OLYMPIA – With salmon spawning season in full swing at many state hatcheries, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) reminds the public that hatchery facilities remain closed statewide due to the continued spread of COVID-19.
Many people visit hatcheries in late summer and early fall to observe spawning activity, or to take advantage of available parking to fish nearby for returning salmon. However, WDFW hatcheries remain closed at this time to ensure the health and safety of hatchery employees, and visitors may find some areas or facilities that are typically open may not be accessible as they have been in past years.
“Our hatcheries are home to some of the Department’s most important work, and hatchery staff provide a vital service to the entire state,” said Eric Kinne, WDFW’s hatchery division manager. “We’re hoping to reopen these facilities as soon as it’s safe to do so, but for now we’re asking the public to please respect any posted closures and be prepared to go elsewhere if an area remains closed.”
Not all hatcheries have gates, but may have temporary barriers or posted signage indicating closed areas. Other facilities, such as portable toilets or parking spots, may also be unavailable.
As with all outdoor recreation, anyone hoping to fish near a hatchery should have a backup plan if their preferred access is closed, since some fisheries can be accessed through hatchery property.