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THE MAINSTEM COLUMBIA OPENS SATURDAY SEPT. 19TH FOR CHINOOK & COHO

posted by Mike on 09/18/2020

Chinook, coho salmon fishing opens Saturday on lower Columbia River

OLYMPIA – The mainstem Columbia River opens for fall Chinook and coho salmon fishing beginning Saturday, fishery managers announced yesterday.

Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington agreed to open the river beginning Saturday, Sept. 19, from Buoy 10 at the mouth of the river to the Highway 395 Bridge near Pasco.

The opening comes after the estimated Columbia River fall Chinook run size was updated earlier this week to 476,680 adults, an increase of 13 percent from the preseason forecast. Coho returning to waters above Bonneville Dam are also running above the preseason estimate with 66,700 early-stock coho now expected to return.

The larger runs allowed for the fishery to open a few days ahead of schedule; many sections of the river were initially scheduled to reopen Sept. 23. The fishery is expected to remain open through Dec. 31.

"It's always exciting to see these runs come in above expectations, and to be able to open the river for some additional days of fishing," said Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River fishery manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). "We'll continue monitoring returns and make adjustments to the seasons as necessary."

Only coho and Chinook may be retained. All coho retained downstream of the Hood River Bridge must be hatchery fish. The daily adult bag limit is two salmon, only one of which can be a Chinook. Steelhead regulations were not changed, and fishing for steelhead remains closed at this time.

39 DAYS OF RAZOR CLAM DIGS APPROVED THROUGH DECEMBER

posted by Mike on 09/14/2020

WDFW announces 39 digs through December; 4 days of approved razor clam digs start Sept. 16
Abundant razor clams provide 'digging while distancing' opportunities along 58 miles of coastal beaches

OLYMPIA - Shellfish managers have scheduled 39 razor clam digs on ocean beaches for dates through December. State shellfish managers have also approved the first four days of razor clam digging starting Sept. 16 after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.

Final approval of tentatively scheduled openings depends on results of marine toxin tests. Digging is also contingent upon continued guidance by public health officials monitoring COVID-19 in coastal communities.

"Close proximity can accelerate the spread of COVID-19, so we're asking the public to take steps to thoroughly prepare for their visits to avoid increasing risk," said Larry Phillips, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) coastal region director, who notes that the Department is being guided by risk assessments by local and state health officials. Health agencies are asking people to:

  • Stay home if sick,
  • Practice social distancing of at least six feet,
  • Mask up,
  • Bring Personal Protective Equipment like hand sanitizer,
  • Leave no Trace: Pack out belongings and garbage,
  • Purchase licenses ahead of the trip,
  • Bring non-cash payment methods to reduce contact, and
  • Follow local ordinances and guidelines.

"Abundant razor clam populations are allowing for numerous digging opportunities this year," said Ayres. "But, it is important that clam diggers only dig where it is allowed, pay close attention to the variable day openings on Copalis and Mocrocks, prefer weekday digging if possible to avoid crowds, and spread out while digging, especially now." Razor clam diggers can find detailed beach maps that indicate locations and local names for beaches on WDFW's razor clam webpages

The approved razor clam digs to date, along with low tides and beaches, are listed below:

A.M. TIDES:

  • Sept. 16, Wednesday, 6:17 am, -1.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Sept. 17, Thursday, 6:58 am, -1.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Sept. 18, Friday, 7:39 am, -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Sept. 19, Saturday, 8:19 am, -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

No digging is allowed after noon for digs where low tide occurs in the morning. The tentative razor clam through December, along with low tides and beaches, are listed below:

P.M. TIDES:

