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


April 10, 1998
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, (360)902-2256

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Sport salmon fisheries crafted amid conservation restrictions

PORTLAND -- Limited salmon sport fishing seasons threatening little harm to critically low wild coho and chinook stocks have been crafted for the ocean, Puget Sound and many state rivers this year, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today.

Coho will form the backbone of most fisheries, although some chinook opportunities also will be available.

"Make no mistake, Washington's Puget Sound wild salmon stocks are in critical condition," said Bruce Crawford, who heads WDFW's Fish Management Program. "We are trying to keep recreational and commercial salmon fishing and the businesses that rely on them alive in Washington while the Fish and Wildlife Commission, Gov. Gary Locke and the Legislature form the citizen partnerships needed to rebuild habitat that produce these wild stocks."

The National Marine Fisheries Service recently proposed that Puget Sound wild chinook and other state salmon species be listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Washington's sport and non-Indian commercial salmon fishing seasons were developed this week when the Pacific Fisheries Management Council and WDFW and tribal managers met in Portland.

Crawford said crafting Washington's 1998-99 salmon seasons was particularly difficult because of the continuing decline of important wild fish runs as well as the possible Endangered Species Act listings.

In addition, for probably the first time in history, Washington tributaries to the Columbia River will be closed to salmon fishing all year to help conserve threatened stocks.

Crawford said this year's sport and non-Indian commercial fishing seasons:

  • Avoid targeting wild coho and chinook runs that are below spawning goals
  • Ensure fisheries minimize the incidental catch of salmon from wild coho and chinook runs in trouble
  • Observe requirements to monitor catches as well as restrictions designed to avoid overharvests
  • Focus non-Indian commercial Puget Sound fisheries exclusively on sockeye and chum
NMFS participated in this week's Portland meeting and monitored the development of fisheries in state waters. NMFS is the federal agency responsible for listing Northwest salmon stocks under the Endangered Species Act.

Crawford said the PFMC was able to allow limited ocean fishing for chinook because few of the fish harvested will be from the Columbia or Puget Sound rivers. Most of the chinook available to fishers from Westport, Ilwaco and other coastal cities during the summer will be healthy stocks from Washington or Oregon coastal rivers or British Columbia's Fraser River.

Crawford said shaping Puget Sound sport fisheries which allow opportunities to catch chinook from hatcheries or healthy wild stocks was more difficult this year than ever before.

He explained chinook of various ages from weak wild stocks forage in all parts of Puget Sound throughout the year.

"Most Washington residents want to restore their wild salmon stocks and many people are ready to close all fisheries," Crawford said.

"But we also have to recognize many of our neighbors depend upon fishing for their livelihoods. Fishers and the people who supply them have been harvesting fewer salmon every year. We're trying to keep them in business until ocean conditions improve for salmon and we become better stewards of their river habitats," Crawford said.

While many wild chinook stocks are in serious trouble, coho runs are expected to provide sport fishing opportunities in both inland and coastal waters.

An estimated 950,000 wild and hatchery coho are expected to return to Puget Sound this year. That number is 33 percent fewer coho than had been forecast at this time last year.

The 1998 recreational salmon seasons are:

