OLYMPIA – Salmon anglers along the Washington coast will be able to fish seven days a week and keep up to two chinook per day beginning Aug. 11, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Those changes will increase sportfishing opportunities in ocean waters, where salmon fishing is currently restricted to five days per week, said Phil Anderson, special assistant to WDFW Director Jeff Koenings.
“Angler participation has been down along the coast and salmon fishing has started slower than expected in some areas,” Anderson said. “For that reason, we can provide anglers some additional fishing opportunities without exceeding this year’s recreational harvest quotas.”
Through July 24, anglers fishing out of Ilwaco had caught 5 percent of the 8,300 chinook guideline and 15 percent of the 36,600 coho quota. At Westport, they had landed 9 percent of the 18,100 chinook quota and 5 percent of the 27,603 coho target. In LaPush, anglers had harvested 16 percent of the 1,300 chinook guideline and 29 percent of the 1,889 coho quota. And at Neah Bay, anglers had caught 21 percent of the 3,200 chinook guideline and 46 percent of the 7,058 coho quota.
Through Aug. 10, salmon fishing is open five days a week in coastal Marine Areas 1 (Ilwaco), 2 (Westport-Ocean Shores), 3 (LaPush) and 4 (Neah Bay), and anglers fishing in those areas can only keep one chinook as part of their two salmon daily limit.
Even after the new rules take effect Aug. 11, anglers in those marine areas 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. 17 in Marine Areas 2, 3 and 4, and through Sept. 30 in Marine Area 1.