Ocean salmon managers today put out their three summer fishery alternatives for recreational seasons off the Washington and northern Oregon Coasts, including a worst-case-scenario closure on both Chinook and coho.
The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s option one features a total allowable catch of 30,000 Chinook and 29,400 fin-clipped coho, while option two is 22,125 kings and 22,500 hatchery silvers.
The former includes a June 14-28 Chinook opener followed by a June 29-Sept. 30 season; the latter a June 27-Sept. 13 fishery. Fisheries would shut down earlier if quotas were met.
“With these alternatives in hand, we will work with stakeholders and co-managers to develop a final fishing package for Washington’s coastal and inside waters that meets our conservation objectives for wild salmon,” said Kyle Adicks, WDFW salmon policy lead.
Last year, PFMC approved ocean quotas of 26,250 Chinook and 159,600 coho north of Oregon’s Cape Falcon, though neither mark came anywhere close to being reached, with the forecast for the latter salmon stock way off.
This year’s Columbia coho forecast is only 181,000, the lowest in more than 20 years, and Washington salmon managers last month warned that fisheries would likely be constrained.
Past years have seen ocean quotas as low as 18,900 coho (2016) and 25,624 Chinook (2018)
The release of the ocean alternatives — including for subareas along the Washington Coast as well as south of Cape Falcon on the Oregon Coast — is part of the annual salmon season setting discussion known as North of Falcon.
WDFW will hold meetings on Pacific fisheries March 16 in Olympia, March 23 in Westport and April 1 in Vancouver.