Marine Areas

  • Marine Area 1(Ilwaco): Aug. 3-Sept. 24 or 7,000 coho; open Sunday through Thursday; closed in Columbia Control Zone; two salmon daily of which one may be chinook; release unmarked coho; no more than four fish per calendar week
  • Buoy 10: Columbia River open Aug. 10-Aug 23 seven days per week upstream of the Astoria-Megler Bridge; two salmon daily limit; release unmarked coho; no more than four salmon per calendar week
  • Marine Area 2 (Westport): Aug. 3-Sept. 24 or 7,400 coho: open Sunday through Thursday; closed within three miles of shore; two salmon daily of which one may be chinook; no more than four fish per calendar week
  • Marine Area 3 (LaPush): Aug. 3-Sept. 24 or 600 coho: open seven days per week, two salmon daily limit
  • Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay): Aug. 3-Sept. 24 or 8,000 coho: fishing restricted to Area 4B with two salmon daily limit, release chinook
  • Marine Area 5 (Sekiu and Pillar Point): May 1-July 31: closed
    Aug. 1-Sept. 7: two salmon daily limit, release chinook and chum; waters within 3/4 mile of the mainland are closed
    Sept. 8-Sept. 30: catch and release only; waters within 3/4 mile of the mainland closed
    Oct. 1-Oct. 31: closed
    Nov. 1-Nov. 30: two salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook, release coho
    Dec. 1-Dec. 31: closed
    Jan. 1-April 30: to be announced
  • Marine Area 6 (Eastern Strait and Juan de Fuca): May 1-July 31: closed
    Aug. 1-Sept. 7: two salmon daily limit, release chinook and chum; waters within 3/4 mile of mainland and Whidbey Island closed; Dungeness Bay closed
    Sept. 8-Sept. 30: catch and release only; waters within 3/4 mile of mainland and Whidbey Island closed; Dungeness Bay closed
    Oct. 1-Oct. 31: closed except Dungeness Bay with two coho limit
    Nov. 1-Nov. 30: two salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook, release coho
    Dec. 1-Dec. 31: closed
    Jan. 1-April 30: to be announced
  • Marine Area 7 (San Juan Islands): May 1-June 30: closed
    July 1-Aug. 15: two salmon daily limit, release chinook; Samish Bay closed
    Aug. 1-Aug 15; see 1998-99 Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet for additional closures
    Aug. 16-Sept. 30: two salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook (chinook retention only in northern and western portions of Area 7; see Fishing in Washington regulation pamphlet for details); four salmon limit of which one may be chinook in Bellingham Bay; Samish Bay closed; see Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet for additional restrictions
    Oct. 1-Oct. 31: two salmon daily limit, release chinook, except in Bellingham Bay where the limit is four salmon, of which one may be chinook; Samish Bay closed through Oct. 15
    Nov. 1-Nov. 30: two salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook
    Dec. 1-Dec. 31: closed
    Jan. 1-April 30: to be announced
  • Marine Area 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island and Skagit Bay): May 1-Aug. 15: closed
    Aug. 16-Oct. 31: two salmon daily limit, release chinook
    Nov. 1-Nov. 30: two salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook
    Dec. 1-Dec. 31: closed
    Jan. 1-April 30: to be announced
  • Marine Area 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner): May 1-July 31: closed
    Aug. 1-Oct. 31: two salmon daily limit, release chinook
    Nov. 1-Dec.. 31: closed
    Jan. 1-April 30: to be announced
  • Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet): May 1-July 31: closed
    Aug. 1-Oct. 31: two salmon daily limit, release chinook; release chum Aug. 1- Oct. 15
    Nov. 1-Nov. 30: two salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook
    Dec. 1-Dec. 31: closed
    Jan. 1-April 30: to be announced
    Edmonds Pier: open all year, two salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook
  • Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton): May 1-June 30: closed
    July 1-Sept. 15: two salmon daily limit, release chinook; Shilshole Bay (East of Meadow Point-West Point line) and Elliott Bay (east of Four Mile Rock-Alki Point Line) closed
    Sept. 16-Oct. 31: two salmon daily limit, release chinook; Shilshole Bay (east of Meadow Point-West Point line) closed
    Nov. 1-Nov. 30: two salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook
    Dec. 1-Dec. 31: closed
    Jan. 1-April 30: to be announced
    Elliot Bay piers open all year with two salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook
  • Marine Area 11 (Tacoma/Vashon Island): May 1-July 31: two salmon daily of which one may be chinook; Commencement Bay closed
    Aug. 1-Nov. 30: two salmon daily of which one may be chinook
    Dec. 1-Dec. 31: closed
    Jan. 1-April 30: to be announced
  • Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal): May 1-June 30: closed
    July 1-Oct. 15: four salmon daily limit, release chinook and chum
    Oct. 16-Dec. 31: four salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook
    Jan. 1-April 30: to be announced