  • Sept. 20, Sunday, 9:43 pm, -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Sept. 21, Monday, 10:37 pm, -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Sept. 22, Tuesday, 11:37 pm, -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 16, Friday, 7:00 pm, -0.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 17, Saturday, 7:47 pm, -1.3; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 18, Sunday, 8:35 pm, -1.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 19, Monday, 9:24 pm, -1.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 20, Tuesday, 10:16 pm, -1.0; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 21, Wednesday, 11:12 pm, -0.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 31, Saturday, 7:26 pm, 0.0; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 1, Sunday, 6:59 pm, -0.1; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 2, Monday, 7:33 pm, -0.1; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Nov. 3, Tuesday, 8:08 pm, -0.1; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 13, Friday, 4:58 pm, -0.3; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 14, Saturday, 5:45 pm, -1.3; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Nov. 15, Sunday, 6:32 pm, -1.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 16, Monday, 7:19 pm, -1.8; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Nov. 17, Tuesday, 8:06 pm, -1.6; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 18, Wednesday, 8:56 pm, -1.1; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Nov. 19, Thursday, 9:47 pm, -0.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 1, Tuesday, 7:14 pm, -0.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 2, Wednesday, 7:51 pm, -0.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 3, Thursday, 8:30 pm, -0.3; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 4, Friday, 9:12 pm, -0.1; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 12, Saturday, 4:44 pm, -0.8; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 13, Sunday, 5:32 pm, -1.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 14, Monday, 6:19 pm, -1.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 15, Tuesday, 7:05pm, -1.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 16, Wednesday, 7:50 pm, -1.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 17, Thursday, 8:35 pm, -1.0; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 18, Friday, 9:21 pm, -0.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 28, Monday, 5:43 pm, -0.2; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 29, Tuesday, 6:20 pm, -0.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 30, Wednesday, 6:57 pm, -0.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 31, Thursday, 7:34 pm, -0.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

No digging is allowed before noon during digs when low tide occurs in the afternoon or evening.

Public health officials will be closely monitoring new COVID-19 infection rates throughout the digging season and adjustments to the schedule may be made to reduce public health risk in-season.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach.

Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license (starting at $9.70) to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW's website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from some 600 license vendors around the state. WDFW recommends buying your license before visiting coastal beach communities for this razor clam season.

Under state law, diggers at open beaches can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger's clams must be kept in a separate container.

More information can be found on WDFW's razor clam webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams

LOWER COLUMBIA RIVER REGULATION UPDATES

posted by Mike on 09/10/2020

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE  

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia, WA 98501
https://wdfw.wa.gov/

September 10, 2020

Lower Columbia River salmon fishery update

Action: Opens Chinook salmon retention.

Species affected: Salmon.

Locations, dates, and rules:

  1. From the mouth (Buoy 10 line) to the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line: salmon and steelhead:
    • Sept. 9 – Sept. 10: Coho min. size 16 inches. Daily limit two hatchery coho. Release all salmon other than hatchery coho. Release all steelhead.
    • Sept. 11 – Sept. 13: Chinook min. size 24 inches. Coho min. size 16 inches. Daily limit two, up to one may be a Chinook. Release all salmon other than Chinook and hatchery coho. Release all steelhead.
    • Sept. 14 – Sept. 22: Coho min. size 16 inches. Daily limit two. Release all salmon other than hatchery coho. Release all steelhead.
    • Sept. 23 – Sept 30: Chinook min. size 24 inches. Coho min. size 16 inches. Daily limit two, up to one may be a Chinook. Release all salmon other than Chinook and hatchery coho. Release all steelhead.
    • Oct. 1 – Oct. 31: Coho min. size 16 inches. Daily limit six. Up to two adults may be retained, of which up to one may be a Chinook. Release all salmon other than Chinook and hatchery coho. Release all steelhead.
    • Nov. 1 – Dec. 31: Coho min. size 16 inches. Daily limit six. Up to two adults may be retained, of which up to one may be a Chinook and up to one may be a steelhead. Release all salmon other than Chinook and hatchery coho. Release wild steelhead.
       
  2. From the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line to the Hood River Bridge: salmon and steelhead:
    • Sept. 11 – Sept. 13: Salmon min. size 12 inches. Daily limit one. Release all salmon other than Chinook and hatchery coho. Release all steelhead.
       
  3. From the Hood River Bridge to the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco: Salmon and steelhead:
    • Sept. 11 – Sept. 13: Salmon min. size 12 inches. Daily limit one. Release all salmon other than Chinook and coho. Release all steelhead.

