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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


April 05, 2001
Contact: Tim Waters, (360) 902-2262
Virginia Painter, (360) 902-2256

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Salmon fishing seasons for 2001 include new opportunities, conservation measures

SACRAMENTO, Calif. Coastwide salmon-fishing seasons were set here this week that offer anglers in Washington state a variety of fishing opportunities while also providing additional protection for depleted wild salmon stocks in Puget Sound and coastal rivers.

Anticipating the strongest return of salmon since the mid-1980s, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) approved ocean fishing seasons off the Washington coast that begin a month earlier than last year. As in previous years, only those coho salmon with a clipped adipose fin identifying them as a hatchery fish can be retained by anglers in coastal waters.

Meanwhile, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and tribal co- managers, meeting in conjunction with the PFMC, approved fishing seasons for Puget Sound and other inside waters that give fishers an opportunity to take advantage of strong returns in some areas but also include a variety of new conservation measures to protect fish whose numbers have been depressed.

"Our first priority is to rebuild wild Puget Sound chinook and other stocks that have been depleted by a variety of factors in recent years," said Phil Anderson, WDFW's chief of Intergovernmental Affairs. "We are able to provide some good fishing opportunities this year because of the strong return of both hatchery and wild salmon expected in many areas. But these seasons also reflect our continuing commitment to do everything we can to help depressed stocks recover."

Prior to its adoption by the co-managers, the 2001 fishing plan received approval by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which administers the Endangered Species Act. Puget Sound chinook salmon and other stocks are listed as "endangered" or "threatened" under the act.

Anderson said most aspects of the plan have also been discussed with recreational and commercial fishers, as well as other members of the public, who have been involved in the North of Falcon season-setting process since February. Those measures include:

  • Commercial exclusionary zone: Commercial salmon fishing will be prohibited within 17 miles off shore from the U.S.-Canada border to Cape Alava south of Neah Bay to protect Puget Sound chinook salmon during peak months of migration. This action is proposed in conjunction with the PFMC, which has jurisdiction beyond three miles of the coast.
  • Hood Canal fishery: Salmon fishing in Hood Canal will be closed from December through February to protect wild chinook stocks in Hood Canal.
  • New selective fishery: Marine Area 7 (around the San Juan Islands), like a number of other areas, will become a selective fishery this year to protect wild coho salmon en route to British Columbia. Only those coho salmon with a clipped adipose fin, identifying them as a hatchery fish, can be retained during August and September.
  • New commercial harvest limits: The incidental catch by the commercial chum salmon fishery in central Puget Sound (Marine Areas 10 and 11) cannot exceed 200 chinook salmon, an 80 percent reduction from previous years. Once the limit is reached, the fishery will be closed.
  • Observers: WDFW plans to expand the number of observers it puts on vessels in Puget Sound, especially in the waters around the San Juan Islands, to monitor the incidental catch of wild chinook salmon in the commercial sockeye and chum salmon fishery.

Anderson said those actions are consistent with the new Comprehensive Chinook Plan, approved this year by WDFW and the treaty tribes, which establishes the minimum number of wild chinook needed for spawning and strict limits on the number that can be taken as an "incidental" catch in other fisheries. The Chinook Plan was designed to meet federal requirements for protecting Puget Sound chinook salmon, which were listed as a "threatened" species under the ESA in 1998.

Despite those restrictions, Anderson said the plan allows for a few new fishing opportunities this year.

Like the coastal areas, Marine Area 5 (near Sekiu) will open a month earlier than last year to give anglers a chance to take advantage of the strong return. While the fishery is targeted primarily at coho, anglers will also have a chance to catch up to 2,000 chinook salmon in July.

Marine Area 9 (between Whidbey Island and the Kitsap Peninsula) will also open a month earlier than last year (Aug. 1 rather than Sept. 1) and two new catch-and-release fisheries were adopted in Puget Sound. One of those catch-and-release fisheries will open in Marine Area 10 (central Puget Sound) during the first two weeks of December. The other new catch-and-release fishery will open April 11-30 in Marine Area 13 (southern Puget Sound), which also has a catch-and-release fishery Jan. 1-Feb. 15.

Details of the Washington's 2001 fishing seasons are noted below:

Marine Area 1 (Leadbetter Point south):

  • July 1 - Sept. 30 (112,500 sub-quota): Open Sunday through Thursday; two salmon per day of which one may be a chinook; retained coho must be marked; chinook guideline 7,750.

Buoy 10:

  • August 1-Sept. 30 open 7 days/week. Two fish per day of which one may be a chinook; all retained coho must be marked.
  • Oct. 31-March 31: Open, six fish per day, two adults; all retained coho must be marked.

Marine Area 2 (Westport-Ocean Shores):

  • July 1-Sept. 30 (83,250 coho sub quota) Open Sunday-Thursday; two fish per day, one of which may be a chinook; all retained coho must be marked.

Area 2.1 (Willapa Bay):

  • July 1-Aug. 15: Open concurrent with ocean area 2, when area 2 is open for salmon. Area 2 rules apply.
  • Aug. 16-Jan. 31: Six-fish limit, two adults; 12-inch minimum size limit.

