OLYMPIA - Beginning Aug. 1, marine waters off of Westport (Marine Area 2) will be open to salmon fishing seven days a week, joining the three other ocean areas already open daily.
Also taking effect Aug. 1, anglers fishing in ocean waters off La Push (Marine Area 3) and Neah Bay (Marine Area 4) can keep up to two chinook salmon as part of their two-salmon daily limit. Anglers fishing marine areas 3 and 4 are also allowed one additional pink salmon each day.
The new chinook bag limit will only apply to marine areas 3 and 4. Anglers fishing off Ilwaco (Marine Area 1) and Westport will continue to be limited to one chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit.
Pat Pattillo, salmon policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said the department initially set a coastwide daily limit of one chinook and limited the number of days open at Westport to ensure that the salmon fishery would not reach the quota too quickly and have to close early.
"Our goal is to provide a full season of salmon fishing in the ocean," Pattillo said. "It’s still early, but after looking at the catch rates we’re now confident we can go to two chinook per day in the northern ports and allow fishing seven days a week at Westport without much risk of shortening the season."
Ocean salmon fisheries are currently scheduled to continue through Sept. 18 in marine areas 2, 3 and 4, and through Sept. 30 in Marine Area 1.
Fishery managers will continue to monitor the ocean salmon fishery throughout the season, and announce any other changes on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/.
Additional information on the ocean fishery, including minimum-size limits and area catch guidelines, is available in WDFW’s Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet, available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations.