OLYMPIA – Sport anglers fishing for salmon off the coast of Washington will be able to take up to two chinook a day as part of their daily limit, effective tomorrow (July 8).
Patrick Pattillo, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) salmon policy coordinator, said the department initially set catch limits for the season to ensure that the fishery would not have to close early.
“With the predictions of chinook stocks nearly three times last year’s numbers, we were concerned that we could see very high chinook catch rates, and seasons could be closed early,” said Pattillo. “From what we’ve seen in the early part of the season, we no longer have that concern.”
Pre-season forecasts indicated that nearly 653,000 fall chinook were expected to return to the Columbia River this season. That allowed fish managers to set the recreational quota at 61,000 chinook, well above last year’s ocean quota of 20,500 fish.
Effective July 8 the regulations for coastal marine areas are:
Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) open seven days a week with a daily limit of two salmon. All wild coho must be released.
Marine Area 2 (Westport) open Sundays through Thursdays only with a daily limit of two salmon. All wild coho must be released.
Marine Area 3 (La Push) open Tuesdays through Saturdays only with a daily limit of two salmon. All wild coho must be released.
Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay) open Tuesdays through Saturdays only with a daily limit of two salmon. All wild coho must be released. Beginning Aug. 3, all chinook, coho and chum must be released east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line.
Additional fishing regulations, including minimum-size limits and area catch guidelines are described in WDFW’s Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet, available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regs_seasons.html.