WDFW approves another day of halibut fishing in marine areas 3 and 4, portions of Puget Sound

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE  
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov

May 17, 2017

WDFW approves another day of halibut fishing
in marine areas 3 and 4, portions of Puget Sound

Action:  Recreational halibut fishing will open Thursday, May 25, in marine areas 3 (La Push), 4 (Neah Bay), and 5-10 (Puget Sound).

WDFW previously announced halibut fishing will be open May 21 in these same areas as well as Marine Area 2 (Westport).

Effective date: May 25, 2017.

Species affected: Pacific halibut.

Location:  Marine areas 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Reason for action:  After reviewing the most recent recreational Pacific halibut catch data, it is clear that sufficient quota remains to open another fishing day in the north coast (marine areas 3 and 4) and Puget Sound (marine areas 5-10) on Thursday, May 25. Catch data will be evaluated following the opening on May 25to determine if enough quota remains for additional fishing days in the north coast and Puget Sound. 

However, there will not be sufficient quota remaining in marine area 2 to open another all depth fishing day after Sunday, May 21. We will assess the Area 2 catch and, if there is sufficient quota to open a nearshore fishery, we will announce that the following week.  If not, then the nearshore fishery will remain closed. 

The recreational halibut fishery remains open in Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) Thursdays through Sundays at all depths and Mondays through Wednesdays in the nearshore area.

These rules conform to action taken by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) and the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC). 

Information contact: Heather Reed, (360) 902-2487.

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Icicle River will not open for spring chinook fishing

Icicle River will not open for spring chinook fishing

Action: The Icicle River will not open for salmon fishing on May 15 as scheduled in the 2016-17 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet. The river will remain closed to salmon fishing.

Effective date:  May 15, 2017.

Species affected: Hatchery spring chinook salmon.

Effective Locations: Icicle River (Chelan County)

(1)  From the closure signs located 800 feet upstream of the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam.

(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 of the Snow Lakes trailhead parking area).

Reason for action:  Preseason forecasts and current in-season run analysis estimate the number of spring chinook salmon returning to the Icicle River may not be sufficient to meet broodstock collection goals (1,640 spawners) at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery.  To avoid a potential broodstock shortage, it is necessary to close the upcoming salmon season at this time. WDFW will continue to monitor spring chinook salmon returns to the Icicle River and could open the season if numbers improve.  

Information contact: Travis Maitland, District 7 Fish Biologist, (509) 665-3337, Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-4624 ext. 224.

Razor clam digging closed for the season on 3 beaches; Dig at Mocrocks depends on toxin tests

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

http://wdfw.wa.gov/

May 4, 2017
Contact
: Dan Ayres, (360) 249-4628

Razor clam digging closed for the season on 3 beaches;
Dig at Mocrocks depends on toxin tests

OLYMPIA – Three of Washington’s ocean beaches will remain closed to razor clam digging for the rest of the season while a potential dig at Mocrocks depends on additional toxin tests.

Test results on razor clams dug at both Long Beach and Twin Harbors beaches indicate levels of domoic acid exceed the threshold (20 parts per million) set by state public health officials, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). 

“Based on the most recent toxin tests, razor clams will not be safe to eat for the remainder of the month at Long Beach or Twin Harbors,” Ayres said. 

Toxin levels at Copalis beach are below the health threshold. However, the beach will remain closed because diggers reached the number of harvestable razor clams for the season there, Ayres said.

State shellfish managers will consider scheduling an opening at Mocrocks later in May, depending on the results of two toxin tests, Ayres said. The first test results indicate levels at Mocrocks are just below the threshold. A second test is scheduled for next week.

“It’s possible toxin levels at Mocrocks will remain low enough to allow another dig there,” Ayres said. “But we need to see what the next results show before scheduling an opening.” 

The department likely will make an announcement next week on whether there will be another dig at Mocrocks this season.