Area 2.2 (Grays Harbor):

  • West of Buoy 13 line: Open concurrent with Area 2 when it is open for salmon; Area 2 rules apply.
  • East of Buoy 13 line: July 1-Aug. 31 open concurrent with area 2. Sept. 1-Nov. 30 open with six- fish limit, two adults of which only one may be a wild coho, 12 inch minimum size limit, single- point barbless hooks.

Westport boat basin and Ocean Shores Boat Basin:

  • Aug. 16-Jan. 31, six-fish limit, four adults; 12-inch minimum size limit, barbed hooks allowed; night closure and non-buoyant lure restriction.

Marine Area 3 (LaPush):

  • July 1-Sept. 23 (5,850 coho subquota): Open 7 days per day, two fish per day of which one may be a chinook. Marked coho only.
  • Sept. 24-Oct. 21, marked coho only; quota of 500 coho and 100 chinook.

Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay):

  • July 1-Sept. 30 (23,400 coho sub quota): Open 7 days per week; two fish per day of which one may be a chinook. (East of Bonilla Bay-Tatoosh line chinook release required); retained coho must be marked. (Release chum Aug. 1-Sept. 30.)

Marine Area 5 (Sekiu):

  • May 1-June 30 closed.
  • July 1-Aug. 31 two salmon, one of which may be a chinook (22 inch minimum size; unmarked coho release, chum release, chinook retention permitted until quota of 2,000 chinook taken.
  • Sept. 1-30: two-fish limit, chinook and chum release; no salmon retention from Aug. 1-Sept. 30 inside the area bounded by Kydaka Point to Shipwreck Point.
  • Oct. 1-31 Closed
  • Nov. 1-30 : Two-fish limit, one of which may be a chinook (22 inch minimum size.)
  • Dec.1-Feb. 15 closed
  • Feb. 16-April 10 One-fish limit, chinook must be at least 22 inches.
  • April 11-30: Closed.

Marine Area 6 (East Strait of Juan de Fuca):

  • May 1-July 31: Closed
  • Aug.1-Sept. 30: Two-salmon daily limit; release unmarked coho; release chinook and chum; 1,000-foot closure around Elwha River mouth Aug. 1-31
  • Oct. 1-31 Closed
  • Nov. 1-30: Two-fish daily limit, one of which may be a chinook (22 inch minimum size).
  • Dec. 1-Feb. 15: Closed
  • Feb. 16-April 10: One-salmon daily limit, chinook 22 inch minimum.
  • April 11-30: Closed.

Marine Area 7 (San Juan Islands):

  • May 1-30: Closed
  • July 1-31: Two-salmon daily limit of which one may be a chinook (22 inch minimum). Rosario Strait, eastern Strait of San Juan de Fuca and Bellingham Bay closed.
  • Aug. 1-Sept. 30: Open with a two-salmon daily limit, of which one may be a chinook (22 inch minimum); release unmarked coho, release chum; southern Rosario Strait and eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca closed; Bellingham Bay closed Aug. 1-15; Samish Bay closed.
  • Oct. 1-31: Open with a two-salmon daily limit; all chinook must be released. Samish Bay closed Oct. 1-15.
  • Nov. 1-30: Open with a two-salmon daily limit of which one may be a chinook (22 inch minimum size).
  • Dec. 1-Feb. 15: Closed.
  • Feb. 16-April 10: One-salmon limit (chinook must be at least 22 inches.)
  • April 11-30: Closed.

Marine Area 8-1 (Deception Island, Hope Island, Skagit Bay):

  • May 1-July 31: Closed.
  • Aug. 1-Sept. 30: Open with a four-salmon daily limit, chinook must be released, no more than two coho or chum.
  • Oct. 1-31: Open with a two-salmon daily limit, chinook must be released.
  • Nov. 1-30: Open with a two-fish daily limit of which one may be a chinook (22 inch minimum size)
  • Dec. 1-Feb. 15: Closed
  • Feb. 16-April 10: Open with a one-fish daily limit (chinook must be at least 22 inches).
  • April 11-30: Closed.

Marine Area 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner):

  • May 1-July 31: Closed
  • Aug. 1-Sept. 30: Open with a four salmon daily limit; chinook must be released, no more than two coho or chum.
  • Oct. 1-31: Open with a two salmon daily limit; chinook must be released.
  • Nov. 1-30: Open with a two salmon daily limit, of which one may be a chinook (22-inch minimum size).
  • Dec. 1-Feb. 15: Closed
  • Feb. 16-April 10: Open with a one-salmon daily limit, chinook must be at least 22 inches.
  • April 11-30: Closed

Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet):

  • May 1-July 31: Closed
  • Aug. 1-Sept. 30: Open with a two-salmon daily limit, chinook and chum must be released
  • Oct. 1-31: Open with a two-salmon daily limit, chinook must be released.
  • Nov. 1-30: Open with a two-salmon daily limit, of which one may be a chinook (22-inch minimum size.)
  • Dec. 1-Feb. 15: Closed
  • Feb. 16-April 10: Open with a one-fish daily limit, chinook must be at least 22-inches.
  • April 11-30: Closed

Edmonds Pier: Open year-round with a two salmon daily limit, of which one may be a chinook (22-inch minimum size); chum must be released Aug. 1-Sept. 30.