Reason for action: This action is consistent with the decisions made by the states of Washington and Oregon during the September 9, 2020, Columbia River Compact. Additional upriver bright fall Chinook and Lower River Hatchery tule fall Chinook impacts remain to provide additional opportunity in the Buoy 10 fishery. This action is consistent with the pre-season fishing plan for pre-update fisheries.

Additional information: Anglers are reminded that barbless hooks are required for salmon and steelhead downstream of the Washington/Oregon border at Hwy. 730.

Please refer to permanent rules for dates not listed above.

RETURN YOUR SUMMER CRAB CATCH RECORD CARDS

posted by Mike on 09/08/2020

Before you forget, make sure to return your Summer Crab CRC to WDFW or one can report your information via the internet to (fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov). This can be done anytime from today through the end of the month. Failure to do such will result in a $10.00 penatly when you go to purchase your licenses this next year.

 

Also, if you are going to fish crab after Labor day you will need to pick up a Winter CRC to record your catch. There is "NO CHARGE" for these cards.

 

We should find out later this month to what Winter crabbing dates and areas that we fish.

BUOY 10 REGULATION UPDATES

posted by Mike on 09/05/2020

Buoy 10 salmon fishery update

Action: Opens Chinook retention for two days and increases coho limit.

Species affected: Chinook and coho.

Location: Columbia River, from the Buoy 10 line upstream to the Rock Point/Tongue Point Line.

Rules and effective dates:

  1. September 5-6, 2020: Daily limit two, up to one Chinook may be retained. Release steelhead and wild coho.
  2. September 7-22, 2020: Daily limit two, up to two hatchery coho may be retained. Release all other salmon and steelhead.
  3. September 23 through October 31, 2020: Daily limit two, no more than one may be a Chinook. Release all steelhead and wild coho.
  4. November 1 through December 31, 2020: Daily limit two, no more than one may be a Chinook or hatchery steelhead. Release all wild steelhead and wild coho.

Reason for action: This action is consistent with the decisions made by the states of Washington and Oregon during the September 3, 2020 Columbia River Compact. Additional upriver bright fall chinook and Lower River Hatchery tule fall chinook impacts remain to provide additional opportunity in the Buoy 10 fishery. This action is consistent with the pre-season fishing plan for pre-update fisheries.

Additional information: Retention of jack salmon is prohibited until October 1 and follows permanent regulations. Chum retention is prohibited.

Fishery managers will continue to monitor the returns to ensure that conservation goals are achieved.

Information contact: Region 5: (360) 696-6211.

MARINE AREA 2 (WESTPORT) OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK & 2 CHINOOK LIMIT

posted by Mike on 09/03/2020

Westport to open for salmon fishing 7 days per week, Chinook limit increasing

Action: Opens salmon fishery seven days per week; anglers may retain up to two Chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit.

Effective date: Sept. 4, 2020 through Sept. 30, 2020.

Species affected: Salmon.

Location: Marine Area 2.

Reason for action: Sufficient quota remains for Chinook and coho in Marine Area 2 to allow fishing seven days per week and to allow retention of more than one Chinook salmon in the daily limit.

Additional information: Chinook min. size 22", coho min. size 16". Daily limit of two salmon, release wild coho.

The Grays Harbor control zone remains closed.

Marine Areas 1 and 4 remain closed.

Marine Area 3 remains open daily through September 30, daily limit of two salmon, release chum and wild coho.

Information contact: WDFW Region 6 office, 360-249-4628

LAST SPOT SHRIMP FISHERY IN MARINE AREA 7-EAST & 7-WEST

posted by Mike on 09/02/2020

Final opportunity to harvest spot shrimp in Marine Areas 7-East and 7-West begins Sept. 10

OLYMPIA – The 2020 Puget Sound recreational spot shrimp season will end with a 5-day opening in Marine Areas 7-East and 7-West, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

With spot shrimp still available in the recreational quota in Marine Areas 7-East and 7-West, shrimpers will be able to harvest shrimp in these areas Sept. 10 through Sept. 14. 

