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SPOT SHRIMP FISHERY CLOSES IN MARINE AREA 6 OUTSIDE OF DISCOVERY BAY

posted by Mike on 07/01/2020

Spot shrimp fishery closes in Marine Area 6 outside Discovery Bay

Action: Closes the recreational spot shrimp fishery in Marine Area 6 outside the Discovery Bay Shrimp District.

Effective date: July 2, 2020

Species affected: Spot shrimp and non-spot shrimp.

Location: Marine Area 6 outside the Discovery Bay Shrimp District.

Reason for action: Preliminary catch estimates indicate the state harvest target has been met for spot shrimp in this area.

Additional information: With the closure of spot shrimp fisheries in this area, non-spot shrimp fisheries will open through Oct. 15, 2020. Pots with a minimum mesh size of 1/2 inch will be allowed in this area starting July 2, 2020.

Information contact: Don Velasquez, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, 425-775-1311, ext. 112.

 

SUMMER CHINOOK TO OPEN ON MUCH OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER

posted by Mike on 07/01/2020

Summer Chinook salmon fishing to open in July on much of Columbia River

OLYMPIA – With the summer Chinook salmon run exceeding preseason expectations, large portions of the Columbia River will open to recreational Chinook fishing in July, fishery managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced Wednesday. 

Chinook fishing on the Columbia River will be open July 4-8 from the Rocky Point/Tongue Point Line upstream to the Highway 395 bridge in Pasco.

Farther upriver, Chinook fishing will also open beginning July 4 along the Hanford Reach from the Interstate 182 bridge to Priest Rapids Dam, as well as Priest Rapids Dam to Wells Dam and from the Highway 173 Bridge at Brewster to Foster Creek in Douglas County.

The portion of the river from Wells Dam to the Highway 173 Bridge at Brewster will open July 16. This later opener helps protect spring Chinook listed under the Endangered Species Act that migrate through and hold in that area of the Columbia River.

The preseason forecast for summer Chinook at the mouth of the Columbia River was 38,000 fish, but managers on Monday upgraded the forecast to 65,000 based on returns so far. Washington and Oregon fishery managers agreed in a hearing Tuesday that the run could support a brief opening on the mainstem, said Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River fishery manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Managers will reassess the fishery early next week with updated catch estimates.

"The run is tracking above what we expected this year, which is great news, but we're still carefully monitoring these fisheries to ensure we're achieving our conservation goals for all the species that share the river," Lothrop said. 

Sockeye and steelhead fishing closed on the lower Columbia River mainstem below the Highway 395 bridge in late June after early sockeye catch rates exceeded expectations. Historically, a high proportion of the sockeye run passes Bonneville Dam by July 4, so impacts to those sockeye as a result of the mainstem Chinook fishery should be minimal, and any extension of the fishery downstream of Highway 395 will be dependent on sockeye impacts, Lothrop said.  

Steelhead fishing remains closed below the Highway 395 bridge, as it would likely result in additional impacts to sockeye.

The river remains closed to salmon and steelhead fishing between the Highway 395 bridge at Pasco and the Interstate 182 bridge. Sockeye fishing is open above the Interstate 182 bridge, as Snake River sockeye exit the Columbia by that point.

The opening dates and daily limits for the Columbia River are as follows:

  • From the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line upstream to the Highway 395 bridge at Pasco: July 4 through July 8, 2020. Daily limit 6 salmon. Up to 2 may be adult hatchery Chinook. Minimum size 12". Anglers must release all steelhead and salmon except hatchery Chinook. 
  • From the Interstate-182 bridge to Priest Rapids Dam: July 4 through July 31, 2020. Daily limit 6 salmon. Up to 2 adults may be retained. Minimum size 12". Release wild adult Chinook and coho.
  • From Priest Rapids Dam to Rock Island Dam: July 4 through Aug. 31, 2020. Daily limit 6 salmon. Up to 2 may be adult hatchery Chinook and up to 2 may be sockeye. Minimum size 12". Release wild adult Chinook and coho.
  • From Rock Island Dam to Wells Dam: July 4 through Oct. 15, 2020. Daily limit 6 salmon. Up to 2 may be adult hatchery Chinook and up to 2 may be sockeye. Minimum size 12". Release wild adult Chinook and coho.
  • From Wells Dam to the Highway 173 Bridge at Brewster: July 16 through Sept. 15, 2020. Daily limit 6 salmon. Up to 2 may be adult hatchery Chinook and up to 2 may be sockeye. Minimum size 12". Release wild adult Chinook and coho.
  • From the Highway 173 Bridge at Brewster to the rock jetty at the upstream shoreline of Foster Creek (Douglas County side): July 4 through Oct. 15, 2020. Daily limit 6 salmon. Up to 2 may be adult hatchery Chinook and up to 2 may be sockeye. Minimum size 12". Release wild adult Chinook and coho.

The Entiat and Chelan rivers will also open for Chinook on July 16; see the emergency rules page at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ for more information, and for updates to other fisheries.

Barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon downstream of the Washington/Oregon border; barbed hooks are permitted above the border. See all rules and regulations in the 2020-21 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations.

