Season summaries and agreed fisheries

More details on salmon fisheries are available in the 2019-20 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Puget Sound

2019-2020 Puget Sound Recreational Chinook and Coho Seasons by Marine Areas

Notable changes compared to 2018-19 season:

Marine areas 5 (Sekiu) and 6 (East Strait Juan de Fuca) are closed to salmon fishing in February.

Marine Area 7 is closed to salmon fishing in August, October, and January.

Marine Area 8-1 is closed to salmon fishing in December and January but open for coho fishing in October.

Marine Area 8-2 will be open from Aug. 16 through Sept. 15 for hatchery coho from the Mukilteo/Clinton line south and west towards Marine Area 9. Similar to 8-1, this area will be closed to salmon fishing in December and January.

Marine Area 9 opens slightly later (July 25) this year with a lower quota for chinook (3,500 fish) and is closed in January.

Elliott Bay in Marine Area 10 is scheduled only to be open the first weekend in August, however, additional openings could be added during August.

Marine Area 10 will open July 25 for chinook fishing. The Area 10 summer quota is 3,057 chinook.  Last year it was 4,743.

Marine Area 11 is closed in June and then again from October through December. The area quota for the summer (July through September) is 2,800 chinook. In order to maximize opportunity for chinook, boat fishing will be open five days per week (Saturday through Wednesday) while shoreline fishing will be open daily.

Marine Area 12 (north of Ayock) will open in August (a month earlier than 2018) for coho fishing.

In Marine Area 13 there will be a 20-inch minimum size for chinook July through September.

The Skagit River (from the Memorial Highway Bridge in Mount Vernon to Gilligan Creek) will be open for spring chinook angling May 1 through May 31.

The Stillaguamish River will be open Sept. 16-Nov.15 for coho fishing. Gamefish seasons will be restricted to minimize impacts to chinook May through Sept. 15.

The Snohomish, Skykomish, and Snoqualmie rivers will be open Sept. 1-30 with a one-coho daily limit.

The Skykomish River will be open Saturday before Memorial Day through July 31 for chinook fishing.

The Samish River will be closed Sept. 23 to Oct. 31 to help ensure additional chinook broodstock collection for increasing production to benefit southern resident killer whales.

Minter Creek: Open Sept. 15-Dec. 31, anglers can keep four chum, two hatchery coho, and two chinook.

Skokomish: Conversations are continuing about a potential fishery. If any fishery is agreed to, WDFW will make an announcement.

Baker Lake sockeye: Baker Lake will open July 6, and a fishery on the Skagit River, which opens June 16.

Southern resident killer whales: Fisheries are also being limited in areas where southern resident killer whales are known to feed. The adjustments will aid in minimizing boat presence and noise, and decrease competition for chinook and other salmon in these areas critical to the declining whales. 

See the season summary for Puget Sound in PDF format.

Columbia River

Summer salmon fishery

The summer season on the mainstem Columbia River will be closed to summer chinook (including jacks) and sockeye retention.   

Fall fisheries

During fall fisheries, anglers fishing from the same boat may continue fishing for salmon until all anglers have reached their daily limits in the areas listed below. The areas are closed to steelhead retention in August.

  • Buoy 10 salmon fishery will be open from Aug. 1 through Aug. 20 for adult chinook and hatchery coho retention. The daily adult limit is two salmonids (salmon or steelhead) but only one may be a chinook and one steelhead. From Aug. 21 through Dec. 31, the daily adult limit is two salmonids, but chinook and wild coho must be released. Only one hatchery steelhead may be retained.
  • Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to West Puget Island line (west end of Puget Island extending from green navigation marker #39 on the Washington shore to green navigation marker #41, then to red navigation marker #42, and terminating at red navigation marker #44A on the Oregon shore) will be open from Aug. 1 through Aug. 20 for adult chinook and hatchery coho retention. The daily adult limit is one salmonid. From Aug. 21 through Dec. 31, the adult daily limit is two salmonids, but chinook and wild coho must be released Only one hatchery steelhead may be retained. 
  • West Puget Island line upstream to the Lewis River will be open from Aug. 1 through Aug. 27 for adult chinook and hatchery coho retention. The daily adult limit is one salmonid. From Aug. 28 through Dec. 31, the adult daily limit is two salmonids, but chinook and wild coho must be released. Only one hatchery steelhead may be retained.
  • Lewis River upstream to Bonneville Dam will be open Aug. 1 through Sept. 8 for adult chinook and hatchery coho retention. The daily adult limit is one salmonid.  During Sept. 9 through Dec. 31, anglers will have a daily adult limit of two salmonids, but chinook and wild coho must be released. Only one hatchery steelhead may be retained.
  • Bonneville Dam upstream to the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco will be open Aug. 1 through Dec. 31 with a daily adult limit of two salmonids with no more than one chinook. Downstream of the Hood River Bridge, wild coho must be released. Steelhead daily limit is one hatchery fish when open as part of the adult limit, as described in the following section. Only one hatchery steelhead may be retained.

