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


April 10, 2003
Contact: Pat Pattillo (360) 902-2705;
Or: Doug Williams (360) 902-2256

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Strong chinook, coho numbers set stage for solid salmon fishing seasons

VANCOUVER - Sport and commercial salmon-fishing seasons set for Washington's waters this summer reflect the continued strengthening of many chinook and coho salmon stocks from Puget Sound to the Columbia River, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The federal Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), meeting April 7-11 in Vancouver, Wash., adopted final recreational catch limits of 59,600 chinook and 225,000 coho for waters 3-200 miles off Washington's coast. By comparison, coastal recreational fishery catch limits in 2002 were 60,252 chinook and 109,630 coho.

WDFW and its salmon co-managers, the Pacific Northwest treaty Indian tribes, set fisheries for "inside" waters in conjunction with the PFMC action. Much of the recreational fishing opportunities this year will again focus on strong hatchery chinook and coho stocks, as well as an expected abundance of pink salmon.

"The co-managers have developed a comprehensive fisheries package that provides significant fishing opportunities throughout the state, while at the same time allowing for the continued protection and recovery of weak salmon stocks," said Phil Anderson, WDFW intergovernmental resource management lead. Koenings.

One significant new fishing opportunity in 2003 is a "mark-selective" fishery for hatchery chinook in the western Strait of Juan de Fuca.

"Mark-selective fisheries are an important new step in our ongoing plan to restore weak salmon stocks," said WDFW Director Jeff Koenings.

The chinook fishery in the Strait of Juan de Fuca will run from July 5 to Aug. 14, or until 3,500 chinook have been landed. Only chinook with a clipped adipose fin and a healed scar in its place can be kept. Fish that can't be retained because they are either wild or undersized must remain in the water.

"It is absolutely essential that anglers who participate in this fishery comply with all fisheries regulations and take great care in releasing unmarked fish," Koenings said. "The alternative to a mark-selective fishery in areas where strong and weak stocks are mixed together is to have no fishing at all."

Some Puget Sound chinook salmon stocks are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Any fishing plan that includes harvest of ESA-protected salmon stocks must receive approval from federal fisheries managers.

Familiar recreational fishing opportunities will return again in 2003, such as the Elliott Bay and Tulalip Bay "bubble" fisheries for chinook salmon. In Elliott Bay, anglers will be able to fish for chinook Fridays through Sundays for six consecutive weekends beginning July 11. The Tulalip Bay bubble fishery, just north of Everett, will again be open on a Friday at 12:01 a.m. through Monday at 11:59 a.m. schedule beginning July 4.

The expected bonanza of pink salmon returning to northern Puget Sound rivers such as the Skagit and Snohomish systems translates into additional fishing opportunity throughout the region. Fisheries managers have increased bag limits to allow more pink salmon to be retained in fishing areas from the northern coast Puget Sound through northern Puget Sound.

Biologists believe that there will not be sufficient numbers of sockeye salmon returning to the Lake Washington system to support a recreational fishery this summer.

This is the complete 2003 recreational salmon fishing package for Washington marine waters:

(The following information was revised 4/16/03.)

Marine Area 1 (Leadbetter Point south):

  • June 29 -Sept. 30. 112,500 coho subquota. Open Sunday through Thursday, two fish per day, only one of which may be a chinook. Retained coho must have a healed adipose fin clip. Chinook minimum size limit 26 inches. Chinook guideline 12,700. Closed in Columbia Control Zone.

Buoy 10:

  • Aug. 1-Aug. 15. Open 7 days per week, 2 fish per day. Chinook minimum size limit 24 inches, coho minimum size limit 16 inches. Only one chinook, release chum, sockeye, and wild coho (coho must have a healed adipose fin clip.) Barbed hooks are allowed.
  • Aug. 16-Sept. 30. Open 7 days per week, 3 fish per day. Chinook minimum size limit 24 inches, coho minimum size limit 16 inches. Only one chinook, release chum, sockeye, and wild coho (coho must have a healed adipose fin clip.) Barbed hooks are allowed.
  • Oct. 1-Dec. 31. Open 7 days per week, 12-inch minimum size; 6 fish per day, only three adults, only one of which may be an adult chinook. Release chum, sockeye, and wild coho (coho must have a healed adipose fin clip.) Barbed hooks are allowed.
  • Jan. 1-March 31. Open 7 days per week, 12-inch minimum size; 6 fish per day, only two adults. Release chum, sockeye, wild coho and wild chinook (coho and chinook must have a healed adipose fin clip.) Barbed hooks are allowed.

North Jetty: Open 7 days per week when Marine Area 1 or Buoy 10 area is open. When Buoy 10 or Marine Area 1 is open, the daily limit and minimum size restrictions follow the most liberal regulations of those areas. Barbed hooks allowed.