CHELAN RIVER OPENS FOR SUMMER CHINOOK

posted by Mike on 07/01/2020

Chelan River opens for summer Chinook

Action: Opens Chinook seasons.

Effective date: One hour before official sunrise July 16 to one hour after official sunset on Oct. 15, 2020.

Species affected: Salmon.

Location: From the mouth (railroad bridge) Chelan County PUD safety barrier below the powerhouse.

Rule: Salmon daily limit is 6; up to 2 adult hatchery Chinook may be retained. Min. size is 12". Release sockeye, coho, and wild adult Chinook.

Reason for action: The U.S. v Oregon Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) updated the summer Chinook run from a pre-season value of 38,000 to 65,000.  At this updated run size there are more surplus hatchery fish available for harvest. The TAC is comprised of representatives from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, NOAA, and the Treaty Tribes and are responsible for developing pre-season and in-season run forecasts that salmon seasons are based on.

Additional information: The summer Chinook run will be closely monitored and updated by TAC weekly. The season could change or close quickly if necessary. 

Barbed hooks are allowed. 

Information contact:  Ephrata regional office, 509-754-4624, or email TeamEphrata@dfw.wa.gov

ENTIAT RIVER OPENS FOR SUMMER CHINOOK

posted by Mike on 07/01/2020

Entiat River opens for summer Chinook

Action: Opens Chinook seasons.

Effective date: One hour before official sunrise July 16 to one hour after official sunset on Sept. 30, 2020.

Species affected: Salmon.

Location: From the mouth (railroad bridge) to the boundary markers located approximately 1,500 feet upstream of the upper Roaring Creek Road Bridge (immediately downstream of the Entiat National Fish Hatchery). 

Rule: Salmon daily limit is 6. Min. size 12". Release all salmon other than Chinook.

Reason for action: The U.S. v Oregon Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) updated the summer Chinook run from a pre-season value of 38,000 to 65,000.  At this updated run size there are more surplus hatchery fish available for harvest. The TAC is comprised of representatives from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, NOAA, and the Treaty Tribes and are responsible for developing pre-season and in-season run forecasts that salmon seasons are based on.

Additional information: The summer Chinook run will be closely monitored and updated by TAC weekly. The season could change or close quickly if necessary. 

Barbed hooks are allowed. 

NEW 2020 - 2021 REGULATIONS ARE NOW ON LINE

posted by Mike on 06/25/2020

We have been waiting to see the "New" 2020 - 2021 Washington Fishing Regualtion for what seems forever  and WDFW has finally put them on line. When we will see the hard copies who knows! At least you can take a look at things and see what is going on. There are lots of surprises! Many things are not as they were talked about after North of Falcon. There are a number of changes that I have seen in just the few minutes I glanced through them.

PUGET SOUND RECREATIONAL CRAB SEASONS

posted by Mike on 06/25/2020

Puget Sound recreational crab seasons begin July 2 in most areas; July 12 in Marine Areas 10 and 11

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today announced the Puget Sound summer crab fishing season, which gets underway July 2 with openings in several marine areas.

Crab seasons are scheduled to open as follows:

  • Marine Areas 4 (Neah Bay east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5 (Sekiu), 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait), 8-1 (Deception Pass), 8-2 (Port Susan/Everett), and 9 (Port Gamble and Admiralty Inlet): Open July 2 - Sept. 7, Thursday - Monday.
  • Marine Area 7 South (San Juan Islands/Bellingham): Open July 16 - Sept. 28, Thursday-Monday.
  • Marine Area 7 North (Gulf of Georgia): Open Aug. 13 - Sept. 28, Thursday - Monday
  • Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton): Open July 12 - Sept. 7. Sunday/Monday only.
  • Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island): Open July 12 - Sept. 7. Sunday/Monday only.
  • Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) north of a line projected true east from Ayock Point: Open July 2 - Sept. 7, Thursday-Monday

The following areas are closed this season:

  • Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) south of a line projected true east from Ayock Point:  This area is closed to promote recovery of the Dungeness crab population in south Hood Canal.
  • Marine Area 13 (South Puget Sound): This area continues to be closed to promote recovery of Dungeness crab populations.

"WDFW continues to monitor crab abundance throughout Puget Sound and manages crab fisheries to maintain healthy populations," said Katelyn Bosley, lead crustacean biologist for WDFW.

"Dungeness crab populations have shown a moderate increase in parts of central Puget Sound as compared to the past few years," said Bosley. "We are even able to offer a limited recreational fishery in Marine Area 11 that will provide some opportunity for crabbers that have not been able to fish this area the last two years," she added.

Marine Areas 4 (Neah Bay - East of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5 (Sekiu), 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait), 8-1 (Deception Pass), 8-2 (Port Susan/Everett), 9 (Port Gamble and Admiralty Inlet), and the portion of 12 (Hood Canal) north of a line projected true east from Ayock Point will open for sport crabbing on Thursday, July 2.

Recreational crabbing in Marine Areas 4, 5, 6, 7, 8-1, 8-2, 9 and 12 (Hood Canal) north of a line projected true east from Ayock Point will be open Thursdays - Mondays each week. Crabbing in these marine areas is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays through the summer seasons.

