OLYMPIA – Anglers will be allowed to retain two chinook salmon daily beginning Saturday, Aug. 15, in ocean waters off Westport (Marine Area 2), state fishery managers announced today.
In addition, anglers can keep one chinook per day while fishing off Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay) for two days, Aug. 14 and 15.
Anglers off Westport were previously limited to one chinook as part of a two-salmon daily limit to ensure that the fishery would remain open for the entire season, said Doug Milward, ocean salmon manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
“We’re keeping a close eye on the catch rate and are in a good position to allow anglers two chinook per day without exceeding the harvest guideline for Westport,” Milward said.
Through Aug. 9, anglers fishing out of Westport had caught 13,515 chinook of the 29,295 harvest guideline.
Meanwhile, WDFW is allowing anglers to keep chinook for two days off Neah Bay, which was closed to chinook retention earlier this month when anglers came close to meeting the harvest guideline for the area.
“Anglers caught fewer chinook than we expected in the last few days Neah Bay was open,” Milward said. “We have a sufficient number of chinook remaining under the guideline to re-open for two days.”
Anglers fishing in Marine Area 4 currently have a daily limit of two salmon, plus two additional pink salmon, but must release wild coho, chinook and chum. Anglers can retain one chinook as part of the daily limit Aug. 14 and 15.
Beginning Aug. 16, the regulations revert back to those prior to the two-day chinook opening in Neah Bay.
Those anglers fishing east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line in Marine Area 4 may not keep chinook. This section of Marine Area 4 will remain closed to chinook retention Aug. 14 and 15.
The changes announced today do not affect ocean salmon fisheries off Ilwaco (Marine Area 1) and La Push (Marine Area 3). In both areas, anglers can keep one chinook as part of the daily limit of two salmon. Anglers fishing in Marine Area 3 can also retain an additional two pink salmon.
More information on the ocean fishery, including catch guidelines and size limits, can be found in the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/