Chinook catches off Westport have skyrocketed in recent days, and that has lead state Fish and Wildlife to reduce the catch from two to one chinook daily at Westport and Ilwaco beginning Sunday, Aug. 14.
“The number of anglers fishing out of Westport this week increased dramatically and their success in catching chinook was better than any week in recent history,” Pat Pattillo, the state Fish and Wildlife salmon policy coordinator said in a news release. “While we’re reluctant to go back to one chinook a day, this change is necessary to keep this fishery open for a full season.”
Anglers fishing off La Push (Marine Area 3) and Neah Bay (Marine Area 4) can continue to catch and keep two chinook as part of their daily limit – which also allows them to keep one additional pink salmon per day in those areas.
Prior to last week’s decision to increase the chinook limit off Westport and Ilwaco, catch rates were lagging well behind last year’s pace. But, that changed abruptly this week, when the number of anglers fishing those areas jumped 30 percent over the same period last year.
“We couldn’t ignore that much of a change in the fishery,” he said.
Ocean salmon fisheries are currently scheduled to continue through Sept. 18 in marine areas 2, 3 and 4, and through Sept. 30 in Marine Area 1.