The subareas of Marine area 7 will open later in the summer to protect molting crab. Due to modest crab abundance and high expected crab fishing, marine areas 10 and 11 will have a limited season starting July 12. Marine areas 10 and 11 will be open only on Sunday and Monday each week. All shellfish gear must be removed from the water on closed days.

"In Marine area 10, we had the challenging task of creating as much opportunity as possible, while staying within conservation and state-tribal sharing objectives and also considering increases in crab fishing in recent years and anticipated crab fishing effort," said Bosley.

Marine Area 13 will remain closed in 2020 due to low abundance of crab. Visit WDFW's YouTube page for a short video about how we are working to manage crabs to meet conservation aims in that area.

Summer seasons for the upcoming fishery are posted on WDFW's crab-fishing website.

The daily limit throughout Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6ž inches. Fishers may also keep six red rock crab of either sex per day in open areas, provided the crab are in hard-shell condition and measure at least 5 inches carapace width.

Crab fishers may not set or pull shellfish gear from a vessel from one hour after official sunset to one hour before official sunrise.

Puget Sound crabbers are required to record their harvest of Dungeness crab on their catch record cards immediately after retaining the crab and before re-deploying the trap. Separate catch record cards are issued for the summer and winter seasons.

Catch record card information is crucial to managing the Dungeness crab resource in Puget Sound; completed summer catch record cards are due to the Department by October 1, 2020.

Catch record cards are not required to fish for Dungeness crab in the Columbia River or on the Washington coast, where crabbing is open year-round.

WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation opportunities. WDFW's fish and shellfish management work supports outdoor livelihoods and lifestyles across the state.

 

SOCKEYE AND STEELHEAD FISHING TO CLOSE ON COLUMBIA RIVER

posted by Mike on 06/24/2020

Sockeye and steelhead fishing closes on Columbia River mainstem

OLYMPIA - With sunny weather and consistent high river flows boosting catch numbers in the lower river, the Columbia River mainstem from the Megler-Astoria Bridge upstream to Highway 395 Bridge at Pasco will close to sockeye salmon and steelhead fishing earlier than previously scheduled, state fishery managers announced.

The fishery will close to sockeye and steelhead retention beginning Thursday, June 25.

A number of factors went into the decision to close the fishery, including the need to stay within allowable Endangered Species Act (ESA) impacts for sockeye returning to the Snake River by way of the long journey up the Columbia, said Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River fishery manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“We’ve had a stretch of good weather recently, which is great for anglers, but has increased pressure on these fish,” Lothrop said. “We’ll have more information on the sockeye run size next week, but we need to take action now given the high catches to date. The unexpectedly high sockeye catches have resulted in us approaching ESA limits much faster than expected.”

Both the sockeye and steelhead fisheries are closing to limit any additional Snake River sockeye impacts from occurring.

All sockeye and steelhead fishing is closed from the Megler-Astoria Bridge to Highway 395 bridge in Pasco, beginning Thursday.

MARINE AREA 4 TO REOPEN TO SPORTFISHING

posted by Mike on 06/12/2020

OLYMPIA – The waters where the Pacific Ocean meets the Strait of Juan de Fuca will reopen to saltwater fishing June 20, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today. The announcement follows similar reopenings last month along the rest of Washington's Pacific coastline.

The Department also announced this year's summer ocean salmon fishing seasons, which will kick off June 20 in all four coastal marine areas, and proposed dates for ocean halibut fishing beginning in August.

Marine Area 4 reopens

Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay), which includes the waters from Cape Alava on the Olympic Peninsula north to the mouth of the Sekiu River along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, will reopen to bottomfish and shellfish – including mussels, clams, and oysters – beginning  Saturday, June 20. Crabbing also reopens west of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line, which runs from the Tatoosh Island Lighthouse north to Bonilla Point on Vancouver Island, but remains closed east of the line.  There are a number of additional restrictions that anglers also need to be aware of before heading out.

The Makah Reservation, including marinas and all services, remains closed to visitors. Neah Bay on the Makah Reservation represents the primary direct boat access in Marine Area 4, and as a result, those fishing in this area will have to launch from and land in other areas. Anglers fishing in Marine Area 4 will still have to follow all rules and regulations for that area, regardless of where they return with their catch.

"Anglers fishing in Marine Area 4 but returning to other coastal ports will need to make sure that they're sticking to limits and following the rules for that area," said Larry Phillips, coastal region director with WDFW. "That means they can't get their limit in Marine Area 4, then head over to Marine Area 5 and continue fishing. These rules are necessary to respect local communities' wishes and help keep people safe, while also supporting conservation and management objectives."

La Push, located on the Quileute Reservation to the south, also remains closed to the public.

Anglers will need to continue following other state guidelines by staying close to home, traveling only with family or other members of their immediate household, and practicing 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.

Summer salmon seasons

With Marine Area 4 reopening, sport anglers will also have the opportunity to reel in salmon off Washington's coast starting Saturday, June 20.

That's when all four marine areas open daily to fishing for Chinook salmon, said Wendy Beeghley, a fishery manager with WDFW.