WDFW routinely closes the razor clam fishery by the end of May when the clams begin to spawn. The next season will begin in fall, when the older clams have recovered from spawning and a new generation begins to grow beneath the sand.

Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae, can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. The toxin has posed problems for razor clam and crab fisheries along Washington’s coast for the last two years.

More information about domoic acid, as well as current levels at all ocean beaches, can be found on WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/domoic_acid.html.

Commission to discuss Grays Harbor, Willapa Bay salmon fisheries

NEWS RELEASE
Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/

February 7, 2017
Contact:
Commission Office, (360) 902-2267

Commission to discuss Grays Harbor, Willapa Bay salmon fisheries

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will hear public comments on the management of Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay salmon fisheries over the past year during a public meeting Feb. 10-11 in Olympia.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building at 1111 Washington St. SE in Olympia. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. both days.

An agenda for the meeting is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/

At the meeting, state fishery managers will provide an overview of last year’s Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay salmon fisheries, including an assessment of the harvest and conformance with conservation objectives. They will also provide a look ahead to fisheries planning in those areas in 2017 and the public will be invited to comment on the salmon management policies now in effect.

Also on the agenda is an overview of the science of managing the state’s wolf population, which has grown rapidly since 2008. While state policies support wolf recovery, they also include guidelines for using lethal measures against wolves to reduce conflicts with people, livestock and other wildlife. WDFW wildlife managers will discuss scientific studies that evaluate lethal removal techniques and protocols.

In other business, the commission will consider a land transfer in Chelan County. The property consists of 14 acres along the Wenatchee River and would be donated to WDFW by a non-profit organization. Acquiring this property would improve public access to the river for anglers, bird watchers, hikers and other recreationalists.

 

Marine Area 9 salmon season re-opening Feb. 16

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov

February 8, 2017

Marine Area 9 salmon season re-opening Feb. 16

Action: Marine Area 9 will re-open Feb.16. The daily limit for hatchery chinook salmon in Marine Area 9 will be 1 chinook, with an overall 2-salmon limit. All coho and wild chinook salmon must be released.

Effective Date: Feb 16 through April 15, 2017.

Species affected: Salmon

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

Reason for action: Test fishery data collected during January and February indicate there are fewer juvenile (sublegal-size) chinook salmon present in these waters. In addition, sufficient capacity exists to re-open the fishery within the guideline of 6,081 “chinook encounters” – including both retained and released fish – agreed to by the tribal co-managers before this year’s fishery began. Delaying the opening to mid-February allowed the state time to determine a reopening date that will give anglers opportunity later into the spring.

Other information: WDFW will continue to monitor the fishery and will work with sportfishing advisors to determine if any other modifications are necessary to achieve a maximum season in Marine Area 9. Edmonds Public Fishing Pier is unaffected by this rule change and specific regulations for the pier can be found in the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Information contact: Ryan Lothrop (360) 902-2808

Nisqually River open to retention of hatchery coho and gamefish

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE  
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov

October 21, 2016

Nisqually River open to retention of hatchery coho and gamefish

Action: Retention of hatchery coho and gamefish is permitted. Salmon, trout and other gamefish fishing open on the mainstem Nisqually River from mouth to the military tank crossing bridge.

Effective dates: Oct. 22, 2016, until further notice.

Species affected:  Coho salmon and gamefish

Location: Mainstem Nisqually from mouth to the military tank crossing bridge.

Reasons for action:  The Nisqually River was originally closed to all fishing under a state and tribal co-manager agreement to protect coho salmon.

Egg-take goals for coho have been met at Kalama and Clear Creek hatcheries, allowing the co-managers to open fisheries for coho and gamefish. 

Other information: Anglers can retain 2 hatchery adult coho only and must release all chinook, all chum, wild coho and wild steelhead.  Trout minimum size 14″, daily limit 2.  Other gamefish statewide minimum size/daily limits apply.

Sport anglers should be aware that tribal fisheries will also be occurring and should avoid interfering with those fisheries.

