Three more days of hatchery Chinook fishing are coming to the San Juan Islands this week, WDFW announced this afternoon.
The July 28-30 opener marks the third consecutive Thursday-Saturday stretch that Marine Area 7 will be open for clipped king retention, daily limit one (two salmon overall, release wild Chinook, wild coho and chum).
Thirty-three percent of the 1,800-fish harvest quota is still available in the San Juans, according to WDFW stats. Agency managers report 1,203 Chinook have been kept, while encounters with unmarked fish sit around 25 percent and sublegal encounters 23 percent.
“This allows space for additional days of fishing to be added to the 2022 summer Chinook season,” WDFW states in a rule change notice announcing the opportunity.
This Thursday will also see a change in Marine Area 9, Admiralty Inlet, which reverts from three-day-a-week fishing on the same schedule as the islands – new this season and meant to spread out pressure – to seven-day-a-week fishing through August 15, or until the hatchery Chinook quota of 4,700 is met.
Best catch rates so far have been in Port Townsend-area waters at the top end of the marine area, but on July 23, 361 anglers running out of Everett on 156 boats brought back 69 kings, suggestive of a few kings around Possession, Point No Point and other southwest Whidbey Island/east Kitsap Peninsula hot spots.
A quota update including last week’s fishing wasn’t immediately available, but through July 16 38 percent of the Area 9 quota had been caught.