Dam
4)   All tributaries draining into the Middle Fork Nooksack from the mouth to the Diversion Dam
5)   The mainstem Nooksack from Slater Road to the forks.

Effective dates: Immediately until further notice.

Previously announced restrictions and closures remain in effect on the following Nooksack Basin reaches and tributaries:

1)   South Fork Nooksack from the mouth to Skookum Creek.
2)   South Fork Nooksack from Wanlick Creek upstream, including Wanlick Creek and all tributaries.

Reasons for action: Nooksack spring chinook are experiencing high pre-spawn mortality rates and cannot enter the South Fork Nooksack due to extremely low flows and high water temperatures.

Other information: Anglers are reminded that the South Fork Nooksack from Skookum Creek to Wanlick Creek is closed by permanent rules. Angling for salmon and gamefish will reopen as listed in the Sport Fishing Rules 2015/2016 pamphlet edition, FISHING IN WASHINGTON, in the above described reaches when the concern has passed, or when spring chinook spawning is completed.

Information Contact: Brett Barkdull 360-466-4345 x 270

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW “Fishing in Washington” rules pamphlet ( )for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

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