Anglers will be allowed to retain both hatchery and wild coho salmon beginning Saturday in ocean waters off Westport (Marine Area 2) and beginning Mondayoff Ilwaco (Marine Area 1).
In addition, anglers fishing off Westport will be allowed to retain only one coho as part of their two-salmon daily limit beginning Saturday, while the coho catch limit in Ilwaco will remain two fish.
Those changes do not affect ocean salmon fisheries off LaPush (Marine Area 3) and Neah Bay (Marine Area 4), where anglers can continue to retain hatchery coho but must release wild coho, Pat Pattillo, salmon policy coordinator for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, said today.
Anglers were initially limited to hatchery coho – marked with a missing adipose fin – to ensure the department would meet conservation goals for wild coho while allowing for an entire salmon fishing season, said Pattillo.
However, with a month remaining in the fishery, only 25 percent of the coho quota has been reached in both marine areas 1 and 2.
“With such a large percentage of the coho catch quota remaining in each of those two areas this late in the season, we can allow anglers to keep both hatchery and wild coho without exceeding our conservation objectives for wild salmon,” Pattillo said in a news release.
Through Sunday, anglers fishing out of Ilwaco, where there is a coho quota is 34,860 fish, had caught 8,861 coho. Anglers fishing off Westport, where the quota is 25,800 fish, had caught 6,507 coho.
Anglers have a two-salmon daily limit in all four marine areas off the Washington coast. Up to two chinook may be retained in all areas.
All ocean areas (marine areas 1-4) are open to salmon fishing seven days a week.
The ocean fisheries are scheduled to continue through Sept. 23 in marine areas 2-4, and through Sept. 30 in Marine Area 1.