2018-19 Salmon Seasons

2018-19 Salmon Fisheries at a Glance
List of Approved Fisheries

Puget Sound
Below is key information for Puget Sound salmon fisheries this year. More details will be available in the 2018-19 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, which will be available in June.

Puget Sound Recreational Chinook and Coho Seasons by Marine Areas

Marine areas 9 (Admiralty Inlet) and 10 (Seattle/Bremerton): Marine Area 9 will be open July through September with a chinook quota of 5,563 fish, which is similar to last year's quota. Marine Area 10 is scheduled to be open June through mid-November for coho fishing with hatchery chinook retention allowed mid-July through August. The chinook quota for Marine Area 10 is 4,743 fish, up significantly from 2017.

Baker Lake sockeye: The forecast for sockeye returning to Baker Lake is strong enough to allow for a lake fishery, open July 7 through early September, and a fishery on the Skagit River, which is open June 16-July 15 for sockeye fishing.

North Sound freshwater: Anglers will have the opportunity to retain wild coho in the Nooksack River and coho in the Skagit and Cascade rivers, where gamefish fisheries have been restored this year. The Skagit and Cascade rivers were closed to fishing to game fish during coho fishing season last year to protect weak stocks. The Skagit will be open Sept. 1-Dec. 30 for coho and the Cascade will be open Sept. 16-Nov. 30.

Skokomish River: A portion of the Skokomish River remains closed to non-tribal fishing this year, due to an ongoing dispute over whether the river is part of the Skokomish Reservation. WDFW will continue to work with the Skokomish Tribe to resolve the matter. The closed area includes the section of river from the Tacoma Public Utilities power lines (near the mouth of the river) upstream to the Bonneville Power Administration power lines (upstream and west of Highway 101).

Marine areas 8-1 and 8-2: Both areas will be open to fishing for coho in August and September. The areas will re-open to fishing for hatchery chinook in December.

Marine Area 7: Anglers can fish for chinook and coho in Marine Area 7 beginning July 1. The area closes after Labor Day to chinook retention but remains open for coho fishing through September. The area re-opens for salmon fishing in January. 

Marine areas 5 (Sekiu) and 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait): Both areas open in early July (July 1 in Marine Area 5, July 3 in Marine Area 6) for hatchery chinook and hatchery coho. Anglers can retain hatchery chinook through mid-August and hatchery coho through September. Marine Area 6 reopens Feb. 1 while Marine Area 5 reopens Feb. 16 for hatchery salmon.

South Sound freshwater: Anglers will have the opportunity to fish for coho in Minter Creek beginning Oct. 16. Strong hatchery chinook returns are expected to several south Sound rivers this year.

Southern Resident Killer Whales: The governor and NOAA Fisheries have instructed WDFW to take steps to help recover killer whales. In meeting conservation objectives for wild salmon, the co-managers are also limiting fisheries 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. 

Washington's Ocean Waters (Marine areas 1-4)
More details on these fisheries will be available in the 2018-19 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, which will be available in June.

Catch quotas

The Pacific Fishery Management Council approved a recreational chinook catch quota of 27,500 fish, which is 17,500 fewer fish than 2017's quota of 45,000. The PFMC, which establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast, also adopted a quota of 42,000 coho for this year's recreational ocean fishery – the same as last year's coho quota.

Fishing seasons

Recreational ocean salmon fisheries for chinook and hatchery coho will be open daily beginning June 23 in marine areas 1 (Ilwaco), 3 (La Push), and 4 (Neah Bay). Marine Area 2 (Westport) will be open Sundays through Thursdays beginning July 1.  All areas will close Sept. 3 or when the catch quota is met.

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

Coastal fisheries including Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay
Below is key information for coastal salmon fisheries this year. More details will be available in the 2018-19 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, which will be available in June.

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 two weeks later than 2017 and is scheduled Oct. 1-Nov. 30.

The Chehalis River spring chinook fishery is scheduled May 1-June 30 while the jack fishery in the lower river runs Aug. 1-Sept. 15.

The Humptulips River is scheduled to be open for salmon fishing Sept. 1-Nov. 30, about two months fewer than last year. Anglers can keep one wild chinook during the month of September but must release wild chinook the remainder of the fishery.

Willapa Bay Area

The season in Willapa Bay (Area 2-1) is similar to last year and is scheduled Aug. 1-Jan. 31. Anglers can keep three adult salmon, one of which may be a coho. Anglers must release wild chinook.

The freshwater rivers in the Willapa Bay area have similar seasons to 2017. Anglers may retain one wild, adult coho. Anglers must release wild chinook

Columbia River
Below are highlights of the major Columbia River salmon fisheries this year. More details will be in the 2018-19 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, which will be available in June.

Summer fishery

The summer season on the mainstem Columbia River will be open from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to Bonneville Dam from June 22 through July 4 for hatchery (adipose fin-clipped) summer chinook. Bonneville Dam to Hwy. 395 near Pasco will be open from June 16 through July 31. The daily adult limit will be two hatchery salmonids. All sockeye must be released.

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 following areas of the mainstem Columbia River:

  • Buoy 10 salmon fishery will be open from Aug. 1 through Aug. 24 for adult chinook retention. The daily adult limit is one salmonid (chinook, hatchery coho or hatchery steelhead). From Aug. 25 through Dec. 31, the daily adult limit is two salmonids, but chinook must be released.
  • Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to the Lewis River will be open from Aug. 1 through Sept. 2 for adult chinook retention. The daily adult limit is one salmonid. From Sept. 3 through Dec. 31, the adult daily limit is two salmonids, but chinook must be released.
  • Lewis River upstream to Bonneville Dam will be open Aug. 1 through Sept. 14 for adult chinook retention. The daily adult limit is one salmonid. During Sept. 15 through Dec. 31, anglers will have a daily adult limit of two salmonids, but chinook must be released.
  • 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.

Sockeye, chum and jacks

Columbia River anglers are reminded that retention of sockeye and chum salmon is prohibited. Catch limits for jack salmon – salmon that return at a younger age – follow typical permanent regulations and will be listed in the 2018-19 pamphlet. Hatchery steelhead daily limit is one from Buoy 10 to Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco from Aug. 1 through Dec. 31.

 

 
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North of Falcon Background

2018 Public Meeting Schedule
2018 State-Tribal Meeting Schedule
North of Falcon FAQ
How salmon fishing seasons are set
How tribes and state co-manage salmon and steelhead

Pre-Season Forecasts

Summer/Fall Chinook
Coho
Chum and Sockeye

Forecast Summaries

Coastal forecast summary
Columbia River and Ocean forecast summary
Puget Sound forecast summary

WDFW Commission Policies

2017-2018 North of Falcon 
Hatchery and Fishery Reform

Links

WDFW Commercial Fishing
Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor Season Setting
Selective Fishing Techniques
Pacific Fishery Management Council
Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission
Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
California Dept. of Fish and Game
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