The season will begin with a Chinook-only fishery with a one-salmon daily limit for all areas June 20-28. Coho may not be retained during this period. Beginning June 29, daily limits increase to two salmon per angler in all areas, and unmarked coho must be released. In areas 1 and 2, only one of those two salmon may be a Chinook. Also beginning June 29, Marine Area 2 will be open Sundays through Thursdays, and closed Fridays and Saturdays. Areas 1, 3 and 4 will remain open 7 days per week.

Willapa Bay (Area 2-1) and the portion of Grays Harbor (Area 2-2) west of the Buoy 13 line also open June 20 under the same rules as Area 2. Regulations for Areas 2-1 and 2-2 change in August, and details are listed in the Sport Fishing Rules Pamphlet. The 2020-21 edition of the pamphlet will be available in late June.

The recreational catch quotas for 2020 are 26,360 Chinook and 26,500 marked coho. The Chinook quota is up slightly from 2019, but the coho quota is substantially lower than 2019.

All four marine areas are scheduled to close Sept. 30, but Beeghley noted that areas could close earlier if the quota is met.

Throughout the summer, anglers can check WDFW's webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/reports/creel/ocean for updates.

Potential coastal halibut fishing

Coastal halibut fishing remains closed for now, but WDFW has been working with stakeholders this spring to discuss options for re-opening ocean halibut fishing in August.

"While we realize August is still a ways out, we also want to be open with anglers who we know are eager to plan halibut trips this summer," said Heather Hall, WDFW's intergovernmental ocean policy coordinator. "We've worked hard to develop an approach that will help maximize anglers' time on the water, bring that economic value back, and continue to keep everyone safe."

Hall added that the delayed fishery may benefit halibut anglers and their families since ocean conditions should be better in August than when the fishery usually opens in May.

These dates are tentative and subject to change due to impacts from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

WDFW is proposing coastal halibut fishing for the following dates and areas:

North Coast (Marine Areas 3 and 4): Opens Thursday, Aug. 6. The fishery in this area will be open three days per week, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Aug. 6 through Sept. 30 or until the quota is taken.

South Coast (Marine Areas 1 and 2): Open Thursday, Aug. 6. Then, beginning Aug. 13, open two days per week, Thursdays and Sundays, through Sept. 30 or until the quota is taken. If catch and effort is tracking slower than anticipated, additional days may be added. Proposed additional dates are Friday, Aug. 28; Friday, Sept. 4; and Friday, Sept. 11.

BONNEVILLE SHAD NUMBERS SOAR

posted by Mike on 06/08/2020

If you are wanting to go shad fishing, the next few weeks would be the time to go. Typically, the next couple of weeks will be the peak of the run and give you the best fishing. We have had lots of customers going down this past week and all of them have done well.

 

The past few days have seen great numbers through the dam. On Friday 6/5 there was 122,911 counted, on Saturday 6/6 there was 94,355 and Sunday 6/7 103,287. That's a lot of fish!

 

We are already running low on shad darts as we have had quite a run on them this season.

HOH RIVER CLOSED TO ALL FISHING

posted by Mike on 06/08/2020

Hoh River closed to all fishing

Action: Closes the Hoh River to all fishing

Effective date: Rule change went into effect Saturday, June 6, 2020 and extends through September 15, 2020

Species affected: All fish, including gamefish and salmon

Locations:

  • Hoh River (Jefferson County), from Olympic National Park boundary near the mouth upstream to Olympic National Park boundary above Morgans Crossing boat launch.
  • South Fork of the Hoh River (Jefferson County) from mouth upstream to Olympic National Park boundary.

Reason for action: To support the conservation of wild summer-run Chinook salmon.

Additional information:
This closure went into effect starting on June 6 and lasts through September 15. It will be reflected in the 2020/21 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet beginning July 1, 2020.

Pre-season forecasts for Hoh River summer-run Chinook indicate a run size of 804 fish, which is 96 fish short of the escapement goal for this run. This year is expected to be the seventh time in the last ten years that wild summer-run Chinook have not met escapement goals.

Also, refer to regulation updated in waters within the Olympic National Park online at http://www.windsox.us/VISITOR/ONPS_Fishing/Fishing_Regulations.html

Information contact: Region 6 Montesano office, 360-249-4628.

NO SKAGIT RIVER SOCKEYE FISHERY THIS YEAR

posted by Mike on 06/05/2020

Skagit River closing to sockeye fishing due to projected low returns

OLYMPIA - The Skagit River will close to sockeye fishing June 16 to July 15 due to low projected returns, fishery managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

With an expected return of as many as 13,242 or as few as 8,056, forecasted returns of wild Skagit sockeye are the lowest they've been in the last five years and potentially below fishery manager's broodstock goals.

"Given this forecast, largely as a result of poor ocean conditions, we're taking these steps to ensure we're meeting our commitments to conservation," said Brett Barkdull, WDFW fish biologist.

The closure begins at the highway 536 bridge (Memorial Highway Bridge) in Mount Vernon to Gilligan Creek.

The river remains open for gamefish fisheries. Fishery managers will continue to monitor other area rivers and streams.

"Assuming this closure helps us to meet our sockeye Skagit River management goals, we'll be prioritizing providing a future harvest opportunity at Baker Lake—something we heard was important to anglers as part of this year's salmon season-setting process," said Barkdull.

