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Finally! Puget Sound & Puget Sound Rivers Are Reopened

2016 Puget Sound-area Fishing Seasons Update

Last updated: June 24, 2016

Puget Sound-area waters reopen for fishing

Puget Sound-area fisheries that closed during an impasse in salmon-season negotiations have reopened.

Fisheries in Puget Sound marine waters, rivers and lakes are open as listed in the 2015-16 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet. Anglers should check WDFW's fishing rule change webpage for exceptions.

WDFW closed many Puget Sound-area fisheries on May 1, after the previous federal authorization to conduct fisheries expired.

The state and treaty tribes reached an agreement on this year's Puget Sound salmon fisheries on May 26, several weeks after the annual season-setting process usually ends.

The extended timeframe of negotiations led to a lapse in federal approval needed to conduct fisheries in Puget Sound, where some fish stocks are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. The co-managers typically request the federal permit by mid-April.

On June 24, NOAA gave WDFW the OK to reopen the Puget Sound-area fisheries that closed May 1. Most recreational salmon fisheries begin in July. Fisheries information for July 1 and later can be found in the 2016-17 sport fishing rules pamphlet.

A few salmon and steelhead fisheries in Puget Sound-area waters that are open in June include:

  • The Skykomish River for hatchery chinook and hatchery steelhead fishing.
  • The Cascade River for hatchery chinook and hatchery steelhead.
  • The Skagit River for sockeye salmon, hatchery chinook and hatchery steelhead fishing.
  • Anglers must release coho salmon in marine areas 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island) and 13 (south Sound) and in the Tulalip bubble fishery, where anglers also are required to release wild chinook.
  • Anglers fishing at most year-round piers within Puget Sound must release all coho while those fishing at year-round piers within Sinclair Inlet are only required to release wild coho.


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