Steelhead

Within the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 to the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco, the daily limit for hatchery steelhead is one fish and the area is closed to salmon or steelhead fishing at night from July 1 through Dec. 31.  The following areas are closed during the time periods listed below.

August

  • Columbia River from the mouth upstream to The Dalles Dam
  • Cowlitz River downstream of the Lexington Drive/Sparks Road bridge
  • Kalama River downstream of the railroad bridge below Interstate 5
  • Lewis River downstream of the confluence with the East Fork
  • Wind River downstream of Shipherd Falls
  • Drano Lake
  • White Salmon River downstream of the county road bridge
  • Klickitat River downstream of the Fisher Hill Bridge

September

  • Columbia River from The Dalles Dam to McNary Dam
  • Drano Lake

October-November

  • Columbia River from John Day Dam to Hwy. 395 Bridge in Pasco

The section from Hwy. 395 Bridge in Pasco upstream to Hanford will be managed in-season, but start with a limit of two hatchery steelhead limit. The area will be closed at night to salmon/steelhead fishing. The Snake River will be managed in-season as well with a one hatchery fish limit and from the mouth upstream to Couse Creek boat ramp, only steelhead that are less than 28 inches in size may be retained. 

See the season summary for the Columbia River in PDF format.

Coastal fisheries (includes Grays Harbor & Willapa Bay)

Grays Harbor Area

The Area 2-2 Humptulips North Bay chinook fishery begins in August and runs through Sept.15.  

The Area 2-2 East Bay coho fishery begins Sept. 16 and runs through Nov. 30.

The Chehalis River fishery in the lower river gets underway Aug. 1.

The Humptulips River is scheduled to be open for salmon fishing Sept. 1-Dec. 31.

Willapa Bay Area

The recreational salmon fishing season in Willapa Bay (Marine Area 2-1) is scheduled from Aug. 1-Jan. 31. Anglers can keep two adult salmon, but must release unmarked chinook. Also, the Willapa Bay Control Zone will be open at that time.

The freshwater rivers in the Willapa Bay watershed will have similar opening and closing dates as 2017 with fishery regulations consistent with the marine area regulations described above. 

See the season summary for coastal fisheries (including Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay) in PDF format.

Washington's ocean waters (Marine areas 1-4)

Catch quotas

The Pacific Fishery Management Council approved a recreational chinook catch quota of 26,250 fish, slightly below last year’s total. The PFMC, which establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast, also adopted a quota of 159,600 coho for this year's recreational ocean fishery – an increase of 117,600 fish over last year’s coho quota of 42,000.

Fishing seasons

Recreational ocean salmon fisheries for chinook and hatchery coho will be open daily beginning June 22 in all four marine areas. Each area will close Sept. 30 or when their individual catch quota is met. The La Push (Marine Area 3) subarea will re-open Oct. 1 through Oct. 13 or until a quota of 100 chinook or 100 coho is met.

In marine areas 1 (Ilwaco) and 2 (Westport), anglers can retain two salmon, only one of which can be a chinook. Anglers fishing in areas 3 and 4 (Neah Bay) will have a two-salmon daily limit. In all marine areas, anglers must release wild coho.

See the season summary for Washington's ocean waters (Marine areas 1-4) in PDF format.

State/Tribal Agreements

The list of agreed fisheries (LOAF) is an annual document that includes a detailed list of fishing seasons and fishery agreements for treaty and non-treaty salmon fisheries in Puget Sound marine and freshwater areas.