Hood Canal Bridge: Open year-round with a two-fish daily limit, of which one may be a chinook (22- inch minimum size); chum must be released Aug. 1-Oct. 15; chinook must be released July 1-Aug. 31.

Marine Area 10 (Seattle-Bremerton):

  • May 1-June 30: Closed
  • July 1-Oct. 31: Open with a two-salmon daily limit, chinook must be released; chum must be released Aug. 1-Sept. 15; Shilshole Bay (east of Meadow Point/West Point line) closed July 1- Aug. 31; Elliott Bay (east of West Point to Alki Point line) closed July 1-Aug. 31, (except Elliott Bay fishing piers and Elliott Bay season)
  • Nov. 1-30: Open with a two-fish daily limit, of which one may be a chinook (22-inch minimum size).
  • Dec. 1-15: Open for catch-and-release fishing only.
  • Dec. 16-31: Open with a two-salmon daily limit, of which one may be a chinook (22-inch minimum size).
  • Jan. 1-Feb. 28: Closed
  • March 1-April 10: Open with a one-fish daily limit, chinook must be at least 22-inches. Agate Pass closed Feb. 16-March 31.
  • April 11-30: Closed

Elliott Bay: July 1-Aug. 31: Closed, except Fridays through Sundays, July 20-22, July 27-29, Aug. 3-5, and Aug. 10-12, two-salmon daily limit, of which one may be a chinook (22-inch minimum size), chum must be released Aug. 1-Sept. 15.

Sinclair Inlet: July 1-Sept. 15: Open south of Manette Bridge, south of line west from Battle Point and west of line south from Point White, with a two-salmon daily limit, chinook must be at least 22 inches; chum must be released Aug. 1-Sept. 15.

Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon):

  • June 1-30: Open with a two-salmon limit, one of which may be a chinook (22-inch minimum); Commencement Bay closed.
  • July 1-Oct. 31: Open with a two-salmon limit (chinook must be at least 22-inches), release pink salmon; Commencement Bay closed through July 31.
  • Nov. 1-Dec. 31: Open with a two-salmon daily limit, of which one may be a chinook.
  • Jan. 1-Feb. 15: Closed.
  • Feb. 16-April 10: Open with a one- salmon daily limit (chinook must be 22 inches); Commencement Bay closed April 1-10.
  • April 11-May 31: Closed.

Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal):

  • May 1-June 30: Closed
  • July 1-Aug. 31: North of Ayock Point closed;
  • Sept. 1-30: North of Ayock Point, open for coho only with a four-fish daily limit.'
  • July 1-Sept. 30: South of Ayock Point, open with a four-salmon daily limit, only two of which may be chinook (22-inch minimum size); chum must be released.
  • Oct. 1-15: Open for coho fishing only with a four-fish daily limit, chinook and chum must be released.
  • Oct. 16-Nov. 30: Open with a two-salmon daily limit, chinook must be released.
  • Dec. 1-Feb. 28: Closed.
  • March 1-31: Open with a one-salmon daily limit, chinook must be 22-inch minimum.
  • April 1-30: Closed.

Quilcene-Dabob Bay: Closed May 1-Aug. 15; open for coho only with a four-fish daily limit from Aug. 15-Oct. 15, chinook and chum must be released; open Oct. 16-Dec. 31 with a two-salmon daily limit; chinook must be released; closed Jan. 1-Feb 28; open March 1-31 with a one-salmon daily limit (chinook must be 22 inches minimum); closed April 1-30

Hoodsport Hatchery Zone: Open daylight hours July 1-Dec. 15 with a four-salmon daily limit; only two chinook may be longer than 24 inches; chum must be released July 1-Oct. 15; otherwise same rule as Marine Area 12 south of Ayock Point in effect.

Marine Area 13 (South Puget Sound):

  • May 1-June 30: Open with a two-fish daily limit, one of which may be a chinook (22-inch minimum size); Carr Inlet closed.
  • July 1- Oct. 31: Open with a two-salmon daily limit; chinook must be at least 22-inches; wild coho must be released; Carr Inlet closed July 1-31; Minter Creek mouth closed through Sept. 30; Budd Inlet closed July 16 through Oct. 31.
  • Nov. 1-Dec. 31: Open with a two-salmon daily limit, one of which may be a chinook (22-inch minimum size).
  • Jan. 1-Feb. 15: Catch and release fishing only.
  • Feb. 16-April 10: Open with a one-salmon daily limit; chinook must be at least 22 inches.
  • April 11-30: Catch and release fishing only.

Fox Island Pier: Open year-round with a two-salmon daily limit, of which only one may be a chinook (22-inches minimum size); wild coho must be released July 1-Oct. 31.