Anglers are encouraged to visit https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ to see in-season rule changes.

ICICLE RIVER TO OPEN FOR SPRING CHINOOK ON FRIDAY JUNE 5TH

posted by Mike on 06/03/2020

Icicle River to open for hatchery spring Chinook

Action: Opens the Icicle River to retention of hatchery spring Chinook.

Effective date: One hour before official sunrise on Friday, June 5 to one hour after official sunset on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Locations: Icicle River (Chelan County):

  1. From the closure signs located 800 feet upstream of the mouth of the river to 500 feet downstream from the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam, and;
  2. From the shoreline markers where Cyo Road intersects the Icicle River at the Sleeping Lady Resort to the Icicle Peshastin Irrigation Footbridge (approximately 750 feet upstream from the Snow Lakes trailhead parking area).

Fishery Rules: Daily limit one hatchery Chinook (adult or jack). Minimum size 12".  Mandatory retention of legal Chinook. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook.  Night closure is in effect and motorized vessels are not allowed on the Icicle River (Chelan County ordinance 7.20.190 motorboat restrictions). Two-pole endorsement does not apply to this fishery. 

Reason for action: Sufficient returns of Icicle River hatchery spring Chinook are expected to meet broodstock needs at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery and to provide for sport angler harvest.

Additional information: Anglers are reminded to follow state guidelines related to COVID-19 by continuing to recreate in their local communities, traveling only with family or other members of their immediate household, and practicing physical distancing by keeping 6 feet apart.

This fishery will be actively monitored and could potentially close at any time if the non-treaty harvest share is met or if additional hatchery broodstock are needed.

Information contact: Travis Maitland, District 7 fish biologist, 509-665-3337; Chad Jackson, Region 2 Fish Program manager, 509-754-4624.

SHELLFISH TO REOPEN JUNE 8TH IN PUGET SOUND AND STRAITS OF JUAN DE FUCA

posted by Mike on 06/03/2020

Recreational clam, mussel, and oyster fishery scheduled to open June 8 on most Puget Sound and Strait of Juan de Fuca beaches

OLYMPIA – Most beaches in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca are scheduled to open for recreational clam, mussel, and oyster harvest on June 8, while other areas will open later in the summer as previously planned by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Opening this year has taken longer than expected due to COVID-19 related challenges and public health considerations, said Camille Speck, Puget Sound intertidal bivalve manager for WDFW.

"It took a lot of coordination, but we are happy to have found a way to work with communities and access managers to provide harvest opportunity and the enjoyment that comes from a day out on the beach," said Speck. "We are also happy to announce some season shifts and extensions on a number of beaches to help make up for  opportunity lost during the unprecedented coronavirus closures."

The approved dates reflect a conscious effort to offer harvest while still abiding by public health recommendations, such as keeping participants distributed, allowing physical distancing, limiting travel and discouraging overnight stays, she added.

WDFW is asking for cooperation from shellfish harvesters to reduce risk. "Patience and courtesy will be needed at public access sites," said Speck. Because some popular parks are operating with reduced staffing and may have limitations on parking, harvesters should check for current conditions at the park they intend to visit and adhere to health authorities' advice for physical distancing.

Clam, mussel, and oyster harvesting seasons are beach specific in Puget Sound. Harvesters are encouraged to check current seasons at wdfw.wa.gov/places-to-go/shellfish-beaches. In addition, water quality conditions may change quickly. All harvesters should check the Department of Health status for the site they intend to harvest the same day they plan to harvest. Harvest seasons and current health advisories and closures are available via the state's Shellfish Safety Map at www.doh.wa.gov/shellfishsafety.

2020 Puget Sound clam, mussel, and oyster season changes and extensions. The following reflect adjustments from original 2020 seasons to make up for opportunity lost during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy-related closure:

  • Ala Spit County Park: clams, mussels, and oysters open Aug. 1-31.
  • Belfair State Park: clams, mussels, and oysters open two weeks early on July 15 and remain open through Dec. 31.
  • Dosewallips State Park: opens June 8 for clam, mussel and oyster harvest. Clams and mussels close Sept. 30. Oysters remain open through December 31.
  • Eagle Creek: opens June 8 for clam, mussel and oyster harvest. Clam and mussel seasons are extended by two weeks to close on Sept. 15. Oysters remain open through Dec. 31.
  • Frye Cove County Park: clams, mussels, and oysters open Aug. 1-31.
  • Hope Island State Park: clams, mussels, and oysters open Aug. 1-31.
  • Point Whitney Tidelands and Point Whitney Lagoon: open June 8 for clam, mussel and oyster harvest. Clams and mussels close June 30. Oysters remain open through Aug. 31.
  • Port Gamble Heritage Park Tidelands: clams, mussels, and oysters open two weeks early on July 1 and remain open through December 31.
  • Potlatch State Park and Potlatch DNR: clams, mussels, and oysters open June 8 and seasons are extended for two months to remain open through Sept. 30.
  • Sequim Bay State Park: clams, mussels, and oysters open June 8 and are extended by two weeks to close on July 15.
  • Triton Cove Tidelands: opens June 8 for clam, mussel and oyster harvest. Clam and mussel seasons are extended by two weeks to close on Sept. 15. Oysters remain open through December 31.
  • Marine Area 4 remains closed until further notice.

