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


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April 11, 1997
Contact: Public Affairs, (360) 902-2250

1997 to offer ocean and Puget Sound sport salmon fishing

SAN FRANCISCO -- Washington fishers should have some good salmon fishing opportunities this year despite some limited seasons and closures designed to protect critically low runs of wild chinook and coho.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) today voted here to allow recreational and commercial fishers to harvest chinook and coho in federal waters off the Washington coast.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at 10 a.m. tomorrow will vote on a package of salmon fishing regulations for Puget Sound and inland rivers. The inland package, whose wild salmon conservation features are linked to the ocean fisheries, was completed today by fish managers from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) with closure cooperation from representatives of treaty tribes and recreational and commercial fishing communities at the PFMC meeting in San Francisco.

Some of the best 1997 recreational salmon fishing in Washington should be:

  • The ocean, from cities such as Ilwaco and Westport, for coho and chinook
  • South Puget Sound for coho
  • The Strait of Juan de Fuca for pink salmon
  • Willapa Bay and its tributaries for chinook and coho
  • Grays Harbor and several of its tributaries for chinook
"I'm pleased we were able to offer some opportunities. But this year's fishing package was very difficult to develop for two reasons," said Phil Anderson, who represented WDFW Director Bern Shanks on the PFMC. "First of all, very strict restrictions on ocean harvests were necessary to protect wild Snake River fall chinook. Secondly, wild coho runs to some north coast and Strait of Juan de Fuca rivers are expected to be at very low levels."

Snake River fall chinook have been listed as "threatened" under the federal Endangered Species Act.

"We had to limit fishing in the ocean, Strait of Juan de Fuca and other marine areas where wild and hatchery salmon mix in order to maximize the number of native chinook returning to the Snake River and wild coho returning to north coastal and Strait of Juan de Fuca rivers to spawn," Anderson explained.

"Everything we did this year in the PFMC and North of Falcon salmon-season setting process was designed to protect weak wild stocks while providing opportunities to catch salmon from hatcheries and healthy wild stocks," said Bruce Crawford, who heads WDFW's Fish Management Program.

Tribes also agreed to sacrifice harvests for conservation by reducing their chinook troll fishery.

Jim Harp, a PFMC voting member representing treaty tribes, commented, "The Washington coast treaty tribes have always been willing to share an appropriate burden of conservation for the stocks of concern."

He added, "One must remember the treaty tribes are immobile and must exercise their treaty rights in their established usual and accustomed fishing areas. As such, the tribes simply cannot shift their fisheries to alternate areas to reduce impacts."

Crawford noted Canada's silence about its plan to harvest Washington-bound coho off Vancouver Island's west coast also contributed to the difficulty of building fishing seasons for Washington anglers.

"We're estimating Canada will harvest approximately 1.04 million Washington- bound coho far more than Washington fishers will take. All seasons were based on this presumption. Hopefully Canada will take fewer because it apparently is facing the need to implement severe conservation measures to protect its own salmon stocks," Crawford commented.

"Everyone recognizes that serious action must be taken to rebuild Pacific coho and chinook stocks. Oregon has launched a salmon initiative and Washington's draft Wild Salmonid Policy is now available to the public for review," Crawford said.

Washington's draft Wild Salmonid Policy seeks public comment on five alternatives designed to rebuild the state's wild salmon and steelhead stocks.

"We've taken strong conservation steps and shaped minimal fisheries this year,"Anderson acknowledged, "But we also need to find a way to make sharing the conservation burden more fair. These fish were produced in Washington rivers but the heaviest harvests occur in Canada. We are left each year to divide the remaining small number of harvestable fish among tribal, recreational and commercial fishers."

