Join the Puget Sound anglers determined to pry the lid off a tightly sealed Skagit River steelhead fishery

This Saturday, the civil disobedience event known as Occupy Skagit is staging its fourth annual “Wade-In” to protest the continued closure of the Skagit River’s spring catch-and-release steelhead season. Puget Sound winter steelhead were listed as threatened in 2007, leading to the seasonal shutdown. However, wild steelhead numbers in the Skagit-Sauk system are on the rebound, with steelhead escapement goals consistently topping the 6,000-fish threshold. Conservationists and protesters alike say that with appropriate management the Skagit could have a bright future.

There is a plan in place for dealing with Puget Sound salmon when numbers increase. At this time, no such thing exists for Puget Sound wild steelhead. Even a record number of returning fish will not restore any angling opportunity…not even of the catch and release variety.

This is what Occupy Skagit is trying to change. Occupy Skagit stands for basin by basin management instead of one size fits all. The Skagit has a long history of conservative management and as a result still enjoys a viable run of wild steelhead. Past management policies included a C&R season and this is what we would like to see again when the run forecast exceeds conservation influenced escapement goals.

Where: Howard Miller Steelhead Park, Rockport, WA
When: April 30, beginning at 9 a.m.

Event Page

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Tom Bie is the founder, editor, and publisher of The Drake. He started the magazine in 1998 as an annual newsprint publication based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He then moved it to Steamboat, Colorado (1999), Boulder, Colorado (2001), and San Clemente, California (2004), as he took jobs as managing editor at Paddler, Senior Editor at Skiing, and Editor-in-Chief at Powder, respectively. Tom and The Drake are now both based in Denver, Colorado, where The Drake is finally all grows up(Swingers, 1996) to a quarterly magazine.

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