OLYMPIA – Anglers will be able to fish for salmon seven days a week along the entire Washington coast beginning Friday (July 23), the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
The new rules will increase recreational 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).
“Overall, salmon fishing has been good on the coast this summer, but the number of anglers participating in the fishery has been lower than expected,” said Doug Milward, ocean salmon fisheries manager for WDFW. “With effort down – partly due to rough weather – we can provide anglers additional fishing opportunities without exceeding recreational harvest quotas for this year.”
Through July 18, anglers fishing along the coast had caught 8.3 percent of the 49,000 chinook quota for the ocean and 9.5 percent of the 67,200 coho quota.
Anglers fishing in those areas can keep up to two chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit, but must release any chinook measuring less than 24 inches and hatchery coho less than 16 inches. Wild coho must be released unharmed.
Salmon fishing is scheduled to continue through Sept. 18 in marine areas 3 and 4, through Sept. 19 in Marine Area 2 and through Sept. 30 in Marine Area 1.