"We saw a strong turnout for spot shrimp openings in Marine Areas 6 and 9 earlier this month," said Katelyn Bosley, Puget Sound crustacean biologist. "Effort was lower than we initially expected in Marine Areas 7-East and 7-West, so we're happy harvesters will have another opportunity to catch these prized shrimp before fishing officially ends for the season."

Management plans don't allow spot shrimp harvest after Sept. 15 in these areas to protect egg-bearing females.

Anglers will also be able to optimize their time on the water with multiple fisheries still open, including salmon and crab.

The daily limit is 10 pounds of all shrimp with a maximum of 80 spot shrimp in areas open to spot shrimp harvest. Only pots with a minimum 1-inch mesh are allowed when retaining spot shrimp.

A valid 2020-21 combination license, shellfish license, or Fish Washington license is required to participate in the fishery.

Shrimpers are reminded that traps can be set one hour before official sunrise during any open period in the marine areas without specified harvest hours. The pots must be removed from the water in these same areas by one hour after sunset at the end of an open period.

More information on recreational shrimp seasons, and a description of the marine areas, is available on WDFW's recreational shrimp fishing section of the website.

OCEAN COHO SHOWING UP IN MARINE AREA 9 & 10

posted by Mike on 09/02/2020

Coho fishing has picked upquite well over the past few days. We have been seeing some good results from our customers fishing both Marine Area 9 and 10. This fishing should only get better over the next few weeks.

 

Remember that Marine Area 9 is a selective fishery in which only "Hatchery" coho with a missing adipose fin can be retained and "All" wild coho must be released and has a two fish limit. This fishery will run through September and will then close.

 

Marine Area 10 is "Not" a selective fishey and both hatchery and wild coho may be retained and has a two fish limit. This fishery wil run through Novermber 15th and will then close.

 

With a preseason estimate of around 500 thousand coho expected back to Puget should we should see some fairly good fishing throughout Sepetember.

MARINE AREA 7 CHINOOK OPENER DELAYED

posted by Mike on 08/13/2020

Marine Area 7 Chinook opener delayed

Action: Closes Chinook retention.

Effective date: Aug. 16 through Aug. 21, 2020

Species affected: Chinook salmon

Location: Marine Area 7

Rule: Salmon; No min. size. Daily limit two. Release chum, wild coho, and all Chinook.

Reason for action: With 206 Chinook remaining of the Marine Area 7 quota of 1,562, it is unlikely the fishery could endure the entirety of the scheduled season. This closure is intended to maximize opportunity and participation while ensuring fisheries remain within allowed Endangered Species Act impacts. The decision for this closure and its timing were made in consultation with the citizens' board of the Puget Sound Sport Fishing Advisory Group.

Additional information: Beginning Aug. 22 and through Aug. 31, anglers will be allowed to retain up to one hatchery Chinook as part of the salmon daily limit as listed in the 2020/2021 Washington Sportfishing Rules pamphlet.

Anglers are reminded to check for fishery updates at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.

The Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet can be found at http://www.eregulations.com/washington/fishing/.

Information contact: Fish Program 360-902-2700.

NORTHERN SAN JUAN CRAB SEASON DELAYED UNTIL AUGUST 20TH

posted by Mike on 08/10/2020

Recreational crab season opening delayed one week in northern San Juan Islands; additional late-season opportunity added

OLYMPIA – Recreational crab fishing in Marine Area 7 North (Gulf of Georgia) will open a week later than previously scheduled to allow additional time for crab shell conditions to improve, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

The area, originally scheduled to open Aug. 13, will now open Aug. 20.

Test fisheries are conducted annually to ensure that fisheries avoid opening before crab shells have had sufficient time to harden. Crab are extremely vulnerable during the soft-shell stage following a molt.

A recent test fishery in Marine Area 7 North indicated that nearly 40 percent of crab there were still below the criteria designed to protect crab, said Don Velasquez, a WDFW crustacean biologist. Soft-shelled crab are subject to high mortality rates associated with handling and other fisheries interactions, Velasquez said.