Marine Area 2 (Queets River to Leadbetter Point):

  • June 22 - Sept. 14. 83,250 coho subquota. Open Sunday through Thursday, two fish per day, only one of which may be a chinook. Retained coho must have a healed adipose fin clip; chinook minimum size limit 26 inches; chinook guideline is 40,600. Beginning Aug. 16, salmon fishing closed from the lighthouse approximately one mile south of the south jetty, to buoy 2, to buoy 3, to tip of the north jetty and to the tip of the exposed south jetty.

Area 2.1 east of a line from Leadbetter Point to Cape Shoalwater (Willapa Bay):

  • June 22-Aug. 15: Open concurrent with Marine 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. Single-point barbless hooks required.

Area 2.2 east of a line between tips of exposed jetties (Grays Harbor):

  • West of Buoy 13 line: June 22-Sept. 15, open concurrent with Area 2 when it is open for salmon; Area 2 rules apply. Aug. 16-Sept. 15: Closed for salmon.
  • East of Buoy 13 line: June 22-Sept. 15, closed for salmon. Sept. 16-Nov. 30: Six fish limit, two adults, release adult chinook. 12- inch minimum size limit; single point barbless hooks required.

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 (Cape Alava to Queets River):

  • June 22 - Sept. 14. 5,750 coho subquota. Open seven days per week, two fish per day plus one additional pink salmon, no more than one of which may be a chinook. Retained coho must have a healed adipose fin clip; chinook minimum size limit is 26 inches. Chinook guideline is 2,300 fish.
  • Sept. 20--Oct. 5. 100 coho sub quota; 100 chinook sub quota. Two per day, no more than one chinook. Chinook 26 inches minimum, coho 16 inches minimum. Fishery restricted to inside the area defined by a line from Teahwhit Head northwesterly to "Q" buoy to Cake Rock then true east to the shoreline. Regulations as described above.

Marine Area 4 (U.S. /Canada border to Cape Alava and East to Sekiu River):

  • June 22--Sept. 14. 23,400 coho sub quota. Open seven days per week, two fish per day plus one additional pink salmon, only one of which may be a chinook. Chum non-retention during August and September. Retained coho must have a healed adipose fin clip; chinook minimum size limit is 26 inches. Chinook guideline is 3,900 fish. Chinook non-retention east of Bonilla-Tatoosh line, except chinook retention allowed July 1-31. Closed to salmon fishing east of a true north/south line through Sail Rock, July 1-31.

Marine Area 5 (Sekiu):

  • May 1-June 30: closed.
  • July 1-July 4: Two fish limit. Chinook, unmarked coho and chum release. Salmon fishing is closed south of a line from Kydaka Point to Shipwreck Point.
  • July 5-July 31: Two fish limit. Chinook 22 inch minimum size. Unmarked chinook, unmarked coho and chum release. Areas 5 and 6 season quota of 3,500 landed chinook. Afterwards, chinook release. Unlawful to bring into the boat salmon that are not going to be retained. Salmon fishing is closed south of a line from Kydaka Point to Shipwreck Point.
  • Aug. 1-Aug. 14: Four fish limit, no more than a total of two may be chinook and coho. Chinook 22 inch minimum size. Unmarked chinook, unmarked coho and chum release. Areas 5 and 6 season quota of 3,500 landed chinook. Afterwards, chinook release. Unlawful to bring into the boat salmon that are not going to be retained. Salmon fishing is closed south of a line from Kydaka Point to Shipwreck Point.
  • Aug. 15-Aug. 31: Four fish limit, no more than two may be coho. Chinook, unmarked coho and chum release. Salmon fishing is closed south of a line from Kydaka Point to Shipwreck Point.
  • Sept. 1-Sept. 30: Two fish limit. Chinook, unmarked coho and chum release. Salmon fishing is closed south of a line from Kydaka Point to Shipwreck Point.
  • Oct. 1-Oct. 31: Closed.
  • Nov. 1-Nov. 30: Two fish limit, one chinook, 22-inch minimum size for chinook.
  • Dec. 1-Feb. 13: Closed.
  • Feb. 14-April 10: One fish limit, 22-inch minimum size.
  • April 11-April 30: Closed.