    Hoodsport Hatchery Zone:
    July 1-Oct. 15: four salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook; release chum; fishing allowed during daylight hours only
    Oct. 16-Dec. 15: four salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook; fishing allowed daylight hours only
    Hood Canal Bridge: open all year with a two salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook

  • Marine Area 13 (South Puget Sound): May 1-July 15: two salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook; Carr Inlet closed north of the Penrose Point-Green Point line
    July 16-July 31: two salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook; Carr Inlet closed north of the Penrose Point-Green Point line; inner Budd Inlet closed
    Aug. 1-Sept. 30: two salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook; Minter Creek mouth closed; inner Budd Inlet closed
    Oct. 1-Oct. 31: two salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook; inner Budd Inlet closed
    Nov. 1-Dec. 31: two salmon daily limit of which one may be chinook
    Jan. 1-April 30: to be announced
Washington coast
(Single point barbless hooks wherever unmarked coho must be released)

Marine Area 2.1 (Willapa Bay)
Aug. 16-Jan. 31: six salmon daily limit of which three may be adults; release unmarked coho

Bear River:
July 1-Jan. 31: six salmon daily of which two may be adults, release unmarked coho

Palix River:
July 1-Jan. 31: six salmon daily of which two may be adults; release unmarked coho

Naselle River (Highway 101 to Highway 4 bridge):
July 1-Jan. 31: six salmon daily of which two may be adults; release unmarked coho

Naselle River (Highway 4 bridge to Crown Mainline [Salme] bridge):
Oct. 16-Jan. 31: six salmon daily of which two may be adults; night closure and non-buoyant lure restrictions Sept. 1-Nov. 30; release unmarked coho

Nemah River (Middle and South Forks):
July 1-Jan. 31: six salmon daily of which two may be adults; night closure and non-buoyant lure restrictions Sept. 1-Nov. 30 in middle fork; release unmarked coho

Nemah River (North Fork):
Oct. 1-Jan. 31: six salmon daily of which two may be adults; night closure and non-buoyant lure restrictions Oct. 1-Nov. 30; release unmarked coho

Niawiakum River:
July 1-Jan. 31: six salmon daily of which two may be adults; release unmarked coho

North River:
July 1-Jan. 31: six salmon daily of which two may be adults; release unmarked coho

Smith River (mouth to Highway 101 bridge):
July 1-Jan. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; released unmarked coho

Willapa River (mouth to Highway 6 bridge):
July 1-Jan. 31: six salmon daily of which two may be adults; night closure and non-buoyant lure restrictions Oct. 1-Nov. 30; release unmarked coho

Willapa River (Highway 6 bridge to Fork Creek):
Oct. 16-Jan. 31: six salmon daily of which two may be adults; night closure and non-buoyant lure restrictions Sept. 1-Nov. 30; release unmarked coho

Grays Harbor Area

Grays harbor Marine Area 2.2:
Sept. 1-Sept 30.: six salmon daily of which one may be an adult; release unmarked coho and chum

Westport Boat Basin:
Aug. 16-Jan. 31: six salmon daily of which one may be an adult; night closure and non-buoyant lure restriction; barbed hooks allowed

28th Street Landing (special area):
Sept. 1-Sept. 30: see Grays Harbor Marine Area 2.2 rules
Oct. 1-Oct. 31: six salmon daily of which one may be an adult; release unmarked coho and chum; shore or anchored boat fishing only

Upper Chehalis (Fuller Bridge to High Steel Bridge):
Sept. 16-Oct. 31: six salmon daily limit of which one may be an adult; release unmarked coho and chum; single-point barbless hooks only

Lower Chehalis (mouth to Fuller Bridge):
Oct. 1-Oct. 31: six salmon daily of which one may be an adult; release chinook, chum and unmarked coho