Ocean seasons, as well as the tentative Puget Sound and river salmon seasons, are as follows:

1997-98 RECREATIONAL SALMON FISHING SEASON

MARINE

Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco)

  • July 21 - Sept. 25 or until quota of 17,500 coho is reached: two salmon of any species; no more than four fish in seven consecutive days; closed in Columbia River Control Zone and zero - three miles north of the control zone; harvest guideline of 1,500 chinook
Marine Area 2 (Westport - Ocean Shores)
  • July 21 - Sept. 25 or until quota of 14,000 coho is reached: two salmon of any species; no more than four fish in seven consecutive days; open Sunday - Thursday; closed out three miles from the shoreline; harvest guideline of 3,000 chinook
Willapa Bay
  • Aug. 16 to Jan. 31: six salmon daily limit of which three may be adults
Grays Harbor

Area 2.2 (east of Buoy 13 line)

  • Sept. 1 - Sept. 30: six fish daily limit of which two may be adults; release all coho, barbless hooks
Westport Boat Basin
  • Aug. 16 - Jan. 31: six salmon daily limit of which four may be adults; barbed hooks allowed
Marine Area 3 (LaPush)
  • July 21 - Sept. 25 or until quota of 800 coho is caught: two salmon daily limit; open seven days per week; harvest guideline of 150 chinook
Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay)
  • July 21 - Sept. 25 or until quota of 550 chinook are caught: two salmon daily limit; release coho; open seven days per week
Marine Area 4B (outer Strait of Juan de Fuca east of Bonilla-Tatoosh Line)
  • Jan. 1 - July 31: closed
  • Aug. 1 - Aug. 29: two salmon limit (pink directed), release coho and chinook
  • Aug. 30 - Aug. 31: two salmon daily limit, release chinook
  • Sept. 1 - Sept. 14: Catch and release, gear limited to surface flies
  • Sept. 15 - Dec. 31: closed
Marine Area 5 and 6 (Strait of Juan de Fuca)
  • Feb. 1 - April 15: two salmon daily limit, release coho
  • April 16 - June 15: two salmon daily limit, release chinook over 30 inches and all coho
  • June 16 - June 30: two salmon daily limit, release coho
  • July 1 - July 31: closed
  • Aug. 1 - Aug. 10: two salmon daily limit (pink directed); release coho and chinook
  • Aug. 11 - Sept. 15: two salmon daily limit, release chinook; coho harvest guideline 44,000
  • Sept. 16 - Dec. 31: closed except for Dungeness Bay coho opening (1000 foot closure around Sail, Clallam, Hoko, Lyre, Pysht, Sekiu, and east and west Twin rivers and Deep, Morse, and Salt creeks) Oct. 1 - Oct. 31, two coho daily limit; inner Sequim Bay and inner Discovery Bay closed
Marine Area 7 (San Juan Islands)
  • Jan. 1 - April 15: two salmon daily limit
  • April 16 - June 15: two salmon daily limit; chinook maximum 30 inches; Bellingham Bay closed
  • June 16 - July 31: two salmon daily limit, Bellingham Bay closed
  • Aug. 1 - Sept. 30: four salmon daily limit, no more than two of which may be chinook or coho; Samish Bay closed
  • Oct. 1 - Oct. 15: two salmon daily limit, except for a four-salmon daily limit in Bellingham Bay of which no more than two may be chinook; Samish Bay closed
  • Oct. 16 - Dec. 31: two salmon daily limit except for a four-salmon daily limit in Bellingham Bay of which no more than two may be chinook
Marine Area 8-1 (Skagit Bay)
  • Jan. 1 - April 15: two salmon daily limit
  • April 16 - Aug. 15: closed
  • Aug. 16 - Sept. 15: four salmon daily limit, no more than two of which may be coho; release chinook
  • Sept. 16 - Sept. 30: two salmon daily limit, release chinook
  • Oct. 1 - Dec. 31: two salmon daily limit
Marine Area 8-2 (Ports Susan and Gardner)
  • Jan. 1 - May 31: two salmon daily limit
  • June 1 - July 31: closed
  • Aug. 1 - Sept. 30: two salmon daily limit, release chinook except in the Tulalip Bay zone
  • Oct. 1 - Dec. 31: two salmon daily limit
Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet)
  • Jan. 1 - June 30: two salmon daily limit
  • July 1 - July 31: closed except for two salmon daily limit on Edmonds Pier
  • Aug. 1 - Sept. 1: two salmon daily limit; release chinook except on Edmonds Pier
  • Sept. 2 - Sept. 30: closed except for two salmon daily limit on Edmonds Pier
  • Oct. 1 - Oct. 31: two salmon daily limit, release coho
  • Nov. 1 - Dec. 31: two salmon daily limit
Marine Area 10 (Seattle-Bremerton)
  • Jan. 1 - June 30: two salmon daily limit
  • July 1 - Sept. 15: two salmon daily limit; Shilshole Bay (east of the Meadow Point/West Point line) and Elliott Bay (east of the Pier 91/Duwamish Head line) closed to all salmon; chinook caught from the Elliott Bay and Seacrest Piers may be kept
  • July 1 - Aug. 31: chinook release north of the west point Skiff Point line and northeast of Agate Pass bridge
  • Sept. 16 - Oct. 15: two salmon daily limit; release chinook caught in Shilshole Bay (east of the Meadow Point/West Point line) and Duwamish Waterway (from the First Avenue Bridge to an east-west line through Southwest Hanford Street on Harbor Island)
  • Oct. 16 - Dec. 31: two salmon daily limit
Marine Areas 11 and 13 (Tacoma/south Puget Sound)
  • Jan. 1 - Dec. 31: two salmon daily limit; the following areas are closed:
1) Commencement Bay closure - April 16 - June 30
2) Carr Inlet (north of a line from Penrose Point to Green Point) - April 16 - July 31
3) Mouth of Minter Creek - Aug. 1 - Sept. 30
4) Budd Inlet - July 16 - Oct.31

Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal)

  • Jan. 1 - July 15: two salmon daily limit
  • July 16 - Sept. 30: four salmon daily limit, no more than two of which may be pinks; release chinook and chum
  • Oct. 1 - Oct. 15: four salmon daily limit no more than two of which may be chinook, release chum; release chinook in Hoodsport Hatchery Zone
  • Oct. 16 - Dec. 15: four salmon daily limit of which no more than two may be chinook
  • Dec. 16 - Dec. 31: two salmon daily limit
RIVERS

Columbia River watershed

Buoy 10 Astoria Bridge including North Jetty

  • Aug. 1 - Sept. 30: two salmon daily limit; chinook must be at least 24 inches and coho must be at least 16 inches in length; barbed hooks allowed
  • Oct. 1 - Dec. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; barbed hooks allowed North Jetty is open seven days per week when Marine Area 1 or Buoy 10 is open (Buoy 10 regulations)
Megler-Astoria Bridge to Highway 395 bridge in Pasco
  • Aug. 1 - Dec. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults
Highway 395 bridge to Hanford Townsite
  • Aug. 1 - Oct. 22: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; jacks only Aug. 1 - Aug. 15
Hanford Townsite to Vernita Bridge
  • Aug. 1 - Oct. 22: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; jacks only Aug. 1 - Aug. 15
Vernita Bridge to Priest Rapids Dam
  • Aug. 1 - Dec. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; jacks only aug. 1 - Aug. 15 and Nov. 1 - Dec. 31
Priest Rapids to Rocky Reach dams
  • Aug. 1 - Dec. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; jacks only Aug. 1 - Sept. 15
Rocky Reach to Chief Joseph dams
  • Aug. 1 - Dec. 31: six jack salmon daily limit
Deep River (mouth to Town Bridge)
  • Aug. 1 - Dec. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults
Grays River (mouth to south fork)
  • Sept. 1 - Oct. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release chinook over 28 inches Oct. 1 - Oct. 31; release chum; night closure and non-buoyant lure restrictions Sept. 1 - Oct 31
Elochoman River (mouth to west fork)
  • Sept. 1 - Dec. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release chinook over 28 inches upstream of the Foster Road bridge from Oct. 1 - Dec. 31; night closure and non- buoyant lure restrictions Sept. 1 - Oct. 31
Coweeman River (mouth to Mulholland Creek)
  • closed
Cowlitz River (mouth to markers 400 feet below barrier dam)
  • Aug. 1 - Dec. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release chinook over 28 inches upstream of Blue Creek Oct. 1 - Dec. 31: night closure and non-buoyant lure restrictions Barrier Dam to Mill Creek Aug. 1 - Oct. 31
Toutle River (north fork - Highway 504 bridge near Kidd Valley to Green River mouth)
  • Sept. 1 - Nov. 30: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release chinook over 28 inches Oct. 1 - Nov. 30; night closure and non-buoyant lure restrictions, Sept. 1- Oct. 31
Green River (mouth to 1000 Road bridge)
  • Sept. 1 - Nov. 30: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release chinook over 28 inches Oct. 1- Nov. 30; closed for all species 1,500 feet downstream of salmon hatchery rack upstream to water intake at the upper end of hatchery grounds; night closure and non-buoyant lure restrictions mouth to 1500 feet below the hatchery rack, Sept. 1 - Oct. 3
Kalama River (mouth to natural gas pipeline)
  • Aug. 1 - Dec. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; night closure and non- buoyant lure restrictions from the mouth to the temporary rack Sept. 1 - Oct. 31; closed 1,500 feet below and 200 feet above the temporary rack