All other public beaches revert to the original 2020 season rules, which vary by beach and are displayed on the WDFW website and the Department of Health shellfish safety map.

In all areas of Puget Sound, harvesters are limited to the daily bag limit of up to 40 clams, not to exceed 10 pounds in the shell, and 18 oysters per person, removed from the shell on the beach and shells left at the same approximate tide height where they were harvested. Shucked oyster shells provide critical habitat for young oysters.

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

A two page copy of current clam, mussel, and oyster seasons may be printed from the link at the top of the website page wdfw.wa.gov/places-to-go/shellfish-beaches. A printable shellfish identification chart is also available in the same website location.

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.

Today's announcement does not open additional razor clam digging days on the coast.

FREE FISHING WEEKEND - JUNE 6TH & 7TH

posted by Mike on 06/03/2020

Anglers can fish for free June 6-7, 2020 
State reminds anglers to continue to recreate responsibly this Free Fishing Weekend 

OLYMPIA – Anglers can forget the fishing license June 6-7, but the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is still asking everyone to remember to recreate responsibly for this year's "Free Fishing Weekend" to keep their communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's great to see that based on our conversations with public health officials, conditions are right to be able to continue on the department's long-standing practice of offering a Free Fishing Weekend," said Kelly Cunningham, WDFW's fish program director. "This is about providing everyone an opportunity to give fishing a try—in a safe and responsible way."

Anglers will need to follow state guidelines and health advice for the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to recreate in their local communities, traveling only with family or other members of their immediate household, and practicing physical distancing by keeping six feet apart. 

Anglers should check ahead of time if their preferred destination or launch is open. Some local marinas or facilities – including some tribal lands – remain closed, and anglers should be prepared to change plans if their first choice is closed or too congested. 

Before heading out, anglers should also check the current fishing regulations valid June 6 and 7 at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/. While no licenses are required on Free Fishing Weekend, rules such as size limits, bag limits, catch record card requirements (a fee is required for a halibut catch record card) and area closures will still be in effect. 

Halibut and razor clam harvest on the coast and intertidal shellfish in Puget Sound will remain closed due to continued port closures and concerns about the spread of coronavirus in local communities.  

While non-resident license sales are still suspended, non-residents can participate in Free Fishing Weekend since no license is needed. Anyone participating in Free Fishing Weekend should follow responsible recreation guidelines, which include staying local and fishing as close to home as possible.  

For those who want fishing advice, WDFW's YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/thewdfw) provides "how to" fishing videos designed to introduce techniques to both new and seasoned anglers.

Anglers who take part in Free Fishing Weekend can also participate in the department's 2020 Trout Fishing Derby and redeem blue tags from trout caught over the weekend. Interested anglers should check for details online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/contests/trout-derby.  

Anglers will not need a two-pole endorsement to fish with two poles in selected waters where two-pole fishing is permitted. Also, no vehicle access pass or Discover Pass will be required during Free Fishing Weekend to park at water-access sites maintained by WDFW or Washington State Parks. 

It is important to note that a Discover Pass will be required on Washington State Department of Natural Resources' lands both days. 

In addition, the free "Fish Washington" app, available on Google Play, Apple's App store and WDFW's website (https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/app) is designed to convey up-to-the-minute fishing regulations for every lake, river, stream and marine area in the state.  

Catch record cards, required for some species, are available free (except halibut will still cost $5.50) at hundreds of sporting goods stores and other license dealers throughout the state. See https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/dealers on the WDFW website to locate a license dealer. 

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. 

 

TIME FOR SHAD AT BONNEVILLE

posted by Mike on 06/01/2020

Shad numbers has soared the past few days. It's time to be thinking of a shad trip to Bonneville over the next few weeks. On Friday, 29th 43,540 when through the dam, Saturday, 30th saw over double with 89,743 and Sunday, 31st the count was 93,100. With those numbers you will see great shad fishing.

 

We have lots of shad darts and gear on hand and will be happy to show you how to rig up. No matter what your end use for them is, they are great fun to fish for!

SOME RECREATIONAL FISHING TO REOPEN ON WASHINGTON'S COASTAL WATERS

posted by Mike on 05/23/2020

Some recreational fishing to reopen in Washington's coastal waters
Columbia River crabbing will also open; Marine Area 4 remains closed

OLYMPIA – After two months of closures due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in Washington, many of the state's coastal waters are set to reopen for fishing on May 26, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

Marine areas 1-3, including Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor, will open for bottomfish, shellfish, mussels, clams, oysters, and other species as described in the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet. Crabbing on the Columbia River is also set to resume under normal regulations on May 26.

Halibut and razor clam harvest will remain closed in these areas for now due to continued port closures and concerns about the spread of coronavirus in local communities.

Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay) also remains closed to all recreational fishing and shellfish harvesting.

WDFW continues to communicate with public health experts, port commissioners, and tribal co-managers regarding these opportunities in the future.

