The latest state salmon season proposals for Puget Sound and its rivers are now available and up for comment.
The options reflect revisions from WDFW’s March 20 meeting with fishermen in Olympia and take the form of a month-by-month matrix by marine area and species and a five-page rundown on freshwater options.
Per WDFW, highlights include:
- Extending the opening for hatchery chinook in Marine Area 10 into late August.
- Increased fishing for hatchery chinook in Green River.
- Coho retention (and catch-and-release fishing for other salmon) in Marine Area 10 in June.
Area 9 would also reopen in August and September for coho, though hatchery only, a relief after last year, when following the close of the summer Chinook fishery, angling was essentially limited to bank only through Labor Day and then closed.
Silver fishing would also be nonselective to the south and in the protected waters of the 8s, which were almost entirely closed in 2017.
The San Juans would also be open for any Chinook in August and September.
However, WDFW has dropped several other ideas, including March blackmouth fishing in Marine Area 10, adding Chinook days on Elliott Bay, running the coho season north of Hood Canal’s Point Ayock into July, and a directed fall chum fishery in Area 9.
The latter two were scuttled because of impacts on other weaker salmon stocks.
On the river front, a Skagit coho season is possible, but things on the Stilly are “TBD.”
Hatchery Chinook would be available on the Puyallup, Carbon and Nisqually.
As for the Skoke, it’s marked “Closed, TBD.”
The proposals will also be the subject of a public meeting next Tuesday morning at the Lynnwood Embassy Suites, and subsequent negotiations with the treaty tribes before final seasons are set when North of Falcon wraps up in mid-April.
To find out more and comment, go to WDFW’s North of Falcon page.
Comments are being taken through April 8.
Also available are the latest proposals for Columbia River salmon seasons, which are the subject of an April 2 meeting in Ridgefield.