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August 11, 2008
Contact: Steve Thiesfeld, (360) 902-2715

Hatchery chinook salmon fishing
re-opens Tuesday in Marine Area 9

OLYMPIA – The recreational fishery in Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) is scheduled to re-open for the retention of hatchery chinook salmon Tuesday (Aug. 12) through Friday (Aug. 15), the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

The retention fishery for hatchery chinook in Marine Area 9 closed Sunday evening, when the catch was expected to reach the season guideline for that area. But after a catch assessment, fishery managers determined that enough salmon remained in the area’s guideline to re-open the fishery, said Steve Thiesfeld, Puget Sound recreational salmon manager for WDFW.

Marine areas 9 and 10 (Seattle/Bremerton) are managed under a combined quota of 7,000 hatchery chinook salmon. Within that quota, a catch target of 4,000 chinook has been established for Marine Area 9. As of Aug. 10, anglers had harvested an estimated 4,726 fish in the two marine areas, of which 3,892 were caught in Marine Area 9.

“Fishing was good in Marine Area 9 during the first couple of days in August, but the catch slowed significantly in the last week,” said Thiesfeld. “At the current catch rate, we expect hatchery chinook retention in Marine Area 9 to remain open for four more days before we reach the guideline for that area.”

Thiesfeld said the department will monitor the catch on a daily basis, and that the hatchery chinook fishery could close sooner than Friday. Anglers should check for updates on WDFW’s Fishing Hotline (360-902-2500) or the department’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations.

During the retention fishery, anglers in Marine Areas 9 are allowed to keep hatchery chinook – marked with a clipped adipose fin – as part of a two salmon daily limit. However, anglers must release wild chinook, wild coho and chum.

The 7,000-fish quota for the two areas reflects constraints established under the Endangered Species Act.

The portion of Marine Area 9 south of a line from Foulweather Bluff to Olele Point will be closed from Aug. 12 through Aug. 15 to protect mid-Hood Canal chinook, but will re-open for hatchery coho, pink, and sockeye starting Saturday, Aug. 16.