OLYMPIA - Starting Thursday (Sept. 13), anglers fishing ocean waters off Westport can keep up to two coho salmon per day under a new rule approved by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
The new rule brings the coho limit for those waters - previously set at one per day - up to the same number in effect in the three other ocean areas off the Washington coast.
Anglers can also count up to two chinook toward the overall two-salmon limit in those areas.
As before, anglers will be allowed to retain both hatchery and wild coho off Ilwaco (Marine Area 1) and Westport (Marine Area 2). Those fishing off LaPush (Marine Area 3) and Neah Bay (Marine Area 4) may retain only hatchery coho, which are marked with a clipped adipose fin.
"We wanted to keep the brakes on when we first opened the Westport fishery to retention of wild coho early this month," said Pat Pattillo, WDFW salmon policy coordinator. "But after looking at the catch numbers, we are fairly confident we’ll have enough coho available for harvest to last through the end of the season."
Ocean salmon fisheries are currently scheduled to run through Sept. 23 in marine areas 2, 3 and 4, and through Sept. 30 in Marine Area 1.