OLYMPIA - Beginning Saturday (Aug. 10), anglers fishing ocean waters off La Push (Marine Area 3) and Neah Bay (Marine Area 4, west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line) will be restricted to one chinook as part of their daily limit of two salmon to increase the likelihood of providing a season-long fishery.
Anglers fishing those waters have been allowed to retain two chinook a day since June 29, but high catch rates for chinook off the northern coast prompted fishery managers to make a change, said Pat Pattillo, salmon policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
"We are already running up against our catch guidelines for the north coast, where fishing has been consistently good for chinook salmon this season," said Pattillo. "We decided to make this change now to try and ensure a full season of fishing."
Through Aug. 4, anglers fishing off La Push had taken 1,157 chinook, which is about 70 percent of the chinook harvest guideline (1,650) for that area. Anglers fishing waters off Neah Bay have taken 4,572 chinook, which is about 93 percent of the chinook harvest guideline (4,900) for that area.
Ocean salmon fisheries in marine areas 3 and 4 are currently scheduled to continue through September 22.
Anglers fishing marine areas 3 and 4 also may retain two additional pink salmon, but must release wild coho. Anglers fishing Marine Area 4 also must release chum salmon. For details on fishing regulations in marine areas 3 and 4, check the fishing regulations pamphlet at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.
Fishery managers will continue to monitor the ocean salmon fishery throughout the season, and announce any other changes on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/.