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July 29, 2003
Contact: Dick Geist (360) 902-2733

Chinook retention from Sekiu to Port Angeles closes Aug. 4, 2003

OLYMPIA - Although chinook salmon retention from Sekiu to Port Angeles will be closing Aug. 4, fishing for abundant pink salmon and hatchery coho salmon will remain open, and is expected to provide excellent fishing opportunities throughout the summer.

The chinook fishery is closing because Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) fisheries managers expect the 3,500 hatchery chinook quota to be reached by that date.

"We were able to provide one month of fishing opportunity for hatchery chinook salmon, while at the same time protecting wild stocks in the area," said WDFW Salmon Manager Tim Flint. "By all accounts, this first-ever selective chinook fishery in marine waters was a success."

The fishery, which opened July 5 in Marine Area 5 and the western portion of Marine Area 6, was scheduled to run through Aug. 14, or until 3,500 hatchery chinook salmon had been landed, whichever came first.

Through July 27, an estimated 2,450 hatchery chinook had been taken in the fishery, along with approximately 4,600 hatchery coho and 1,700 pink salmon.

Chinook catch estimates for this week's fishery will be assessed early next week and an announcement will be made by Wednesday, Aug. 6, if additional chinook fishing is possible.

Flint said catch rates for coho salmon and pink salmon should be improving through August.