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


April 07, 2000
Contact: Pat Pattillo, 360-902-2705

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Public processes shape responsible salmon seasons amid strong conservation efforts

PORTLAND- -Salmon seasons set here this week will provide sport fishing opportunities for anglers for healthy hatchery stocks while ensuring that wild salmon are protected.

"We worked very hard to find ways to keep sport, commercial and tribal fishers on the water while meeting our responsibilities under the law and as good stewards to protect weak wild stocks," said Phil Anderson, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's chief of Intergovernmental Affairs.

The fishing seasons were set today after a lengthy public process that began in February. In Portland this week, the Pacific Fishery Management Council set ocean fishing seasons while state and tribal co-managers set the seasons for Puget Sound and other state waters in the North of Falcon process.

Anderson emphasized that harvests expected in 2000 are consistent with broader salmon recovery efforts, set out in Gov. Gary Locke's Extinction Is Not An Option plan. The plan addresses key factors limiting salmon recovery such as the degraded condition of many state rivers that result in the premature death of millions of young salmon before they reach salt water.

The WDFW official also said the agency worked closely with the National Marine Fisheries Service, which implements the federal Endangered Species Act, to ensure adequate protection for listed stocks, such as Puget Sound chinook. NMFS is expected to formally approve this year's fisheries that focus on hatchery fish and ensure recovery of threatened stocks.

"Through efficiencies, we've been able to maximize seasons and opportunities while significantly reducing the catch of weak stocks," Anderson said.

Therefore, anglers will have to target their efforts carefully this year to take advantage of the fishing opportunities. Highlights of this year's opportunities include:

  • The Pacific coast from such ports as Westport and Ilwaco, where sport anglers will have the opportunity to harvest 75,000 marked coho and 12,500 chinook
  • The Columbia River, where large runs of marked hatchery coho are expected to return. A healthy run of chinook from the Hanford Reach and other upriver areas also is expected to return
  • The Strait of Juan de Fuca, where fishing for adipose fin clipped hatchery coho will be the rule
  • Elliott Bay, which will have chinook fishing opportunities in August
  • Winter blackmouth (immature chinook) fishing in Puget Sound

Sport fishing opportunities also will be available throughout Puget Sound, Anderson said. To maximize Puget Sound fishing opportunities, anglers also can expect:

  • Strong WDFW enforcement and monitoring efforts
  • Possible new regulations banning the use of treble hooks after a public process before the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission later this year
  • Place and time closures to protect migrating wild salmon

"Commercial and tribal fishers have similar limitations to protect wild runs this year," he emphasized.

In addition to problems with wild chinook, WDFW fish biologists have noticed runs of hatchery as well as wild coho to southern Puget Sound have been declining since the 1980s and 1999 returns were the lowest on record. WDFW is working with tribal and University of Washington scientists in an effort to determine the cause.

This year's forecast for all Puget Sound coho stocks is just 45 percent of last year's preseason forecast. All wild coho runs, including those returning to the Skagit and Stillaguamish rivers as well as those flowing into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Hood Canal are expected to return at low levels. On the ocean, fishing seasons have been shaped to protect wild Queets River coho, which are expected to be in poor condition this year.

Marine area fishing seasons this year are:

Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco):

  • July 10-Sept. 30 (or until a quota of 37,500 marked coho is reached): Open Sunday through Thursday; two salmon, of which one may be chinook, daily limit; 4,300 chinook harvest guideline

Marine Area 2 (Westport-Ocean Shores):

  • July 3-Sept. 30 (or until a quota of 28,900 marked coho is reached): Open Sunday through Thursday; two salmon, of which one may be a chinook, daily limit; 7,400 chinook harvest guideline; closed through Aug. 10 inside of a line from Buoy 2 to Buoy 3 to the Grays Harbor north jetty

Marine Area 2.1 (Willapa Bay):

  • Aug. 16-Jan. 31: six salmon, of which two may be adults; release wild coho, daily limit

Marine Area 2.2 (Grays Harbor):

  • Sept. 1-Oct. 31: six salmon, of which two may be adults including one wild adult coho, daily limit

Marine Area 3 (LaPush):

  • Open July 3-Sept. 30 (or until a quota of 1,700 marked coho is reached): fishing open seven days per week; two salmon, of which one may be a chinook, daily limit; 300 chinook harvest guideline

Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay):

  • July 3-Sept. 30 (or until a quota of 6,900 marked coho is reached): open seven days per week; two salmon, of which one may be a chinook outside of the Bonilla –Tatoosh line only, daily limit; 500 chinook harvest guideline; quota of 6,000 marked coho in Marine Area 4-B; release chinook

Marine Area 5 (Sekiu and Pillar Point) and Marine Area 6 (East Strait Juan de Fuca):

  • May 1-July 31: closed
  • Aug. 1-Sept. 30: two salmon, release chinook, chum and wild coho; closed to boat fishing ¾ miles of the mainland shoreline and within ¾ miles of the Whidbey Island shore in August (shore fishing permitted)
  • Oct. 1-Oct. 31 open only in Dungeness Bay for a daily limit of two coho
  • Nov. 1-Nov.30: two salmon, of which one may be chinook at least 22 inches in length, daily limit; release all coho
  • Dec. 1-Feb. 15: closed
  • Feb. 16-April 10: one salmon daily limit , chinook must be at least 22 inches
  • April 11-April 30: closed

Marine Area 7 (San Juan Islands):

  • May 1-June 30: closed
  • July 1-July 31: two salmon daily limit of which one may be a chinook at least 22 inches in length; Rosario Strait, eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca and Bellingham Bay (including Samish Bay) closed
  • Aug. 1-Sept. 30: two salmon of which one may be a chinook at least 22 inches in length; southern Rosario and eastern Juan de Fuca straits and Samish Bay closed; Bellingham Bay closed through Aug. 15
  • Aug. 16-Oct. 31: Bellingham Bay (including Guemes Channel west of Guemes Island ferry route) four salmon, of which one may be a chinook at least 22 inches in length, daily limit
  • Oct. 1-Oct. 31: two salmon daily limit, release chinook; Samish Bay closed through Oct. 15
  • Nov. 1-Nov. 30: two salmon, of which one may be chinook at least 22 inches in length, daily limit
  • Dec. 1-Feb. 15: closed
  • Feb. 16-April 10: daily limit one salmon, chinook at least 22 inches in length
  • April 11-April 30: closed

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

  • May 1-Aug. 31: closed
  • Sept. 1-Oct. 31: two salmon daily limit, release chinook
  • Nov. 1-Nov. 30: two salmon, of which one may be chinook at least 22 inches in length, daily limit
  • Dec. 1-Feb. 15: closed
  • Feb. 16-April 10: one salmon daily limit; chinook at least 22 inches in length
  • April 11-April 30: closed

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

  • May 1-Sept. 15: closed
  • Sept. 16-Oct. 31: two salmon daily limit, release chinook
  • July 7-Sept. 30: Tulalip Bay open only from 12:01 a.m. Friday through 11:59 p.m. Monday of each week; two salmon, of which one may be chinook at least 22 inches in length, daily limit
  • Nov. 1-Feb. 15: closed
  • Feb. 16-April 10: one salmon daily limit; chinook must be at least 22 inches in length
  • April 11-April 30: closed

Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet):

  • May 1-Aug. 31: closed
  • Sept. 1-Sept.15: two salmon daily limit, release chum and chinook
  • Sept. 16-Sept. 30: closed
  • Oct. 1-Oct. 31: two salmon daily limit; release chinook
  • Nov. 1-Nov. 30: two salmon, one of which may be a chinook at least 22 inches in length, daily limit
  • Dec. 1-Feb. 15: closed
  • Feb. 16-April 10: one salmon daily limit; chinook must be at least 22 inches in length
  • April 11-April 30: closed
  • Edmonds Public Fishing Pier: two salmon, of which one may be a chinook at least 22 inches in length, daily limit all year
  • Hood Canal Bridge Fishing Pontoon: May 1-June 30: two salmon, of which one may be chinook at least 22 inches in length; closed July 1-Aug. 31; Sept. 1-April 30, two salmon daily limit of which one may be a chinook at least 22 inches in length; release chum Sept. 1-Sept. 30

Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton):

  • May 1-June 30: closed
  • July 1-Sept. 15: two salmon daily limit; release chinook (closures: east of a line from Point Wells to Meadow Point July 1-Aug. 31; Shilshole Bay July 1-Oct. 31; Elliott Bay east of a line from West Point to Alki Point July 1-Aug. 16)
  • Elliott Bay (east of a line from Pier 91 to Duwamish Head): closed Aug. 1-Aug. 15 except open noon Friday through noon Monday Aug. 4-Aug. 7 and Aug. 11-Aug. 14; two salmon, of which one may be chinook at least 22 inches in length, daily limit
  • Sinclair Inlet (south of Manette Bridge; south of a line drawn west from Battle Point and west of a line drawn south of Point White): July 16-Sept. 15: two salmon daily limit; chinook must be at least 22 inches in length
  • Sept 16-Sept. 30: closed
  • Oct. 1-Oct. 31: two salmon, release chinook
  • Nov. 1-Nov. 30: two salmon of which one may be a chinook at least 22 inches in length
  • Dec. 1-Feb. 15: closed
  • Feb. 16-April 10: one salmon daily limit; Agate Pass closed Feb. 16-March 31
  • April 11-April 30: closed
  • Terminal 86 and Seacrest piers: two salmon, of which one may be a chinook at least 22 inches in length, all year

Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon):

  • May 1-May 31: closed
  • June 1-Sept. 15: two salmon, of which one may be a chinook at least 22 inches in length, daily limit (Commencement Bay closed through July 31)
  • Sept. 16-Oct. 15: one salmon limit, chinook must be at least 22 inches in length
  • Oct. 16-Nov. 30: two salmon limit, one of which may be a chinook at least 22 inches in length
  • Dec. 1-Feb. 15: closed
  • Feb. 16-April 10: one salmon daily limit, chinook must be at least 22 inches in length; (Commencement Bay closed April 1-April 10)
  • April 11-April 30: closed
  • Dash Point Dock and Point Defiance Pier: two salmon, of which one may be a chinook at least 22 inches in length, all year

Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal):

  • May 1-June 30: closed
  • July 1-Aug. 31 (south of Ayock Point): two salmon, of which one may be a chinook at least 22 inches in length, daily limit; release chum; closed north of Ayock Point July 1-Aug. 31 except for Quilcene/Daboob Bay with a four coho daily limit
  • Sept. 1-Oct. 15: two salmon daily limit; release chinook and chum
  • Oct. 16-Dec. 31: two salmon, of which one may be a chinook at least 22 inches in length, daily limit
  • Jan. 1-Feb. 15: closed
  • Feb.16-April 10: one salmon daily limit, chinook must be at least 22 inches in length
  • April 11-April 30: closed
  • Hoodsport Salmon Hatchery: July 1-Dec. 15: four salmon, of which two may be chinook, daily limit; night closure; release chum July 1-Oct. 15

Marine Area 13 (South Puget Sound):

  • May 1-June 30: two salmon daily limit of which one may be a chinook at least 22 inches in length; Carr Inlet closed
  • July 1-Oct. 31: two salmon daily limit, chinook must be at least 22 inches in length; release wild coho; Carr Inlet closed through July 31 and Sept. 16-Oct. 15; Budd Inlet closed July 16-Oct. 31
  • Nov. 1-Dec. 31: two salmon daily limit, of which one may be a chinook at least 22 inches in length
  • Jan. 1-Feb. 15: catch and release only
  • Feb. 16-April 10: one salmon daily limit, chinook must be at least 22 inches in length
  • April 11-April 30: closed
  • Fox Island Pier: two salmon, of which one may be a chinook at least 22 inches in length, all year; release wild coho July 1-Oct. 31