Kalama River (natural gas pipeline to upper salmon hatchery)
  • Aug. 1 - Dec. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release chinook over 28 inches Oct. 1 - Dec. 31
Lewis River mainstem (mouth to mouth of east fork)
  • Aug. 1 - Dec. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release chinook
Lewis River (north fork, mouth to Johnson Creek)
  • Aug. 1 - Dec. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release chinook
Lewis River (Johnson Creek to Colvin Creek)
  • Aug. 1 - Dec. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release chinook; bank fishing only for all species Aug. 16 - Oct. 15; night closure and non-buoyant lure restrictions
  • Aug. 1 - Oct. 31 from lower Cedar Creek boat ramp to Colvin Creek
Lewis River (Colvin Creek to Merwin Dam)
  • Aug. 1 - Sept. 30: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release chinook
  • Oct. 1 - Dec. 31: closed to salmon fishing
  • Oct. 1 - Dec. 15: closed to steelhead fishing
Lewis River (east fork, mouth to Lucia Falls)
  • Aug. 1 to Dec. 31: closed to salmon retention
Washougal River (mouth to Salmon Falls bridge)
  • Aug. 1 - Dec. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; chinook over 28 inches must be released upstream of the Little Washougal River Oct. 1 - Dec. 31; night closure and non-buoyant lure restrictions Sept. 1 - Oct. 31
Willapa Bay

Bear River

  • July 1 - Jan. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults
Palix River
  • July 1 - Jan. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults
Naselle River (Highway 101 bridge to Highway 4 bridge)
  • July 1 - Jan. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults, night closure and non- buoyant lure restrictions
Naselle River (Highway 4 bridge to Big Hill Bridge)
  • Oct. 16 - Jan. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; night closure and non- buoyant lure restrictions
Nemah River (middle and south forks)
  • July 1 - Jan. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; night closure and non- buoyant lure restrictions Sept. 11 - Nov. 30
Nemah River (north fork)
  • Oct. 1 - Jan. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; night closure and non- buoyant lure restrictions Oct. 1 - Nov. 30
Niawiakum River
  • July 1 - Jan. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults
North River
  • July 1 - Jan. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults
Willapa River (mouth to Highway 6 bridge two miles below Trap Creek)
  • July 1 - Jan. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; night closure and non- buoyant lure restrictions Oct. 1 - Nov. 30
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
Grays Harbor Watershed

Chehalis River (mouth to the bridge on the Weyerhaeuser 1000 line, approximately 400 yards downstream of Roger Creek)

  • May 16 - July 15: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults
Chehalis River (mouth to Porter bridge)
  • Sept. 1 - Sept. 30: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release all coho; single point barbless hooks
Humptulips River
  • Sept. 1 - Oct. 15: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults
Satsop River
  • Oct. 10 - Nov. 2: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults
Wynoochee River
  • Sept. 1 - Oct. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release all coho; single point barbless hooks
North Coast

Hoh River (mouth to Highway 1010 bridge)

