Anglers fishing those waters have been allowed to retain two chinook per day since June 13. High catch rates for chinook off the northern coast have prompted this change, said Doug Milward, ocean salmon manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
“Catch rates out of La Push have skyrocketed in the last month and we’ve already caught more than half the chinook catch guideline for Neah Bay," Milward said. "We decided to make this change now to try and ensure a full season of fishing."
Through July 19, anglers fishing out of La Push (Marine Area 3) had caught 1,042 chinook, about 40 percent of the chinook harvest guideline (2,600) for that area. Anglers fishing off Neah Bay (Marine Area 4) had taken 5,553 chinook, which is about 66 percent of the chinook harvest guideline (8,400) for the area.
Ocean salmon fisheries in marine areas 3 and 4 are scheduled to continue through Sept. 30.
Anglers fishing off La Push and Neah Bay also may retain two additional pink salmon but must release wild coho. For details on fishing regulations in marine areas 3 and 4, check the state sport fishing rules pamphlet at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.
State fishery managers will continue to monitor the ocean salmon fishery throughout the summer and will announce any other changes on the department’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/.