UPDATED 4:10 P.M., SEPT. 15, 2016 WITH WDFW E-REG AT BOTTOM
Part of the Duwamish-Green River will open for coho tomorrow, Sept. 16, state fishery managers announced this afternoon.
It’s the latest silver lining to a year that was forecast to be bad for Puget Sound coho, though many more waters remain closed.
WDFW salmon fisheries policy lead Kyle Addicks says the river between Highway 99 and I-405 in south Seattle and Tukwila will open with a two-fish limit, release all kings.
The news comes after the state met with the Muckleshoot and Suquamish Tribes today following a test fishery last week and commercial gillnetting this week.
Adicks says the runsize has not been officially updated from its woefully low preseason forecast of less than 9,000, but the results of those fisheries are pointing to a return that is “considerably larger than forecast, considerably larger than the escapement goal.”
The reason for only opening up to the interstate is to protect Chinook still in the area.
The north end of Lake Washington is also opening for coho tomorrow, following better-than-expected counts at the Ballard Locks and the start of tribal commercial gillnetting in the Ship Canal and inner Shilshole Bay.
Even as anglers organize a protest on another system, whether other closed marine and freshwater areas can be opened is more of a long shot because of the ability to perform in-season updates to forecasts, but at the very least, we can begin to exhale a little bit after 2015’s run failure due to The Blob.
“It’s definitely a good sign after last year, and after ocean conditions persisted, we expected the worst, but it’s a good thing to see,” Adicks says.
Both the section of the Duwamish-Green and north end of Lake Washington will remain open through the end of October.
THE FOLLOWING IS WDFW’S EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE ANNOUNCING THE FISHERY
Effective dates: Sept. 16 through Oct. 31, 2016.
Species affected: Salmon, trout, and other game fish.
Locations and dates:
Green (Duwamish) River (King County, from 1st Ave. South Bridge upstream to I-405) will be open from Sept. 16 through Oct. 31, 2016 to fishing for:
Salmon: Minimum size 12 inches. Daily limit 2 salmon. Release chinook.
Other game fish: Statewide minimum size/daily limit.
Other Information: All species: night closure and anti-snagging rule are in effect.
Reasons for action: This area had been closed under a state and tribal co-manager agreement to protect coho salmon. Early season test fisheries have indicated that the coho return is strong enough to support limited sport and tribal fisheries in the lower Green River.
The Green River is scheduled to open Nov. 1 for chum. WDFW will continue to monitor the coho run and may keep the river open for coho retention after Oct. 31. Any announcements about additional recreational fishing openings on other sections of the Green River will be posted on WDFW?s fishing rule change website at https: //fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.