OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has produced a salmon fishing guide to highlight some of the many opportunities available to anglers this summer.
Salmon anglers this summer are expected to reap the benefits of excellent ocean survival conditions for salmon, as well as improving freshwater conditions for spawners and juvenile fish, said WDFW Director Jeff Koenings.
"Washington has some of the best salmon-fishing opportunities in the world, and this year we are expecting great action along the coast, in Puget Sound and in many rivers as well," Koenings said.
The summer salmon fishing guide, available on line through WDFW's website, features advice on when and where recreational anglers can take advantage of what is expected to be an excellent summer of salmon-fishing opportunities throughout western Washington.
A limited number of the guides will be available through WDFW regional offices, license dealers, visitors' centers and other locations throughout the state.
The guide gives anglers tips on where to fish for salmon, including some beach areas, and where anglers can expect to find pink salmon, which generally return to northern Puget Sound streams only in odd-numbered years.
The 2001 pink salmon run, which produced this year's returning fish, was one of the largest runs in decades and featured a new world-record fish of just under 14½ pounds.
Another special fishing opportunity this year is a mark-selective fishery for hatchery chinook salmon in the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Sekiu to Port Angeles. Anglers can land hatchery chinook salmon - easily identified by the lack of adipose fin, which was removed prior to their release from the hatchery. All wild chinook, which have an intact adipose fin, may not be brought on board the boat and must remain in the water and safely released.
Koenings said angler compliance with these special rules is essential.
"Mark-selective fisheries give anglers access to hatchery stocks while protecting rebuilding wild stocks," he said. "This type of fishery figures prominently in the future fisheries management landscape. The alternative to mark-selective fisheries in mixed stock areas such as the Strait of Juan de Fuca is no fishery at all."