As a result, state and tribal co-managers agreed to delay planned commercial and recreational fisheries to allow additional time for crab to harden.

Historically, at least 80 percent of crab have hardened in the Strait of Georgia by mid-August, which is already later than other parts of Puget Sound.

“It’s unusual for so many crab to remain soft so late into the summer, but this delay should reduce potential impacts to vulnerable crab,” Velasquez said.

To offset lost opportunity from the delay, crabbing will be allowed seven days a week beginning Sept. 24 in both Marine Area 7 South and Marine Area 7 North. The switch to a seven-days-per-week fishery in these areas usually begins during the first week of October.

Other marine areas with winter crab seasons opening Oct. 1 will be announced at a later date.

Find additional information about Washington’s crab seasons, areas, and regulations on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/crab.

PARTS OF PUGET SOUND, STRAITS & SAN JUANS TO REOPEN FOR SPOT SHRIMP

posted by Mike on 08/07/2020

Puget Sound spot shrimp reopens for late season in parts of North Sound and Juan de Fuca Strait

OLYMPIA – Recreational spot shrimp will reopen in Marine Areas 6, 7 West, 7 East and 9 next week, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

The Puget Sound spot shrimp fishery, like other fisheries, has seen historically high participation this season. This led to some areas being closed earlier than anticipated. “Our priority is to balance conservation of resources alongside offering recreational opportunity,” said Katelyn Bosley, WDFW Puget Sound crustacean biologist.

Following review of recreational shrimping catch and effort data in Puget Sound to date, WDFW has determined that sufficient quota remains to offer additional harvest opportunity in Marine Areas 6, 7 West, 7 East, and 9.

Areas opening for recreational spot shrimp harvest include:

  • Marine Area 6 (Port Angeles Harbor, eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, excluding the Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Aug. 12, 13, and then Aug. 15 and 16. Daylight hours.
  • Marine Area 7 East (northern Rosario Strait, Bellingham Bay, Sucia and Matia islands, Strait of Georgia): Aug. 12, 13, and then Aug. 15 and 16. Daylight hours.
  • Marine Area 7 West (San Juan Channel, Speiden Channel, Stuart and Waldron islands): Aug. 12, 13, and then Aug. 15, 16, and then again Aug. 20, 21, 22, and 23. Daylight hours.
  • Marine Area 9 (Edmonds, Port Townsend Bay, Admiralty Inlet): Open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 12.

The daily limit is 10 pounds of all species of shrimp with a maximum of 80 spot shrimp in areas open to spot shrimp harvest. Only pots with a minimum 1-inch mesh are allowed when retaining spot shrimp.

Targeting of non-spot shrimp fishing using pots with minimum 1/2-inch mesh size will be suspended temporarily in Marine Area 9 from 1 p.m. Aug. 12 until official sunrise on Aug. 13. Non-spot shrimp harvest will open normally on Aug. 13.

A valid 2020-21 combination license, shellfish license, or Fish Washington license is required to participate in the fishery.

WDFW managers remind shrimpers that traps can be set one hour before official sunrise during any open period in the marine areas without specified harvest hours. The pots must be removed from the water in these same areas by one hour after sunset at the end of an open period.

More information on recreational shrimp seasons, and a description of the marine areas, is available on WDFW's recreational shrimp fishing section of the website.

CHINOOK LIMIT INCREASES TO 2 IN MARINE AREA 11

posted by Mike on 08/06/2020

Chinook daily limits increase to 2 fish in Mairine Area 11

 

Action: Allows retention of up to 2 hatchery Chinook.

Effective date: Aug. 7 through Sept. 30, 2020

Species affected: Chinook salmon

Location: Marine Area 11

Rule: Salmon; Chinook - min. size 22". Other salmon species ? no min. size. Daily limit 2. Release wild Chinook.

Reason for action: Sufficient recreational harvest quota remains available to allow for an increased daily limit of Chinook. Current projections indicate the fishery will remain within allowed ESA impacts.

Additional information: Anglers are reminded to check for fishery updates at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.

The Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet can be found at http: //www.eregulations.com/washington/fishing/.

