OLYMPIA - Anglers are closing in on the limit of 3,500 hatchery-marked chinook salmon in the western Strait of Juan de Fuca, leading fisheries managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to require the release of all chinook beginning Monday, Aug. 9, in marine areas 5 and 6.
Fishing will still be allowed for hatchery-marked coho salmon in the area, and catch rates for coho should remain good, particularly out of Sekiu, said Pat Pattillo, WDFW salmon policy coordinator.
This year's mark-selective fishery for hatchery chinook began July 1 and was scheduled to run through Aug. 10, or until 3,500 hatchery-marked chinook had been landed, whichever came first.
This was the second year of a two-year pilot project to bring mark-selective fisheries for hatchery chinook salmon into Puget Sound. In 2003, anglers caught slightly more than 3,500 hatchery-marked chinook in 30 days.
"This pilot fishery has been a tremendous success for a second year in a row, and we look forward to exploring the possibility of providing additional selective fisheries in the future," Pattillo said.