"We've continually said we will only open fisheries when local communities feel it is safe to do so, and with the full cooperation of public health officials," said Larry Phillips, director of WDFW's coastal region. "While not everything is reopening right away, this is a huge step toward returning to typical fishing seasons along the coast. Some of Washington's best fishing takes place in the ocean, and we're excited to see people getting back out there, even if the experience is somewhat different."

The open marine areas include waters off Washington's Pacific coast from the mouth of the Columbia River on the Washington-Oregon border north to Cape Alava on the Olympic Peninsula, as well as Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor.

Anglers should check ahead of time if their preferred destination or launch is open. Some local marinas or facilities – including tribal lands – remain closed, and anglers should be prepared to change plans if their first choice is closed or too congested.

Notably, the Makah and Quileute reservations, including marinas and all services, remain closed to visitors. Anglers should not attempt to access the ocean from these areas.

Additional fishery closures may be implemented if anglers attempt to launch from closed access sites.

Anglers will also need to follow state guidelines by continuing to recreate in their local communities, traveling only with family or other members of their immediate household, and practicing physical distancing by keeping 6 feet apart.

"We're reopening in consultation with local public health officials, and consistent with the governor's phased approach," Phillips said. "It's extremely important that we all continue to do our part to keep ourselves and our communities safe and healthy."

Coastal razor clam digs will remain closed. The governor's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order prohibits large gatherings through May 31. Razor clam digs can draw thousands to congregate in small coastal communities and on public beaches.

Clam, mussel, and oyster harvest also remains closed on Puget Sound beaches (marine areas 5-13) at this time.

The Governor's Office authorized guide and charter fishing services to reopen on May 14, though they are subject to a number of new requirements, including a limit on the number of passengers depending on their home county's phase of reopening.  More information about those requirements can be found at http://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19Phase1and2OutdoorRecreationGuidance.pdf.             

Anglers interested in booking a trip with a charter or guide should check in with the operator regarding their availability. WDFW and charter/guiding industry representatives continue to work with the Governor's Office to reopen operations under the phased approach to outdoor recreation. Many of these businesses, which are critical to the economic stability of coastal communities, are currently restricted or not operating at full capacity.   

As always, 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.

RECREATIONAL SPOT SHRIMP SEASONS

posted by Mike on 05/23/2020

Recreational spot shrimp fishery scheduled to open May 28 in some Puget Sound areas, June 11 in others

OLYMPIA – Some areas in Puget Sound are scheduled to open for recreational spot shrimp fishing on May 28, while other areas within central Puget Sound and Hood Canal are scheduled to open June 11 under seasons announced today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The process of finalizing dates this year has taken longer than usual due to COVID-19 related challenges and public health considerations, said Don Velasquez, a shellfish biologist for WDFW.

"It took a lot of coordination, but we are happy to have found a way to work with communities to offer shrimp fishing and the peace of mind that comes with a day outside on the water," said Velasquez.

The dates approved reflect a conscious effort to offer opportunities to harvest while still abiding by public health recommendations, such as keeping participants distributed, allowing physical distancing, limiting travel and discouraging overnight stays, he added.

WDFW is asking for cooperation from shrimp fishers to reduce risk.  "Patience and courtesy will be needed at boat ramps and launches," said Velasquez. "Shrimp fishers should allow extra time for launching their boats to adhere to health authorities' advice for physical distancing."

All shrimp -- including spot, dock, coonstripe, and pink shrimp -- can be kept as part of the daily limit. However, because only larger mesh (1 inch) traps are allowed during these seasons, most harvest will be spot shrimp, said Velasquez. Also known as prawns, spot shrimp are the largest shrimp in Puget Sound and may grow up to nine inches in length.

2020 Puget Sound recreational spot shrimp seasons are as follows:

  • Marine Area 4 remains closed
  • Marine Area 5 (western Strait of Juan de Fuca): Open daily beginning May 28, daylight hours. The recreational spot shrimp season closes when the quota is met.
  • Marine Area 6 (Port Angeles Harbor, eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, excluding the Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Open May 28, June 1-13 (daily), and then Thursdays through Sundays each week beginning June 18 until quota is met. Daylight hours.
  • Marine Area 6 (Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 11, 15 and 28.
  • Marine Area 7 South (Iceberg Point, Point Colville, Biz Point, Salmon Bank): Open May 28 and June 1, 11, 15, 26, 28 and 30. Daylight hours.
  • Marine Area 7 East (northern Rosario Strait, Bellingham Bay, Sucia and Matia islands, Strait of Georgia): Open May 28 and June 1, 11, 15, 26, 28 and 30. Daylight hours.
  • Marine Area 7 West (San Juan Channel, Speiden Channel, Stuart and Waldron islands): Open May 28, June 1-13 (daily), and then Thursdays through Sundays each week beginning June 18 until quota is met. Daylight hours.
  • Marine Areas 8-1 (Saratoga Passage, Deception Pass) and 8-2 (Port Susan, Port Gardner, Everett): Open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 11.
  • Marine Area 9 (Edmonds, Port Townsend Bay, Admiralty Inlet): Open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 11.
  • Marine Area 10 (Elliott Bay): Open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 11 (this is the portion of Marine Area 10 east of a line from West Point to Alki Point).
  • Marine Area 10 (outside Elliott Bay): Open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on June 11 (this is the portion of Marine Area 10 west of a line from West Point to Alki Point, which includes the Bainbridge Island shrimp fishing grounds).
  • Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island): Open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 11.
  • Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal Shrimp District): Open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 11, 15, 26, 28 and July 15, 28.
  • Marine Area 13 (South Puget Sound, Carr Inlet): Closed for spot shrimp harvest this season due to low abundance.

