THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Fishery managers at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today a temporary pause in winter salmon fishing in central Puget Sound (Marine Area 10) to preserve opportunity later in the season. The closure goes into effect Friday, Jan. 14 until further notice.
Anglers in this fishery primarily target resident Chinook salmon known as “blackmouth”.
Estimates from catch sampling and creel surveys through Jan. 10 indicate that the fishery has reached 24% of total encounters, 25% of sublegal encounters, and 46% of unmarked encounters, which are the three fishery control metrics used to manage this fishery. Hitting 100% of any of these controls will lead to a full closure of the fishery.
“By suspending the MA-10 fishery now, we can preserve opportunities for later in the winter season, which members of the Puget Sound Sport Fishing Advisory Group have indicated is a priority for this fishery” said Kirsten Simonsen, Ph.D., the WDFW Puget Sound Recreational salmon biologist. “We know that anglers prefer to be on the water when the days are longer, the weather is more pleasant, and the fish are larger. That is what we are hoping to accomplish by pausing the fishery now.”
WDFW will continue to analyze test fishing data and meet with constituents to inform a reopening date.
Puget Sound salmon seasons are a result of an annual collaborative state and tribal salmon season-setting process known as North of Falcon. The public is invited to participate in this process in late winter each year.