Anglers can keep 2 hatchery Chinook per day in Marine Area 9 beginning March 30

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

March 27, 2018

Anglers can keep 2 hatchery chinook per day
in Marine Area 9 beginning March 30

Action: Increases the daily limit for salmon to two fish in Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet).

Effective Date: March 30 through April 15, 2018.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Location: Marine Area 9, excluding year-round fishing piers.

Reason for action: Preliminary estimates through March 18 indicate that the number of chinook retained or released by anglers is at 77 percent of the chinook encounter guideline of 11,053 fish for Marine Area 9. State fishery managers anticipate that sufficient encounters remain to allow the fishery to run through April 15as scheduled with a daily limit of two hatchery chinook. The changes to the chinook fishery are consistent with conservation objectives and agreed-to management plans.

Other information: Anglers must release coho and wild chinook. Weekly updates on the Marine Area 9 fishery can be found at

For specific regulations, anglers should consult the 2017-18 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet available online at

Information contact: Mark Baltzell, (306) 902-2807.


Public survey available on Puget Sound recreational fisheries enhancement program

Public survey available on Puget Sound
recreational fisheries enhancement program

OLYMPIA – One lucky person will win gift cards to a variety of local sportfishing businesses by taking a short survey on a state program established to enhance recreational fisheries in Puget Sound.

The survey is designed to gauge public understanding of the Puget Sound Recreational Salmon and Marine Fish Enhancement Program. The survey is available through March 31 on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website at

The program was created by the state Legislature in 1993 to improve and promote recreational fishing for Washington citizens and support sustainable populations of salmon and marine bottomfish in Puget Sound. The program is supported by revenue generated from the sales of certain fishing licenses.

Participants in the survey will be entered into a random drawing, which will take place in April. The winner will be awarded a total of $200 in gift cards from sportfishing businesses.

Information from the survey will help state fishery managers shape future fishing opportunities, said Ryan Lothrop, Puget Sound recreational salmon fishery manager for the department.

“This is a short survey designed to give us a better idea of people’s understanding of the program and where our efforts should be focused in the future,” Lothrop said. “We are looking at how best to improve recreational fisheries in this state, particularly in Puget Sound, and our efforts to introduce people to sportfishing.”

Daily limit of 4 chinook starting July 1 south of Ayock in Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal)


June 14, 2017

Daily limit of 4 chinook starting July 1 south of Ayock in Marine Area 12

Action: Anglers can keep 4 chinook daily south of Ayock Point in Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) beginning July 1.

Effective Date: July 1 through Sept. 30, 2017.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Location: South of Ayock Point within Marine Area 12.

Reason for action: State and tribal fishery managers agreed to a four-chinook limit for this area during the annual season-setting process this spring. This corrects the limit listed in the 2017/18 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Other information: Daily limit of 4 salmon, with a chinook minimum size limit of 20 inches. Release chum and wild chinook. Anglers may fish with two poles with a Two-Pole Endorsement. All waters within channels created by exposed tidelands are closed to salmon fishing at the Skokomish River mouth.

Other rules for waters south of Ayock Point remain unchanged, including Hoodsport Hatchery Zone. Check the sport fishing rules page for details on other fisheries:

Information contact: Mark Baltzell, (360) 902-2807, or Mark Downen, (360) 202-7005.

Ocean salmon fishery opens July 1

OLYMPIA – Anglers can reel in salmon off the Washington coast beginning July 1, when the ocean sport fishery gets underway daily in all four marine areas.

This year’s sport fishing opportunities are mostly focused on chinook salmon, which are forecast to return at a rate slightly above the 10-year average, said Wendy Beeghley, an ocean salmon manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).  Anglers can fish for chinook in all four marine areas.

“We expect a pretty good chinook fishery in the ocean this summer,” Beeghley said. “However, we’ve put restrictions in place in an effort to protect coho, which are forecast to return in low numbers.”

Only Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) will be open for coho retention. Fishery managers have attributed the low number of returning coho to poor ocean conditions last year.

This year’s 18,900 coho quota is a significant reduction from the 150,800 fish quota in 2015 and the lowest coho quota since 1998. The recreational chinook catch quota this year is 35,000 fish, down from 64,000 in 2015.

Marine Area 1 is scheduled to close Aug. 31 while marine areas 2 (Westport), 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) are scheduled to close Aug. 21. Fisheries may close sooner than scheduled if the quota is met. Throughout the summer, anglers can check WDFW’s webpage at for updates on the ocean fishery.

In Marine Area 1, anglers will have a daily limit of two salmon, only one of which can be a chinook. Anglers fishing in Marine Area 2 can retain one salmon daily. In marine areas 3 and 4, anglers will have a two-salmon daily limit. Anglers will be required to release all coho salmon in marine areas 2, 3 and 4, but can keep hatchery coho in Marine Area 1.

Additional information on fishing regulations can be found in Washington’s Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, available on WDFW’s website at

Daily spring chinook salmon limit to increase on the Kalama River


Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

CORRECTION: This has been updated to reflect the correct day of the week this fishing rule change takes effect.

March 1, 2016

Daily spring chinook salmon limit to increase on the Kalama River

Action: Kalama River anglers may keep up to 2 hatchery adult spring chinook beginning Thursday, March 10.

Effective date: March 10, 2016 until further notice. 

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Location: Kalama River from boundary markers at the mouth to 1,000 feet below the fishway at the upper salmon hatchery. 

Reason for action: The preseason forecast is for 4,900 adult spring chinook to return to the Kalama in 2016. The hatchery escapement goal of 400 fish is expected to be met, leaving surplus hatchery fish available for harvest.     

Other information: The salmon daily limit will be 6 hatchery chinook of which no more than 2 may be an adults. Release all salmon other than hatchery chinook.   Minimum size is 12 inches. Barbless hooks are required to fish for salmon and steelhead. A Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement is required.

Information contact: (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.

Spring chinook must be released on the Lewis River



Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

March 1, 2016

Spring chinook must be released on the Lewis River

Action:  Anglers must release all chinook salmon. 

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Effective date: March 10, 2016 until further notice. 

Location: Lewis River from the mouth upstream to the overhead powerlines below Merwin Dam.

Reason for action: The pre-season forecast is for a return of 1,100 adult spring chinook to the Lewis River in 2016 compared to a hatchery escapement goal of approximately 1,350 fish. The closure is necessary to provide the hatchery with as many returning fish as possible to minimize the shortfall.

Other information:  Lewis River spring chinook returns will be closely monitored in-season and adjustments to these regulations may be made if information shows more spring chinook returning than expected. 

Lewis River will remain open to fishing for hatchery steelhead, except that Johnson Creek upstream to Merwin Dam will be closed to all fishing May 1-May 31. Under permanent rules, fishing for hatchery steelhead and other gamefish will re-open from Johnson Creek upstream beginning June 1 or earlier if in-season information shows the hatchery will meet its spring chinook escapement goal.

Information contact:  (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.

Salmon season closes Feb. 22 in Marine Area 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait)


Action: Closes fishing for salmon in Marine Area 6.

Effective Date:  Feb. 22 through April 10, 2016.

Species affected:  Salmon.

Location:  Marine Area 6 within Puget Sound.

Reason for action:  Before the salmon fishing season started, WDFW and tribal co-managers agreed to a limited number (2,586) of chinook encounters – retaining or releasing fish – anglers are allowed in Marine Area 6. Preliminary estimates indicate that anglers have caught and/or released 1,812 chinook and are expected to reach the limit for chinook encounters by Feb 22. WDFW is closing salmon fishing in Area 6 on Feb. 22 to ensure compliance with conservation objectives and agreed-to management plans. 

Other information:  The daily catch limit for chinook salmon in Marine Area 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait) is at 1 fish, with a 2 salmon limit. All wild chinook salmon must be released.

WDFW will continue to evaluate the fishery and may consider reopening if additional encounters in Area 6 are available after the fishery closes. Salmon fishing remains open in other areas such as marine areas 7 and 9 and opens Feb. 16 in Marine Area 5. Check the Sport Fishing Pamphlet for details:

Information contact: Ryan Lothrop, (360) 902-2808.

