To: WDFW & North Falcon Process
Date: Dec. 1, 2019
Subj: Reopen North Fork Stillaguamish River - Summer Fly Fishing Season 2020-2021
We, the license-buying sports fishing community of anglers on the North Fork Stillaguamish River (Region #4) who partake in "game fishing" herewith, (i.e. summmer-run steelhead, native rainbow trout, sea-run cutthroat trout, and dolly varden char) want the stream reopened to its current summer and fall regulations: Fly Fishing Only, Single Barbless Hook, Catch & Release except two hatchery steelhead retention. Specifically, we feel that the river should at least be open from Memorial Day in May through the month of June to July 15th. As well as the current fall season of Sept. 15 - Nov. 30th. Additionally, we feel since the river has recently been closed in the month of June 2019 that there is now NO sports fishing catch & release opportunity for the famed Deer Creek native summer-run steelhead, which primarily run in the river during May and June during that time frame.
Justification: According to the WDFW & North of Falcon the reasoning was due to a predicted three (3) hooking mortality rate on Chinook salmon. Aside but related: there has not been a sports retention for any salmon in the North Fork for well over 7 decades. Further, we feel since Chinook salmon as well as coho are not targeted by game fish fly fishers in the North Fork, and since that during the month of June to mid July there are very few if any Chinooks and coho in the North Fork these days, the predicted mortality rate is insignificant and does not warrant or justify closure of the sports game fly fishing catch & release season therein.
Ken James McLeod, past pres. Steelhead Trout Club (5 terms), member Snohomish Sportsmen's Club, member Deer Creek Fly Anglers, property owners on North Fork Stillaguamish River since 1928