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


August 11, 1997
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, 360-902-2256

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Elliott Bay closes to salmon fishing; two piers to remain open

SEATTLE -- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at midnight today (Aug. 11) will close all of Elliott Bay except for two piers to recreational salmon fishing to protect a low run of wild chinook returning to the Green River system.

The area closing tomorrow will include all of the bay east of a line from West Point in the north to Alki Point in the south.

The Elliott Bay Fishing Pier at Terminal 86 and Seacrest Pier will remain open for recreational salmon fishing.

The bay reopens to salmon fishing Sept. 16.

Department biologists said last spring they expected a chinook run this summer that would have allowed recreational fisheries as well as tribal commercial fisheries.

Based on recent tribal test fisheries, it now appears the spawning goal of 5,800 wild chinook in the Green River will not be met.

To conserve fish, the Suquamish Tribe has eliminated its ceremonial fisheries in Elliott Bay while the Muckleshoot Tribe will reduce its ceremonial fishery significantly.

In addition, the tribes' plans to harvest coho salmon in Elliott Bay in September will be modified to reduce the incidental harvest of chinook.

These Elliott Bay closures to protect the wild chinook likely will mean large numbers of hatchery chinook will return to Green River hatcheries.

The Puget Sound sport salmon fishery this year already has been restricted to protect wild chinook runs from Lake Washington as well as the Snohomish, Skagit and Stillaguamish rivers and other stocks. Sport fishers have not been allowed to keep chinook in the northern part of Area 10 (Seattle-Bremerton) since July 1.

Anglers should consult the Fishing in Washington regulation pamphlet and call the WDFW hotline at 1-360-902-2500 before going fishing.