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Out of the Pink: Puyallup River Closure Dates

If you are the only one standing in the river at the Puyallup, think about it, there's probably a very good reason why you are alone. Keep off the lower river Sundays through Tuesdays throughout the month of September.

The only way you’ll be standing alone in the lower Puyallup River at this time of year is if the river is closed to fishing.

We made plans to hit the Puyallup for pinks on Friday, but after Thursday night’s big rain we figured that was a no-go. Sure enough, I heard this morning that the Puyallup River was blown out from the storm, although it should be falling back into shape quite soon with the good weather we are expecting.

Problem is, the lower river will be closed Sunday through Tuesday — in fact it will be closed every Sunday through Tuesday through the rest of this month.

WDFW will be watching the river closely, don’t get caught out there.

The following is a WDFW press release, filed on Tuesday of this week:

OLYMPIA – As salmon fishing continues to heat up on the Puyallup River, state fishery managers are reminding anglers to keep their lines out of the water in the area reserved on certain days for tribal gillnetting.

Most anglers are observing the rules, but some anglers have received warnings in the past week for fishing the Puyallup downstream from the mouth of the White River on days that area is closed to sport fishing, said Pat Pattillo, salmon policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

“Of the thousands of anglers flocking to the Puyallup River to catch salmon every week, the vast majority know the rules and follow them,” Pattillo said. “That’s important, because the future of this popular fishery may very well depend on it.”

Through late July, WDFW and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians were locked in negotiations over how ensure the safety of anglers and tribal gillnetters competing for fish on the narrow river during peak season.

The fishing regulations ultimately adopted by WDFW prohibited sport fishing on days the tribe had scheduled for gillnetting in August and September. During the remainder of this month, the following days are closed to sport fishing on the Puyallup River below the mouth of the White River: September 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 29 and 30.

“The safety of everybody on the river is paramount,” Pattillo said. “This year’s fishing season was designed to make sure everybody has a safe and fair opportunity to catch salmon.”

State fishery managers are still working with the tribe to complete the fishing schedule for October through December.

Puyallup River, pink salmon season

On the days the lower Puyallup River is open during pink salmon season, you will never stand alone. Ever.

About Kimberly Mason

Kimberly Mason is a freelance writer, photojournalist, and web designer. When she's not out chasing a story, you'll find her at work in one her three main offices — her big backyard, the Cowlitz River, or the recliner in her living room. She has four grown children, three grandchildren, and is owned by a Labrador retriever, Buddy the WonderDog.

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