Information contact: Fish Program 360-902-2700.

CHINOOK LIMIT INCREASE TO 2 IN MARINE AREA 10, ELLIOT BAY TO REOPEN

posted by Mike on 08/06/2020

Chinook daily limits increase to 2 fish in Marine Area 10; Elliot Bay fishery to open 4 more days

 

Action: Allows retention of up to 2 hatchery Chinook in most areas of Marine Area 10 and opens the East Elliot Bay Fishery for an additional 4 days.

Effective and locations and rules:

1) Marine Area 10, except the East Elliot Bay Fishery and Year-round piers: Aug. 7 through Aug. 31, 2020: Salmon; Chinook - min. size 22". Daily limit 2. Release chum and wild Chinook.

2) East Elliot Bay Fishery, waters of Elliott Bay east of a line from Duwamish Head to Pier 91 up to the mouth of the Duwamish River (an east-west line through the southernmost tip of Harbor Island): from 12:00 p.m. (noon) Aug. 14 through Aug. 17, 2020: Salmon; Chinook - min. size 22". Daily limit 2. Release chum.

 

Species affected: Chinook salmon

Reason for action: Sufficient recreational harvest quota remains available to allow for an increased daily limit of Chinook and an additional opening of the East Elliott Bay Fishery. Current projections indicate the fishery will remain within allowed ESA impacts.

Additional information: Anglers are reminded to check for fishery updates at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.

The Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet can be found at http: //www.eregulations.com/washington/fishing/.

Information contact: Fish Program 360-902-2700.

CHINOOK LIMIT INCREASES TO 2 IN MARINE AREA 9

posted by Mike on 08/06/2020

Chinook daily limits increase to 2 fish in Marine Area 9

 

Action: Allows retention of up to 2 hatchery Chinook.

Effective date: Aug. 7 through Aug. 15, 2020

Species affected: Chinook salmon

Location: Marine Area 9

Rule: Salmon; Chinook - min. size 22". Other salmon species ? no min. size. Daily limit 2. Release chum, wild coho, and wild Chinook.

Reason for action: Sufficient recreational harvest quota remains available to allow for an increased daily limit of Chinook. Current projections indicate the fishery will remain within allowed ESA impacts.

Additional information: Anglers are reminded to check for fishery updates at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.

The Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet can be found at http: //www.eregulations.com/washington/fishing/.

Information contact: Fish Program 360-902-2700.

MARINE AREA 4 SALMON FISHING TO CLOSE

posted by Mike on 08/05/2020

Marine Area 4 recreational salmon season to close

Action: Closes salmon fisheries in Marine Area 4

Effective date: August 8, 2020

Species affected: Salmon

Location: Marine Area 4

Additional information: The recreational coho catch quota for Marine Area 4 is expected to be achieved by the end of the day on Aug. 7.

Other coastal Marine Areas 2 and 3 will remain open until quotas are reached or through Sept. 30. Please refer to the WDFW emergency rules webpage at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ for up to date in-season changes for individual Marine Areas.

Information contact: Fish Program 360-902-2700

BAKER LAKE CLOSED TO SOCKEYE FISHING

posted by Mike on 08/03/2020

Baker Lake to close for sockeye

Action: Closes sockeye retention.

Effective date: August 3, 2020.

Species affected: Sockeye salmon.

Location: Baker Lake (Whatcom County).

Rule: Closed to fishing for or retaining sockeye.

Reason for action: Catch estimates indicate the number of fish remaining in Baker Lake is nearing the minimum 1,500 sockeye needed to spawn naturally.

Additional information: Baker Lake sockeye outperformed the preseason forecast and the lake was opened to recreational sockeye fishing on July 18 with 5,656 in the lake. More than 4,700 sockeye were retained the first week of the fishery.

WDFW and treaty co-managers agreed to a limited Baker Lake sockeye fishery provided catch did not exceed a level where less than 1,500 sockeye remained in the lake to spawn naturally (escapement).