Humptulips River:
Sept. 16-Oct. 31: six salmon daily of which two may be adults; release unmarked coho and chum

Satsop River:
Sept. 16-Oct. 31: six salmon daily of which two may be adults; release unmarked coho and chum

Skookumchuck River:
Oct. 16-Nov. 15: six salmon daily of which two may be adults: release unmarked coho, chinook and chum

Wynoochee River:
Sept. 16-Oct. 31: six salmon daily of which one may be an adult; release unmarked coho and chum

The following Grays Harbor rivers are closed to salmon fishing July 1-Jan.31: Elk, Johns, Hoquiam and Wishkah

North Coast

Queets River:
Check Olympic National Park (ONP) regulations

Clearwater River:
Sept. 1-Nov. 30: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release all coho; single-point barbless hooks required

Salmon River:
Sept. 1-Nov. 30: six salmon daily of which two may be adults; release unmarked coho

Hoh River (mouth to boat ramp at Oxbow Campground):
May 16-Aug. 31: closed Monday and Tuesday; six salmon daily of which one may be an adult
Sept. 1-Nov. 30: six salmon daily of which two may be adults

Hoh River (boat ramp at Oxbow Campground to Morgan's Crossing boat launch):
May 16-Aug. 31: closed Monday and Tuesday; six salmon daily of which one may be an adult

Hoh River (Morgan's Crossing to boat launch in ONP at South Fork Hoh):
May 16-Aug. 31: closed Monday and Tuesday; six salmon daily, jacks only

The following rivers are open July 1-Nov. 30 with a six -salmon daily limit of which two may be adults: Bogachiel, Calaway, Dickey. The Quillayute and Sol Duc rivers are open March 1-Nov. 30 with a six-salmon daily limit of which two may be adults

Columbia River

Mainstem Columbia:
Aug. 1-Dec. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release unmarked coho

Hanford Reach:
Aug. 16-Oct. 31: six salmon daily of which two may be adults

Columbia tributaries:
Washington tributaries downstream of Bonneville Dam are closed for salmon; Sandy and Clackamas rivers are closed in Oregon

Puget Sound rivers

Baker River (mouth to barrier dam):
June 1-Aug. 31: closed

Carbon River: (mouth to Voight Creek):
Sept. 1-Nov. 30: six salmon daily limit of which four may be adults; chinook over 24 inches must be released; release chum

Dewatto River (downstream of Dewatto-Holly Road bridge):
Sept. 16-Oct. 31: two coho daily limit

Nooksack River (north and south forks):
Oct. 1-Nov. 30: six salmon daily limit only two of which may be adults

Samish River (mouth to Thomas Road Bridge):
July 1-Dec. 31: two salmon daily limit

Samish River (Thomas Road Bridge to Interstate 5 bridge):
Oct. 16-Dec. 31: two salmon daily limit

Samish River (I-5 Bridge to Hickson Bridge):
closed

Skagit River (mouth to Cascade Road):
Nov. 1-Dec. 31: two salmon daily limit

Skokomish River (mouth to Highway 101 Bridge):
Sept. 16-Oct. 15: four salmon daily limit, release chum and chinook
Oct. 16-Dec. 15: four salmon daily limit, release chinook

Skykomish River (from mouth to the forks):
Oct. 1-Dec. 31: two salmon daily limit, release chinook

Snohomish River:
Oct. 1-Dec. 31: two salmon daily limit, release chinook

Snoqualmie River (mouth to Snoqualmie Falls):
Oct. 1-Dec. 31: two salmon daily limit, release chinook

Soos Creek (mouth to bridge near hatchery residence):
Sept. 1-Oct. 31: two salmon daily limit; one single hook and night closure

Stillaguamish River:
Nov. 1-Dec. 31: two chum daily

Tahuya River (downstream of the marker about one mile above North Shore Road Bridge:
Sept. 16-Oct. 31: two coho daily limit