OLYMPIA – Anglers will be able to fish for salmon seven days a week along the entire Washington coast beginning Friday (Aug. 17), the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
The new rules will increase sport fishing opportunities in marine areas 2 (Westport-Ocean Shores), 3 (LaPush) and 4 (Neah Bay), where salmon fishing is currently restricted to five days a week. Salmon fishing is already open seven days a week in Marine Area 1(Ilwaco).
“Fishing has been good for both chinook and coho along the coast this summer, but the number of anglers out on the water has been lower than expected,” said Pat Pattillo, salmon policy coordinator for WDFW. “So, with effort down, we can provide anglers additional fishing opportunities without exceeding recreational harvest quotas for this year.”
Through Aug. 12, anglers fishing out of Ilwaco had caught 38 percent of the 4,300 chinook guideline and 60 percent of the 58,800 coho quota. At Westport, they had landed 39 percent of the 9,400 chinook quota and 34 percent of the 43,510 coho target. In LaPush, anglers had harvested 28 percent of the 825 chinook guideline and 52 percent of the 3,060 coho quota. And at Neah Bay, anglers had caught 73 percent of the 1,725 chinook guideline and 58 percent of the 12,230 coho quota.
Anglers fishing in those areas can keep only one chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit and must release any chinook measuring less than 24 inches and hatchery coho less than 16 inches. Wild coho must be released unharmed. Anglers in marine areas 3 and 4 are allowed an additional pink salmon.
Salmon fishing is scheduled to continue through Sept. 15 in marine areas 3 and 4, through Sept. 16 in Marine Area 2 and through Sept. 30 in Marine Area 1.