Catch rates have decreased since the first week but based on total catch, the number of fish remaining in the lake is approaching the escapement floor of 1,500 fish and trap returns have slowed. This fishery is being closed to ensure conservation objectives are met.

WDFW will continue monitoring trap returns and will evaluate reopening sockeye retention if spawning goals can be assured.

Information contact: Mill Creek Regional Office, 425-775-1311

LAKE WENATCHEE SOCKEYE FISHING TO OPEN AUGUST 3RD

posted by Mike on 07/29/2020

 

 

Sockeye fishing to open on Lake Wenatchee as sockeye limit increases on upper Columbia River

OLYMPIA – As returning sockeye salmon to the Columbia River continue to exceed preseason expectations, fishery managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today that Lake Wenatchee will open to sockeye retention beginning Aug. 3, while anglers will also be able to keep additional sockeye on the mainstem of the upper Columbia above Priest Rapids Dam.

The preseason forecast for sockeye at the Columbia River mouth was 246,300 fish, but the run size was later upgraded to 343,400. The forecast for sockeye returning to Lake Wenatchee, located about 15 miles north of Leavenworth, is expected to exceed 35,000 fish, well above the escapement target of 23,000, according to Chad Jackson, Fish Program manager for WDFW’s North Central Region.

“This is a very popular fishery in a beautiful part of Washington, and we’re optimistic that anglers will see plenty of success this August,” Jackson said. “Even with the strong numbers, we’ll still be keeping a close eye on catch rates to make sure we’re achieving all of our conservation goals.”

The Lake Wenatchee fishery will open from Aug. 3 to Sept. 7, with a daily limit of four sockeye (minimum size 12 inches). Anglers must release all bull trout, steelhead, and Chinook salmon unharmed and without removing the fish from the water. Selective gear rules are in effect -- up to three single barbless hooks per line, no bait or scent allowed, knotless nets required. Two-pole fishing is allowed with a valid two-pole endorsement. A night closure is also in effect.

Also beginning Aug. 3, anglers will be able to keep up to four sockeye on the Columbia River in the pools upstream of Priest Rapids Dam.

Effective dates for each section of river are as follows:

  • From Priest Rapids Dam to Rock Island Dam: Aug. 3 through Aug. 31.
  • From Rock Island Dam to Wells Dam: Aug. 3 through Oct. 15.
  • From Wells Dam to the Highway 173 Bridge at Brewster: Aug. 3 through Sept.15.
  • From the Highway 173 Bridge at Brewster to the rock jetty at the upstream shoreline of Foster Creek (Douglas County side): Aug. 3 through Oct. 15.

The daily limit in each of these areas is six salmon. Up to two may be adult hatchery Chinook and up to four may be sockeye. Minimum size 12 inches. Anglers must release wild adult Chinook and coho.

For more information, see the Lake Wenatchee and mainstem upper Columbia emergency rule changes at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/index.jsp. For additional permanent regulations, see the 2020-21 Washington Sport Fishing pamphlet at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations.

CHINOOK RENTENTION TO CLOSE IN MARINE AREA 5, JULY 30TH

posted by Mike on 07/28/2020

Chinook retention to close in Marine Area 5

Action: Closes Chinook retention.

Effective date: July 31, 2020 until further notice.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Location: Marine Area 5.

Rule: Salmon daily limit 2. No min. size. Release all Chinook, chum, and wild coho.

Reason for action: The pre-season agreed to legal Chinook encounter threshold is expected to be met by the end of the day Thursday, July 30, 2020.

Additional information: 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.

Please be sure to check the emergency rules webpage for fishery updates. https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/

Information contact: Fish Program 360-902-2700

COASTAL & PUGET SOUND HALIBUT TO OPEN AUGUST 6TH

posted by Mike on 07/28/2020

Coastal halibut fishing to open Aug. 6
Additional Puget Sound halibut fishing days also announced

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife today confirmed its Aug. 6 opening of coastal halibut recreational fishing, which was previously delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Puget Sound Marine Areas 5 – 10 will also re-open with additional fishing days.

