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August 11, 2005
Contact: Steve Thiesfeld, (360) 902-2715

Low chinook numbers lead to early closure
of sport fishing in Elliott Bay, Aug. 13, 2005

OLYMPIA – Recreational salmon fishing in Elliott Bay closes Saturday, Aug. 13, two weeks ahead of schedule, because of a low return of chinook to the Green River, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

The closure takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. The fishery, which opened July 8 on a Friday-through-Monday schedule, was slated to close at noon on Aug. 22.

Additionally, no chinook retention will be allowed in the lower Duwamish-Green River sport fishery, which begins Sept. 1. The stretch of river from the Tukwila International Boulevard / Pacific Highway South Bridge upstream to the Interstate 5 Bridge will be closed to all fishing until Sept. 16.

Tim Flint, WDFW’s statewide salmon manager, said five weekends of sport fishing in Elliott Bay resulted in a catch of roughly 900 chinook – a 50 percent reduction from the past five years. Additionally, the one-day treaty Indian fishery resulted in one of the lowest catches observed in the past 15 years.

Despite the low return of chinook salmon, Flint said anglers can still fish for other salmon species in central Puget Sound outside Elliott Bay.

“We are anticipating a strong return of pink salmon to the Green River this year, and coho salmon returns should also provide good fishing opportunities in the Sound,” Flint said.

Anglers fishing in Marine Area 10 outside of Elliott Bay have a two-fish daily limit, plus two additional pink salmon. All chinook and chum salmon must be immediately released, and may not be brought aboard.

Elliott Bay, including all waters east of a line from West Point to Alki Point, opens to fishing for pink and coho salmon Aug. 24.