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

  • May 1-June 30: Closed.
  • July 1-July 4: Two fish limit. Chinook, unmarked coho and chum release. Closed to all fishing south of a line from Angeles Point to Observatory Point. Port Angeles Harbor west of a line from the tip of Ediz Hook to ITT Rayonier Dock closed to salmon fishing. Dungeness Bay closed.
  • July 5-July 31: Two fish limit, 22-inch minimum size for chinook. Unmarked coho, chum and chinook release, except west of true north/south line through "2" buoy near tip of Ediz Hook, retention of marked chinook allowed; Area 5 and 6 season quota of 3,500 landed chinook; afterwards, release chinook. Unlawful to bring into the boat salmon that are not going to be retained. Closed to all fishing south of a line from Angeles Point to Observatory Point. Port Angeles Harbor west of a line from the tip of Ediz Hook to ITT Rayonier Dock is closed to salmon fishing. Dungeness Bay is closed.
  • Aug. 1-Aug. 14: Four fish limit, 22-inch minimum size for chinook. Unmarked coho, chum and chinook release, except west of true north/south line through "2" buoy near tip of Ediz Hook retention of marked chinook allowed; Area 5 and 6 season quota of 3,500 landed chinook; afterwards, release chinook. Unlawful to bring into the boat salmon that are not going to be retained. Closed to all fishing south of a line from Angeles Point to Observatory Point. Port Angeles Harbor west of a line from the tip of Ediz Hook to ITT Rayonier Dock is closed to salmon fishing. Dungeness Bay is closed.
  • Aug. 15-Aug. 31: Four fish limit, no more than a total of two may be coho. Chinook, unmarked coho and chum release. Closed to all fishing south of a line from Angeles Point to Observatory Point. Port Angeles Harbor west of a line from the tip of Ediz Hook to ITT Rayonier is closed to salmon fishing. Dungeness Bay is closed.
  • Sept 1 to Sept. 30: Two fish limit. Chinook, unmarked coho and chum release. Dungeness Bay closed.
  • Oct. 1-Oct. 31: Closed, except Dungeness Bay open Oct. 1-Oct. 31, two fish limit, coho only.
  • Nov. 1-Nov. 30: Two fish limit, one chinook, 22-inch minimum size for chinook.
  • Dec. 1-Feb. 13: Closed.
  • Feb. 14-April 10: One fish limit, 22-inch minimum chinook size. Dungeness Bay closed.
  • April 11-April 30: Closed.

Marine Area 7 (San Juan Islands):

  • May 1-June 30: Closed.
  • July 1-31: Two-salmon daily limit of which one may be a chinook (22 inch minimum). Closed waters are: Rosario Strait, easterly of a line from Lummi Rocks/Peapod Rocks/Lydia Shoal due south to Black Rock, southerly to the easternmost point on James Island, and southerly to the marker on Bird Rocks, westerly to the marker across to Lopez Pass, eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca and Bellingham Bay closed.
  • Aug. 1-Sept. 30: Four fish limit, no more than one chinook (22-inch minimum size); no more than a total of two may be chinook and coho. Release unmarked coho, release chum. Closed waters: South Rosario Strait and eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca (east boundary defined by a line drawn true south of Salmon Banks buoy), Bellingham Bay closed Aug. 1-15; Samish Bay closed.
  • Oct. 1-31: Two fish limit, release chinook. Samish Bay closed Oct. 1-Oct. 15.
  • Nov. 1-Nov. 30: Open with a two-salmon daily limit of which one may be a chinook (22 inch minimum size).
  • Dec. 1-Jan. 31: Closed.
  • Feb. 1-March 31: One-salmon limit (chinook must be at least 22 inches.)
  • April 1-30: Closed.

Bellingham Bay terminal area:

  • May 1-Aug. 15: Closed.
  • Aug. 16-Oct. 31: Four fish daily limit, two chinook (22 inch minimum size); Samish Bay closed through Oct. 15.
  • Nov. 1-March 31: Same as Marine Area 7.
  • April 1-April 30: Closed.

Marine Area 8-1:

  • May 1-July 31: Closed.
  • Aug. 1-Sept. 30: Four fish limit, no more than a total of two may be coho and chum. Chinook release.
  • Oct. 1-Oct. 31: Two fish limit. Chinook release.
  • Nov. 1-Nov. 30: Two fish limit, one chinook, 22-inch chinook minimum.
  • Dec. 1 to Jan. 31: Closed.
  • Feb. 1 to March 31: One fish limit, 22-inch chinook minimum.
  • April 1-April 30: Closed.

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

  • May 1-July 31: Closed
  • Aug. 1-Sept. 30: Four fish limit, no more than a total of two may be coho and chum, chinook release.
  • Oct. 1-Oct. 31: Two fish limit, release chinook.
  • Nov. 1-Nov. 30: Two fish limit, one chinook, 22-inch chinook minimum.
  • Dec. 1-Feb. 13: Closed
  • Feb. 14-April 10: One fish limit, 22-inch chinook minimum.
  • April 11-30: Closed.
  • Closed east of the line from Mission Point to Hermosa Point.

Tulalip Special Area Recreational Fishery:

  • Same as Area 8-2, except during the period of July 4-Sept. 29. Open 12:01 a.m. Friday - 11:59 a.m. Monday of each week. Open within Tulalip Special Area boundaries only. Closed east of the line from Mission Point to Hermosa Point. Two fish limit, 22-inch chinook minimum.

Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet):

  • May 1-July 15: Closed
  • July 16-July 31: Two fish limit, release chinook.
  • Aug. 1-Aug. 31: Four fish limit, two of which may be coho, release chinook and chum.
  • Sept. 1-Sept. 30: Two fish limit, release chinook and chum.
  • Oct. 1-31: Two fish daily limit, chinook release.
  • Nov. 1-30: Two fish limit, one chinook, 22-inch chinook minimum.
  • Dec. 1-Jan. 31: Closed.
  • Feb. 1-April 15: One fish limit, 22-inch chinook minimum.
  • April 16-30: 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 15: Closed
  • June 16-June 30: Catch and release in waters north of Meadow Point / Point Monroe line. Unlawful to bring salmon into the boat.
  • July 1-Oct. 31: Two-fish daily limit, chinook release, chum release Aug. 1 to 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). Special gear restrictions in the Duwamish Waterways area when open.
  • Nov. 1-30: Two-fish limit, of which one may be a chinook (22-inch minimum size).
  • Dec. 1-15: Closed.
  • Dec. 16-Feb. 29: One fish limit, 22-inch chinook minimum.
  • March 1-April 30: Closed.

Elliott Bay: July 11-Aug.17: Open east of Pier 91/Duwamish Head line, weekly, 12:01 a.m. Friday to 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 11-Aug. 17, two fish limit, 22-inch chinook minimum, release chum beginning Aug. 1. Special gear restrictions in Duwamish waterways area when open.

  • Aug. 18-Aug. 31: Closed.
  • Sept. 1-April 30: Same as Area 10.

Sinclair Inlet: July 1-Sept. 30: Open south of Manette Bridge, south of line drawn true west from Battle Point and west of line south from Point White, two fish limit, 22-inch chinook minimum, release chum Aug. 1-Sept. 15. Same regulations as Area 10 from May 1-June 30 and Oct. 1 to April 30.

Area 10 Piers: Seacrest Pier, Pier 86, Waterman Pier, Bremerton Boardwalk, Illahee State Park Pier: Open year 'round with a two fish daily limit, one chinook (22-inch minimum size), release all chum Aug. 1-Sept. 15.

Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon):

  • May 1-May 31: Closed.
  • June 1-Oct. 31: Open with a two-salmon limit (chinook must be at least 22 inches), Commencement Bay closed to salmon fishing through July 31.
  • Nov. 1-Dec. 31: Open with a two-salmon daily limit, of which one may be a chinook (must be at least 22 inches).
  • Jan. 1-Feb. 13: Closed.
  • Feb. 14-April 10: One fish daily limit, 22-inch chinook minimum.
  • April 11-30: Closed.

Dash Point Dock, Point Defiance Boathouse Dock, Les Davis Pier, Des Moines Pier and Redondo Pier: Open year 'round with a two fish daily limit, one chinook (22-inch minimum size).

Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal):

  • May 1-June 30: Closed
  • July 1-Aug. 31: North of Ayock Point closed, except see Quilcene/Dabob Bay fishery.
  • Sept. 1-Oct. 15: North of Ayock Point, open for coho only with a four-fish daily limit.
  • July 1-Oct. 15: 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. 16-Dec. 31: Entire area open with a four-fish daily limit, one chinook, with a 22-inch minimum size.
  • Jan. 1-Feb. 13: Closed.
  • Feb. 14-April 10: Open with a one-salmon daily limit, chinook must be 22 inches.
  • April 11-30: Closed.

Quilcene-Dabob Bay: Closed May 1-Aug. 15; open for coho only with a four-fish daily limit from Aug. 16-Oct. 15; open with a four-fish daily limit, one chinook, which must be 22 inches Oct. 16 to Dec. 31; Closed Jan. 1-Feb. 13; Open Feb. 14-April 10 with a one-fish daily limit, chinook must be 22 inches; Closed April 11-30.

Hoodsport Hatchery Zone: Open July 1-Dec. 31. Open with a four-fish daily limit, only two chinook greater than 24 inches, chum release July 1-Oct. 15 and a night closure.

Marine Area 13 (South Puget Sound):

  • May 1-May 31: Two fish limit, no more than one chinook, 22-inch minimum chinook. Carr Inlet (north of Penrose Point/Green Point line) closed.
  • June 1-June 30: 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, except open to flyfishing only to marked coho; Minter Creek mouth closed through Sept. 30; Lower Budd Inlet closed July 16 through Oct. 31.
  • Nov. 1-Dec. 31: Two fish limit, one chinook, 22-inch minimum chinook.
  • Jan. 1-April 30: One fish limit, chinook 22-inch minimum. Carr Inlet (north of Penrose Point/Green Point line) closed April 16-April 30.

Fox Island Pier Recreational: Year 'round, two fish limit, one chinook, 22-inch minimum chinook; release unmarked coho July 1-Oct. 31.