Fishers of flowing waters here can get a little jump on many other Washington stream anglers tomorrow (Saturday, May 24) when selected creek and river reaches in West Central Whatcom County open for the summer gamefish season.
Not all county creeks will open at any time for fishing this summer and some that do actually open two weeks from now.
But streams in this sneak peek fishery are higher elevation sections of the North, Middle and South Forks of the Nooksack above barriers that bar protected steelhead, chinook salmon and bull trout from ascending into those waters.
The May 24 list here includes:
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1. the North Fork Nooksack River upstream from Nooksack Falls and all tributaries to that section of the river.
2. Also in the North Fork Valley, Canyon Creek upstream from the Forest Service Road 31 (Canyon Creek Road) to its headwaters.
3. the Middle Fork Nooksack River upstream from the City of Bellingham's diversion structure.
4. the South Fork Nooksack River upstream Wanlick Creek
5. sections of other major creeks in the middle South Fork valley from Skookum Creek also open, but their reaches are above barriers or identifiable milestones. (for fishery starting points on this streams see the listings on page 24 in the Fish Washington sporting fishing regulations pamphlet.
In neighboring Skagit County reaches of Jones, O'Toole, Cumberland and Pressentin creeks also open. (for those legal descriptions, see page 25 in the Fish Washington sport fishing regulations pamphlet).
While beaver ponds are universally closed by rule in the greater Puget Sound watershed, when streams are open for trout, certain beaver ponds those associated with the open creeks also may be fished. See column one on page 16 of the Fish Washington sport fishing regulations pamphlet for this rule.
There are a small number of other early openings of streams elsewhere in the state that are listed in the regional special regulations sections.