Washington Opens All Ocean Areas to Salmon Fishing

ocean fishingJust when you thought ocean fishing in Washington couldn’t get any better, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife goes and drops this awesome bomb on you.

That’s right, Washington anglers – as of July 23, you’ll be able to fish for salmon along the Washington coast SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. According to WDFW ocean salmon fisheries manager Doug Milward, the number of coastal anglers has been low this year, which prompted the change in regulation.

“Overall, salmon fishing has been good on the coast this summer, but the number of anglers participating in the fishery has been lower than expected,” said Milward. “With effort down – partly due to rough weather – we can provide anglers additional fishing opportunities without exceeding recreational harvest quotas for this year.”

So what does “lower than expected” mean, exactly? Well, according to the WDFW, anglers have caught a mere 8.3 percent of the 49,000 chinook quota and 9.5 percent of the 67,200 coho quota. With the season inching ever closer to its close (Sept. 18 – Sept. 30, depending on location), those Washington anglers taking advantage of the season are being rewarded with an extra two days of fishing a week.

So what are the restrictions, you ask? Pretty standard: The bag limit for both salmon and chinook is 2, and any chinook measuring less than 24 inches has to go back. Hatchery coho must be over 16 inches, and any wild coho must be released unharmed.

For more information on the new rules and Washington coastal fishing in general, visit the WDFW website.

[photo: jamalfanaian]

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