Marine Area 5 - Sekiu and Pillar Point

Marine Area 5 is located on the Olympic Peninsula between the mouth of the Sekiu River to the west and Low Point (mouth of the Lyre River) to the east, south of the U.S./Canada border within the western Strait of Juan de Fuca. Most boaters launch out of marinas at Sekiu and Clallam Bay, though a small boat launch is available at Pillar Point Recreation Area.

More information on salmon and bottomfishing opportunities is available in this March 2022 WDFW blog. Be sure to always check the current regulations for details.

This marine area provides some of the best fishing opportunities in the entire Salish Sea, with the benefit of some protection from open ocean swells and weather. Strong currents are common and swell from the west and northwest will reach Marine Area 5⁠—especially in winter and spring⁠—though some protection can be found behind Kydaka Point. Caution should observed, especially for small boats and kayaks. The areas on the east edge of Clallam Bay around Slip Point and on the westside of Kydaka Point near the mouth of the Hoko River in particular can experience rough conditions from wind, swell or tidal movement.

Fishing for halibut, lingcod, rockfish and other bottomfish typically opens in May. Sloping underwater ridges in 200 to 400 feet of water off Kydaka Point, Clallam Bay and Pillar Point are among the most popular halibut fishing areas, along with the "Hoko Flats" area in 100 to 200 feet of water west-northwest of the Hoko River mouth to the Sekiu River. Lingcod and rockfish can be found in rocky areas and off kelp beds throughout Marine Area 5. Note the 120' depth restriction and specific rockfish regulations  depending on whether one is fishing west or east of Slip Point. Only black or blue/deacon rockfish may be kept.

Most salmon runs pass through Marine Area 5 at the beginning of the season before entering Puget Sound, which provides early-summer Chinook and other salmon fishing opportunities. Late-season fishing for migrating coho salmon (typically August through September) can be outstanding.

During odd years, abundant pink salmon are available from July into early September. Please note that in recent years there has been no bonus limit on pinks due to salmon conservation concerns, so pink salmon count as part of the daily limit.

Winter and early-spring fishing for resident Chinook salmon (known as blackmouth) along with the occasional resident coho is popular in Marine Area 5. Fishing can be excellent when the blackmouth and bait are around (with anglers sometimes catching larger spring-run Chinook, too), but often waxes and wanes throughout the season depending on weather conditions and the presence of baitfish such as herring and sandlance.

Anglers who plan to fish for salmon in Canadian marine waters and return in their boats with their catch to Washington are required to notify WDFW before leaving state waters

Legal description

Major fishing areas

Pillar Point

Halibut are fished here by using jigs or weighted baits.

Accessible by Boat

Species: Pacific Halibut