OLYMPIA – The recreational salmon fishery will close at the end of the day Sunday, Oct. 18, in Marine Area 10, the portion of Puget Sound stretching between Seattle and Bremerton.
State fishery managers said the early closure is necessary to meet conservation objectives for wild chinook. The area was originally scheduled to be open through Jan. 31.
“We’ve had strong angler participation since the chinook fishery opened Oct. 1 and are quickly approaching our management guideline for chinook,” said Kyle Adicks, salmon policy analyst with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
WDFW is closing Marine Area 10 to all salmon fishing in an effort to hold encounters with chinook salmon within allowable limits. Although rules for the fishery require anglers to release all wild chinook, not all of those fish survive the encounter.
The salmon fishing closure includes the marine area’s five fishing piers – Elliott Bay Fishing Pier at Terminal 86, Seacrest Pier, Waterman Pier, Bremerton Boardwalk and Illahee State Park Pier.
According to preliminary estimates, anglers had 1,512 chinook encounters through Oct. 11 toward the management guideline of 2,221 encounters.
After the area closes Sunday, the department will evaluate the final tally of encounters to determine whether any salmon fishing can reopen in Marine Area 10 this fall or winter, Adicks said.
Anglers can check WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/ for other areas of Puget Sound that are open for salmon fishing.