WDFW Fish Program, 360-902-2700
OLYMPIA – As Chinook salmon fishing comes to a close in some coastal and Puget Sound Marine Areas later this week, fishery managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) remind anglers to stay up to date about fishing rule changes that could occur in Marine Areas through the summer.
“With some Marine Areas closing as scheduled and others wrapping up early based on higher than expected harvests earlier this summer, we appreciate anglers’ continued mindfulness of rules and regulations as the season evolves,” said Mark Baltzell, WDFW salmon manager.
Marine Area 4: Anglers are reminded that Marine Area 4 East of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line is closed to Chinook retention starting Saturday, August 1, as outlined in the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.
Marine Area 5: Marine Area 5 has reached its pre-season guideline for Chinook salmon. Starting July 31, anglers will be required to release all Chinook salmon. Anglers may still retain two hatchery coho salmon as part of the daily limit.
Marine Area 7: Another scheduled change is Marine Area 7, which will also close to Chinook retention starting Saturday, August 1 per the fishing pamphlet. Fishery managers will evaluate how much quota remains and will announce any additional opportunity on Chinook. Marine Area 7 remains open for coho fishing.
With the closure of the port of Neah Bay (Marine Area 4), many people are leaving from Sekiu (Marine Area 5) to fish in Marine Area 4. Anglers are reminded that if Chinook are caught legally in adjacent Marine Areas they can be transported through and landed in Marine Area 5. However, anglers may not fish in Marine Area 5 with a Chinook, or any other fish not legal to harvest in that area, onboard their vessel.
The department is asking anglers to continue to opt for trips close to home and practice physical distancing by keeping 6 feet apart. Anglers should also be sure to check ahead of time if their preferred fishing destination or launch area is open; many launches and beaches are managed under local, tribal, or federal jurisdiction, and may have altered their typical operations.
Anglers sharing information about their catch with WDFW sampling staff should also follow protocol to help prevent the spread of COVID-19; please provide adequate physical distancing for the safety of anglers and staff.
Anglers should check the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations and WDFW’s emergency rules page at fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ before heading out, and download the Fish Washington mobile app for up-to-date regulations at their destination.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.