  • May 16 - Nov. 30: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release all coho; single point barbless hooks from Sept. 1 - Nov. 30
Hoh River (Highway 1010 bridge to Morgan's Crossing boat launch)
  • May 16 - Aug. 31: six salmon daily limit of which two many be adults
Hoh River (Morgan's Crossing boat launch to South Fork including Olympic National Park)
  • May 16 - Aug. 31: six salmon daily limit, jacks only
Queets River Watershed

Queets River (pending agreement with Olympic National Park)

  • June 1 - Nov. 30: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release adult coho
Clearwater River
  • June 1 - Nov. 30: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release adult coho
Salmon River
  • Sept. 1 - Nov. 30: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; all species
Quillayute River Watershed

Quillayute River

  • March. 1 - Nov. 30: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release adult coho; single point barbless hooks
Bogachiel River
  • July 1 - Nov. 30: six salmon daily limit two of which may be adults; release coho; single point barbless hooks
Dickey River
  • July 1 - Nov. 30: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release coho; single point barbless hoods
Calawah River
  • July 1 - Nov. 30: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release coho; single point barbless hooks
Soleduc River
  • March 1 - Nov. 30: six salmon daily limit of which two may be adults; release coho; single point barbless hooks
Puget Sound

Baker River

  • depends upon in-season run size estimate
Carbon River (mouth to Voight Creek)
  • Sept. 1 - Nov. 30: six salmon daily limit, no more than four of which may be adults; only two chinook over 24 inches; release all pinks
Cascade River (mouth to Rockport - Cascade Rd. Bridge)
  • Oct. 1 - Nov. 30: two salmon daily limit, retain only coho without adipose fins and scar where fin was clipped
Deschutes River (Capitol Boulevard bridge in Tumwater to Vail Road bridge)
  • July 1 - Nov. 30: six salmon daily limit, no more than two of which may be adults; release coho
Dungeness River (mouth to hatchery intake pipe at river mile 11.3)
  • Oct. 16 - Nov. 30: two salmon daily limit, coho only
Dungeness River (hatchery intake pipe at river mile 11.3 to forks at Dungeness Forks Campground)
  • Oct. 16 - Feb. 28: two game fish daily limit; release wild steelhead; closed to salmon fishing
Dungeness River (forks at Dungeness Forks Campground to Gold Creek)
  • closed all year
Dungeness River (upstream from Gold Creek)
  • June 1 - Oct. 31: two game fish
Elwha River
  • Oct. 1 - Nov. 15: six salmon daily limit of which four may be adults, coho only
Gray Wolf River (forks at Dungeness Forks Campground to bridge at river mile 1.0)
  • closed all year
Nisqually River
  • July 1 - Jan. 31: six salmon daily limit no more than two of which may be adults; release all pink salmon
Puyallup River (11th Street to Carbon River)
  • Aug. 1 - Dec. 15: six salmon daily limit no more than two of which two may be adults; release all pink salmon
Skagit River (mouth to Cascade River)
  • Aug. 16 - Oct. 31: four salmon daily limit of which no more than two may be coho; release all chinook; each angler may use only one barbless single hook; no bait upstream of Sauk River
  • Nov. 1 - Dec. 31: two chum daily limit, chum only
Skokomish River (mouth to Highway 101 bridge)
  • Sept. 20 - Dec. 15: six salmon daily limit of which no more than four may be adults; release all chinook over 24 inches
Skykomish River
  • Sept. 1 - Dec. 31; two salmon daily limit, release all chinook and pink salmon
Stillaguamish River
  • Aug. 16 - Sept. 30: four pinks daily
  • Nov. 1 - Dec. 31: two chum daily
Wallace River (mouth to Highway 2 bridge)
  • Sept. 1 - Nov. 30: two coho daily
Lake Washington (north of the 520 Bridge and east of Montlake Bridge)
  • Oct. 1 - Nov. 30: two coho daily
Lake Sammamish
  • Oct. 1 - Nov. 30: two coho daily; waters within 1/4 mile of the mouth of Issaquah Creek are closed