States set seasons for spring chinook, sturgeon, smelt in Columbia River Basin



Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

January 28, 2016
WDFW Region 5 Office, (360) 696-6211

States set seasons for spring chinook,
sturgeon, smelt in Columbia River Basin

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Anticipating a return of 299,200 adult spring chinook salmon, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today set this year’s initial fishing season to run through April 9 on the lower Columbia River.

In addition, representatives from the two states agreed to close the winter sturgeon retention fishery in the Bonneville Pool effective Feb. 8 and approved a six-hour recreational smelt season Feb. 6 on the Cowlitz River.

Here are the major provisions of those agreements:

  • Spring chinook: From March 1 through April 9, anglers fishing downriver from Bonneville Dam may retain one marked, hatchery-reared adult spring chinook as part of their daily catch limit. The fishery will be open to both boat and bank anglers upriver to Beacon Rock, and – for bank anglers only – from there upriver to the fishing boundary just below the dam.

    The sport fishery will close in all areas of the lower Columbia River on two Tuesdays – March 29 and April 5 – to accommodate potential commercial fisheries.

    Upstream of Bonneville Dam, anglers may retain one hatchery-reared adult spring chinook per day from March 16 through May 6 between the Tower Island powerlines and the Washington/Oregon state line. Bank anglers using hand-casted gear (no boats) can also fish from Bonneville Dam upriver to the Tower Island powerlines during that time.

    Barbless hooks are required to fish for spring chinook in the Columbia River and anglers must release any salmon or steelhead not visibly marked as a hatchery fish by a clipped adipose fin.

  • Sturgeon: The recreational sturgeon retention fishery between Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam will close Feb. 8. By that time, fishery managers expect that anglers will have reeled in 140 sturgeon from those waters, leaving 185 available for a one-or-two day fishery in summer. Catch-and-release fishing remains an option until then.
  • Smelt: As in the past two years, fishery managers approved a limited fishery for smelt on the Cowlitz River to help gather data on the species’ abundance. Recreational smelt dipping will be restricted to the hours of 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6. The limit per person is 10 pounds – about one-quarter of a five-gallon bucket. Smelt dipping is not allowed from boats.

    To support the data-collection effort, the two states also approved a limited gillnet fishery for smelt in February on the lower Columbia River. The area’s smelt population was listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act in 2010, but runs have shown some signs of improvement since then.

Fishing rules reflecting these actions are available on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) website at

Fishing for spring chinook is currently open on a daily basis from Buoy 10 near the mouth of the Columbia River upstream to the Interstate 5 Bridge, although the bulk of the run doesn’t arrive until mid-March when the new fishing rules will be in effect.

Catch guidelines approved for the popular fishery will allow anglers fishing below Bonneville Dam to catch approximately 9,100 hatchery-raised “springers” before an updated run forecast is completed in late April or early May.

Another 1,000 adult upriver chinook are reserved for anglers fishing upriver from Bonneville Dam to the Washington/Oregon state line, 17 miles above McNary Dam. Additional fish have also been reserved for the Snake River sport fishery.

After banner spring chinook returns in each of the past two years, the projected run of 299,200 adult fish for 2016 is still slightly above the recent 10-year average, said Ron Roler, WDFW Columbia River policy manager. However, while this year’s projected run of upriver fish is down by about 100,000 fish from last year, he said returns to some tributaries – notably the Cowlitz and Kalama rivers – show an increase this year.

“Salmon returns rise and fall from year to year, especially during the kind of cyclical ocean changes we’re seeing right now,” Roler said. “Even so, if this run comes in as projected, it will still be the ninth-largest return in more than 25 years. We’re expecting plenty of fish to support a great fishing season.”

As in previous years, Washington and Oregon will manage the fishery with a 30 percent buffer on the upriver chinook forecast until the results of the in-season run update are known.

“We’ll continue to take a conservative approach in managing the fishery,” Roler said. “If the fish return at or above expectations, we will look toward providing additional days of fishing on the river later in the spring.”