Additional dates and times may be announced if enough quota remains after the initial fishing days listed above.

In all areas of Puget Sound fishers are limited to 80 shrimp a day (if open) during the month of May. Beginning June 1, the daily limit is 10 pounds of all shrimp with a maximum of 80 spot shrimp.

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

Velasquez reminds shrimpers that traps can be set one hour before official sunrise during any open period in the marine areas without specified harvest hours. These include marine areas 5, 6 (except for the Discovery Bay Shrimp District), 7 East, 7 South, and 7 West.

The pots must be removed from the water in these same areas by one hour after sunset at the end of an open period. The start and end times for all other areas are listed above.

More information on recreational shrimp seasons, and a description of the marine areas, is available on WDFW's recreational shrimp fishing website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/shrimp

Seasons for non-spot shrimping (dock, coonstripe, and pink shrimp only) will begin later this year and will be announced separately.

SKYKOMISH RIVER OPENS FOR SUMMER RUN STEELHEAD AND SPRING CHINOOK

posted by Mike on 05/22/2020

The Skykomish River will open this Saturday, May 23rd. Many anglers anticipate this popular fishery every year which provides some of the best summer run steelheading here in Puget Sound. The Reither Pond section of the river is where most of the action takes place with most of the annual catch landed in the mile section of river slightly above and below the hatchery outlet creek. This is by no means a secret spot and you will not be fishing by yourself, in fact it's combat fishing at it's very finest. Though there are many anglers, most all seem to get along and coordinate their fishing as to lessen the tangles etc. associated with number of fishermen. The past few years the first few weeks of the season produces the best fishing.

Lower on the Skykomish anglers will be fishing for Spring Chinook. With the river being open from the confluence of the Sky with the Snohomish up to the Wallace River.

LAKE ROOSEVELT WHITE STURGEON FISHERY TO OPEN JUNE 15

posted by Mike on 05/20/2020

Lake Roosevelt white sturgeon fishery

Action: Opens a harvest fishery for white sturgeon in Lake Roosevelt.

Effective date: Open 7 days per week beginning June 15, 2020 until further notice.

Species affected: White Sturgeon

Location: From Grand Coulee Dam to China Bend Boat Ramp (including the Spokane River from Highway 25 Bridge upstream to 400' below Little Falls Dam, Colville River upstream to Meyers Falls Dam and the Kettle River upstream to Barstow Bridge)

Fishery Rules: Daily limit 1 sturgeon. Annual limit 2 sturgeon. It is legal to retain sturgeon between 50 inches and 63 inches fork length. Fork length is measured from the tip of the snout to middle of the fork in the caudal fin (tail). All harvested sturgeon must be recorded on a Catch Record Card (Catch Code 549). Two-pole fishing is allowed. Closed to night fishing. Anglers may continue to catch and release after obtaining a daily limit but must cease fishing after the annual limit has been taken. All other statewide rules for white sturgeon must be observed.

Anglers are asked to use heavy gear (50-lb. test mainline and leader at a minimum) and use 14/0 hooks or smaller to avoid catching and/or injuring large wild adult sturgeon. The request to use heavier gear will ensure anglers hook and land sturgeon effectively, but also is protective of large wild adult sturgeon that, if hooked, should be played to hand quickly and released without being removed from the water. WDFW recommends that any fish that will not be legally retained should not be removed from the water prior to release.

Reason for action: White Sturgeon hatchery programs began in 2001 in British Columbia (BC) and 2004 in Washington. Stocking ranged from 2,000-12,000 juvenile sturgeon per year from 2001 to 2010 (including both Washington and BC releases). Survival of hatchery-produced juvenile sturgeon was much higher than anticipated. As a result, there is a surplus of hatchery-origin sturgeon available for harvest from Lake Roosevelt.

Additional information: The Lake Roosevelt co-managers (WDFW, Spokane Tribe of Indians and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation) will all be conducting sturgeon fisheries. Non-tribal anglers are asked to be respectful of tribal angling, and both tribal and non-tribal sturgeon research that is occurring on the reservoir.

Anglers are reminded that fishery dates, times, slot limits, daily limits and annual limits may be adjusted over time to ensure that a sustainable population of sturgeon is maintained in Lake Roosevelt, as well as equitable access to the fishery amongst the three co-managers.

Information contact: For more information, contact Chris Donley, WDFW Region 1 Fish Program Manager (509) 892 1001 ext. 307 or Bill Baker, WDFW District 1 Fisheries Biologist (509) 563-5499.

 

PURPLE & BLACK SIZED HERRING FOR HALIBUT

posted by Mike on 05/18/2020

Just a reminder that we do have purple and black sized herring in stock at the present time. We will continue to do our best in keeping it in stock this halibut season.

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