Anglers can keep two Chinook off Westport beginning August 18th

Starting Monday, Aug. 18, anglers fishing in ocean waters off Westport can keep up to two chinook salmon as part of their two-salmon daily limit.

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Trout fishing opens statewide April 26, capping off a month of ‘opening days’

For many anglers, “opening day” is synonymous with the start of the lowland lakes trout-fishing season, which gets under way April 26 this year. Hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians

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Federal council adopts alternatives for ocean salmon sport fisheries

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Anglers fishing along the Washington coast could see a higher catch quota for chinook salmon, and all three sport harvest alternatives for coho are up from last year.

Three

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Anglers off Ilwaco, Westport can soon retain both hatchery and wild coho salmon

OLYMPIA - Anglers will be allowed to retain both wild and hatchery coho salmon beginning Sunday, Sept. 1, in ocean waters off Ilwaco (Marine Area 1) and Friday, Sept. 6, off Westport (Marine Area 2).

Those changes will not affect ocean salmon fisheries off LaPush (Marine Area 3) and Neah Bay (Marine Area 4), where anglers will continue to be allowed to retain hatchery coho, but must release wild coho, said Doug Milward, ocean salmon manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Anglers were initially limited to hatchery coho - marked with a missing adipose fin - to ensure the department would meet conservation goals for wild coho while extending fishing through the entire salmon season, said Milward.

However, with a month remaining in the fishery, only 49 percent of the coho quota has been reached in Marine Area 1 and only 48 percent in Marine Area 2.

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Anglers allowed two chinook off Westport beginning Sunday

OLYMPIA – Starting Sunday, Aug. 4, anglers fishing in ocean waters off Westport can keep up to two chinook salmon as part of their two-salmon daily limit.

With that change, anglers will be allowed to keep two chinook per day in ocean waters off Westport (Marine Area 2), LaPush (Marine Area 3) and Neah Bay (Marine Area 4). Those fishing Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) will continue to be limited to one chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit.

All ocean areas are open to salmon fishing seven days a week. Wild coho must be released in all four areas.

Halibut Fishery to Close Off Westport

WESTPORT, Wash. - The recreational halibut fishery will close in the northern nearshore area of Marine Area 2 at the end of the day Friday (June 8), while marine areas 3 and 4 will reopen for one more day of fishing June 14.

Heather Reed, a fish biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said anglers are expected to reach the halibut quota for the northern nearshore area of Marine Area 2 (Westport) by the end of the day June 8.

The rest of Marine Area 2 is already closed to halibut fishing.

However, there is sufficient poundage remaining under the north coast halibut quota to allow another day of halibut fishing in marine areas 3 (LaPush) and 4 (Neah Bay). Those two areas have been closed since June 2.

Reed said the amount of quota remaining will allow for only one weekday of fishing.

Unfortunately we risk exceeding the quota if we were to open on a Saturday,but after the June 14 opener, we will once again tally the catch and see if we can provide another opportunity on the north coast. - Biologist Heather Reed

In all marine areas open to halibut fishing, there is a one-halibut daily catch limit and no minimum size restriction.

April brings flurry of ‘opening days’ leading to statewide lake trout season

For many anglers, “opening day” is synonymous with the start of the lowland lakes trout-fishing season, which gets under way April 30 this year. More than 300,000 Washingtonians are expected to descend on trout-stocked waters throughout the state that day to kick off the new season.

But anglers – and hunters, too – are also looking forward to a variety of other “opening days” this month for seasons ranging from lingcod fishing on the north coast to turkey hunting throughout the state. Some ocean beaches will also open for morning razor clam digs if tests show the clams are safe to eat.

“April really marks the start of the new year for fishing and hunting,” said Joe Stohr, deputy director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “Some winter fisheries are still going strong, but the annual cycle is beginning again with a new year of outdoor activities.”

For most people, a valid 2011-12 fishing or hunting license is required to get in on the action after March 31, when all 2010-11 licenses expire. The exception is young people under age 15, who may fish for free.

Fishing seasons for halibut reflect higher catch quota

OLYMPIA - This year's recreational halibut seasons will be similar to 2010 in Puget Sound, but may allow for more days of fishing off the coast under new catch quotas adopted by the International Pacific Halibut Commission.

This year's quota for Washington, Oregon and California is 910,000 pounds, up 12 percent from 2010. In Washington, sport anglers will be allowed to catch 216,489  pounds of the big flatfish compared to 192,699 pounds last year.

Those increases will improve fishing opportunities in coastal waters of Washington and other West Coast states, said Heather Reed, coastal policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

In Puget Sound, where the sport catch has exceeded area harvest guidelines for the past two years, this year's higher sub-quota also helped to avert further cutbacks in fishing opportunities, she said.

"This year's quota, together with shorter seasons adopted last year, will bring the catch more in line with the allowable harvest," Reed said. "We took a big step toward stabilizing the fishery last year, and the higher quota will help to accommodate the growing popularity of halibut fishing in Puget Sound."

This year's catch quota for Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca is 58,155 pounds, up from 50,542 pounds in 2010.  Like last year, most areas of the Sound will be open for halibut fishing three days a week - Thursday, Friday and Saturday - except as noted below.