“Although it looks a bit different from the typical halibut season that anglers might be used to, this approach continues to prioritize health and safety, economic investment into port communities, and time out on the water,” said Heather Hall, WDFW’s intergovernmental ocean policy coordinator. “We’re thrilled to see this season come together since envisioning it alongside stakeholders and public health officials earlier this summer.”

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 not be operating normally.

The Makah and Quileute Reservations, including marinas and all services, remain closed to visitors. Neah Bay on the Makah Reservation and La Push on the Quileute Reservation represent the primary direct boat access in Marine Areas 3 and 4. As a result, those fishing in these areas will have to launch from, and land in, other areas that are also open for halibut fishing. Anglers fishing in Marine Areas 3 and 4 must follow all rules and regulations for that area, regardless of where they return with their catch. 

Anglers should check the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations and WDFW’s emergency rules page at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ before heading out, and download the Fish Washington mobile app for up-to-date regulations at their destination.

Coastal halibut season:  
Marine Areas 1 (Ilwaco/Chinook) and 2 (Westport) All-depth: Open Thursday August 6.  Then beginning August 13, open two days per week, Thursdays and Sundays, through September 30 or until the quota is taken.  If the number of anglers participating and the number of halibut caught is lower than expected, additional days may be added.  Proposed additional days are, Friday, August 28; Friday, September 4; and Friday, September 11. 
When fishing in the deepwater lingcod closed area in Marine Area 2, anglers can keep lingcod on days open to all depth halibut fishing.  

In Marine Area 1, during the all depth fishery, anglers can retain flatfish, sablefish, Pacific cod, and lingcod north of the Washington-Oregon border when halibut are on board.

 Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco/Chinook) Nearshore Area: Open Monday August 10. The nearshore fishery in Marine Area 1 will be open three days per week, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday until the nearshore quota has been taken. Bottomfish may be retained with halibut on board in the nearshore area only.

Marine Areas 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay): Open Thursday, August 6. The fishery in this area will be open three days per week, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, August 6 through September 30 or until the quota is taken.

Puget Sound halibut season:
Marine Areas 5 – 10 (Puget Sound):
 Open Thursday, August 6. The fishery in this area will be open three days per week, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, August 6 through September 30 or until the remaining quota is taken.

In all marine areas open to halibut fishing, there is a one-fish daily catch limit and no minimum size restriction. Anglers may possess a maximum of two halibut in any form while in the field and must record their catch on a WDFW halibut catch record card.

There is an annual limit of four halibut. Recreational fishery samplers will be available to collect catch information at fishing access sites throughout Puget Sound and the coast while practicing physical distancing guidelines.

Because halibut fisheries are managed to a quota, closures could happen quickly and anglers should check the WDFW website to ensure a specific area is open prior to fishing. Complete information on recreational halibut regulations and seasons is available online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/halibut.

ADDITION SALMON FISHING ON MAINSTEM COLUMBIA

posted by Mike on 07/15/2020

Columbia River mainstem below Highway 395 salmon fishery update

Action: Extends season for Chinook and re-opens steelhead retention.

Effective date: July 16 through July 31, 2020.

Species affected: Chinook and steelhead.

Location: Columbia River, from a line projected from Rocky Point on the Washington bank through Red Buoy 44 to red navigation marker 2 at Tongue point on the Oregon bank upstream to Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco.

Rules: Salmon and steelhead; daily limit 6, up to 2 hatchery adults may be retained, of which no more than 1 may be a steelhead. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook. Release wild steelhead.

Reason for action: The upper Columbia River summer Chinook run was updated to 65,000, with additional opportunity for harvest. No additional impacts on Snake River ESA-listed sockeye are expected to occur with this extension.

Additional information: Salmon and steelhead fishing remains closed through July 31 downstream of the Rocky Point/Tongue point line. Beginning Aug. 1, fall fisheries start and anglers are reminded to check the 2020-21 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for area-specific seasons and regulations.

After a brief closure, shad fishing is open in the Bonneville pool.

Fishery managers will continue to monitor returns to ensure that conservation goals are achieved.

Information contact: Region 5: 360-696-6211, Region 3: 509-575-2474.

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