THE FOLLOWING ARE A FISHING RULE CHANGE NOTICE AND PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Action: Re-opens salmon fishing in Marine Area 10
Effective date: Feb. 24 through Mar. 31, 2022.
Species affected: Salmon.
Location: Marine Area 10.
Rule: Open for salmon fishing Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only, until further notice; salmon daily limit is one (1). Chinook minimum size is 22″. Other salmon, no minimum size. Release wild Chinook.
Reason for action: The Marine Area 10 winter Chinook fishery was paused in mid-January after reaching 24% of the total encounters (8,475), 25% of sublegal encounters (7,319) and 46% of unmarked encounters (1,105) agreed to in this year’s List of Agreed Fisheries (LOAF), in order to preserve opportunity for February and March. After consulting with the Puget Sound Sports Fishing Advisory Group, WDFW will reopen the fishery with a three day per week schedule and one fish limit on February 24th.
Fishing for salmon will re-open Feb. 24 through March 31 in the Seattle/Bremerton area (Marine Area 10) and will be allowed on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only with a retention limit of one salmon per angler.
“We are happy to be able to open this fishery again,” said Kirsten Simonsen, Ph.D., WDFW Puget Sound Recreational salmon biologist. “We know how hard it is on the anglers when we have to close a fishery even temporarily. However, this decision was necessary to preserve the late season opportunity.”
The Marine Area 10 winter Chinook fishery was paused in mid-January after reaching 24% of the total encounters (8,475), 25% of sublegal encounters (7,319) and 46% of unmarked encounters (1,105) agreed to in this year’s List of Agreed Fisheries (LOAF), to preserve opportunity for February and March. The Feb. 24 opening follows consultation with the Department’s Puget Sound Sports Fishing Advisory Group.
WDFW fishery managers are also calling on salmon anglers to submit voluntary Salmon Trip Reports to help to increase the amount of data available for in-season management. These trip reports are just one tool in a suite of options fisheries managers use to collect biological and fishery data for Puget Sound salmon. Other monitoring tools include dockside sampling, test fishing, and boat surveys. Anglers can complete the voluntary Salmon Trip Report Form online or visit the WDFW website to download a paper copy.
Also known as “blackmouth” due to their dark gums, resident Chinook are a component of both hatchery and wild salmon runs that remain in the Salish Sea instead of migrating out into the ocean. Anglers may encounter juvenile or mature Chinook of various sizes and age classes, and these winter-caught salmon are known for being both aggressive feeders and delicious table fare. Other salmon species such as coho may also be encountered during this fishery and are legal to retain.
Winter Chinook are typically found close to the bottom near schools of herring or other forage fish. Anglers should take care while releasing wild Chinook—especially smaller juveniles known as “shakers”—to help conserve and recover salmon stocks.