Information Contact: James P. Losee, (360) 902-2741, james.losee@dfw.wa.gov

Snohomish, Skykomish and Wallace rivers to open for gamefish; coho fishing season extended

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE  
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov

October 21, 2016

Snohomish, Skykomish and Wallace rivers to open
for gamefish;
coho fishing season extended

Action: Opens the Snohomish River, the Skykomish River and the Wallace River to fishing for gamefish beginning Oct. 22. Extends the coho fisheries on these three rivers through Nov. 30.

Species affected: Coho salmon and gamefish.

Reason for action: State and tribal co-managers had agreed to limited coho fisheries, Oct. 11 through Oct. 31, on these rivers but kept the rivers closed to fishing for gamefish. The co-managers agree that the coho return is strong enough to extend the coho fisheries through Nov. 30 and open gamefish fisheries on Oct. 22, rather than Nov. 1, as scheduled.

Effective locations and dates:

Snohomish River (Snohomish County) from the mouth (Burlington-Northern Railroad bridges), including all channels, sloughs, and interconnected waterways, but excluding all tributaries, upstream to the confluence of the Skykomish and Snoqualmie rivers. Open for gamefish Oct. 22. Open for coho fishing through Nov. 30.

Skykomish River from the mouth upstream to the confluence with the Wallace River. Open for gamefish Oct. 22. Open for coho fishing through Nov. 30. Fishing from a floating device is prohibited Nov. 1 through Nov. 30 from the boat ramp below Lewis St. Bridge at Monroe to a point 2,500 feet downstream from the ramp, and from 1,000 feet downstream of the Reiter Ponds outlet to 1,500 feet upstream.

Wallace River from the mouth (farthest downstream railroad bridge) to 200 feet upstream of the hatchery water intake. Open for gamefish Oct. 22. Open for coho fishing through Nov. 30. Fishing from a floating device is prohibited on the Wallace River from Nov. 1 through Nov. 30.

Rules:

  • Night closure in effect (fishing is open from one hour before official sunrise to one hour after official sunset).
  • Anti-snagging rules apply.
  • Salmon: Minimum size 12 inches; daily limit 2 coho only.
  • Dolly Varden/Bull Trout:  Min. size 20″. May be retained as part of the trout daily limit.
  • Other trout: Minimum size 14″. Daily limit 2.
  • Other gamefish rules, including statewide minimum size/daily limits apply.
  • Sturgeon: Catch and release is allowed. When fishing for sturgeon, all other sturgeon rules apply (see page 14 of the Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Pamphlet).

Information contact: Region 4, Mill Creek Office, Jennifer Whitney; Jennifer.Whitney@dfw.wa.gov(425) 775-1311, ext. 107.

Bass caught in Snohomish County shatters 39-year-old state record

OLYMPIA – A Snohomish County angler has set a new state record for the biggest largemouth bass caught in state waters, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) confirmed today.

Bill Evans of Bothell caught the monster bass Aug. 8 in Lake Bosworth in Snohomish County while fishing with a Strike King 5-inch Shim-E-Stick, wacky-rigged on a 1/0 hook. It weighed 12.53 pounds and measured 23.0 inches long with a girth of 22.5 inches.  

The previous record was set by Carl Pruitt in 1977 at Banks Lake with a fish weighing 11.57 pounds, nearly one pound less.

“As soon as I set the hook, I knew it had to be a big one because the bottom pulled hard and it just wouldn’t quit,” Evans said, “When she finally tried to jump, she could only get her head out of the water.”

Evans realized how big the fish really was when he started lifting it into the boat. “She just kept getting heavier and heavier,” he said, “I put her in the livewell, but she didn’t even fit – her tail stuck out”.

Evans is a seasoned bass angler with nearly 40 years of experience. He moved to Washington a few years ago, and just started bass fishing in the state this summer. Evans has fished several lakes in the Bothell area, but Monday was his first time fishing at Lake Bosworth.