OLYMPIA – As anglers plan their summer fishing trips, they should be aware of some changes to Puget Sound salmon seasons as compared to recent years.
Projected low returns of several stocks of wild chinook salmon this year prompted fishery managers to restrict salmon seasons in several Puget Sound marine areas, said Kyle Adicks, salmon policy lead for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“Anglers should expect shorter chinook salmon fishing seasons in several Puget Sound marine areas,” Adicks said. “We want to make sure anglers have plenty of notice about changes to some of the popular chinook salmon fisheries in Puget Sound.”
The department outlined many of the changes in mid-April in an announcement about the 2019-20 salmon seasons. That news release can be found online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/washingtons-salmon-fisheries-set-2019-20.
Significant changes planned for 2019-20 include:
• Marine Area 7 (San Juan Islands): Closed to salmon fishing in August.
• Marine Area 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner): Scheduled to open to fishing for hatchery coho Aug. 16-Sept. 15 only in the area south and west of the Clinton/Mukilteo line. The rest of the marine area will remain closed to salmon fishing.
• Tulalip Bay Special Area will be closed to salmon fishing June 15 for a tribal salmon ceremony.
• Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet): Opens July 25 to fishing for hatchery chinook salmon. WDFW intends to close the area to chinook salmon fishing beginning July 29, to determine how much quota remains. Any subsequent openings will be announced on WDFW’s website.
• Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton) Opens Saturday to fishing for coho salmon. Hatchery chinook salmon fishing starts on July 25 and is scheduled to be open through August 31 or until the quota is achieved.
• Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island): Will not open to salmon fishing on June 1, as listed in the 2018-19 pamphlet. The area is scheduled to open to salmon fishing July 1. In order to maximize opportunity for chinook, boat fishing will be open five days per week (Saturday through Wednesday) while shoreline fishing will be open daily.
While some chinook seasons may be shorter, coho fishing in Puget Sound should be better given the higher number of coho forecasted to return compared to recent years, Adicks said.