September 09, 2004
Contact: Pat Pattillo, (360) 902-2705
Neah Bay area will reopen to salmon fishing Sept. 10
OLYMPIA – Coastal waters around Neah Bay will reopen to salmon fishing Sept. 10 and will likely remain open through the end of the season, Sept. 19, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
WDFW closed Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay) to recreational salmon fishing on Sept. 3, when the catch of coho salmon was expected to reach the annual quota for that area. But after tallying catch totals for the last week of fishing, the department determined that more fish could be caught within the quota.
“After excellent fishing for coho and chinook salmon all season, the angler participation suddenly dropped off in that last week of fishing,” said Pat Pattillo, WDFW salmon policy coordinator. “That means we can give anglers an opportunity to catch salmon in Marine Area 4 through Sept. 19.”
Although catch rates around Neah Bay declined during the last week of August, anglers still averaged about one salmon per rod, Pattillo said.
“Anglers are primarily catching coho salmon, but we were still seeing some chinook in the mix ” Pattillo said.
Once the fishery reopens, bag limits and other rules will be the same as they were before the temporary closure, Pattillo said.
The daily bag limit is two salmon, only one of which may be a chinook. Anglers must release all wild coho and chum salmon, along with any chinook caught east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line at the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The minimum size for
chinook is 26 inches and 16 inches for coho.
Elsewhere on the coast, salmon fisheries remain open under different rules in Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) and Marine Area 3 (La Push). Marine Area 2 (Westport) closed to fishing Sept. 7, when the coho catch reached the annual quota.
Anglers planning to fish any open coastal area are advised to check the WDFW Fishing Hotline (866-880-5431) or the department website (https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/index.jsp) for up-to-date rules.