Salmon anglers should see plenty of good times on the water off the coast this summer.
The ocean fisheries will have a sport catch quota of 48,000 chinook (51,500 last year) and 74,760 hatchery coho – about 6,000 more than last year’s quota.
“We started in December with a rather depressing coho workshop and now here we are with a set of regulations that are virtually the same as last season,” Mark Cedergreen, president of the Westport Charterboat Association said in a news release on the Deep Sea Charters wesbsite.
Neah Bay and La Push will be open for a hatchery-marked selective chinook fishery on May 10-11, May 17-18 and daily from June 22-28. At Westport the fishery will be open daily from June 8-22, and at Ilwaco from June 8-21. The hatchery chinook quota is 8,000 and each port could close sooner if the quota is achieved. Daily limit will be two hatchery chinook only with a minimum size limit of 24 inches. Release all coho and wild chinook.
The coastal fisheries for chinook and hatchery-marked coho will be open daily starting June 22 at Ilwaco and June 29 at La Push and Neah Bay. Westport will be open Sunday to Thursday beginning June 29.
All ports will have a two salmon daily limit, but at Ilwaco and Westport anglers may keep only one chinook. At Neah Bay and La Push there will also be a bonus daily catch limit of two pink salmon.
A robust wild coho return off the coast will produce good fishing in the Queets and Quillayute river system. Inner-coastal bays like Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay should also have good late summer and early fall salmon fisheries.
Sport anglers will also have an exclusive area to salmon fish in Willapa Bay.
An area off Tokeland in the northcentral portion of the bay – known as 2T – will be open for sport salmon fishing only from 6 p.m. Aug. 15 through 6 p.m. Sept. 15.
Anglers fishing in Willapa Bay will also be allowed to use two fishing poles with the purchase of a two-pole endorsement, from Aug. 1 through Jan. 31.
Specific Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca and Columbia River salmon fisheries should be known by Thursday (April 11).
State Fish and Wildlife plans to have all the seasons and regulations available in the next couple of weeks at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon.
(Photo courtesy of Mark Yuasa)