THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is hosting a virtual town hall meeting on Jan. 30 to recap the 2023 Puget Sound recreational salmon fishing season and discuss developments and the outlook for the 2024-25 season.
“We know Washington anglers look forward to salmon fishing seasons each year, and this town hall meeting related to Puget Sound recreational fisheries allows the public to engage in that process,” said WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. “We’re committed to providing sustainable fishing opportunities while meeting salmon conservation needs and continually working to improve fisheries management.”
At the town hall, WDFW fishery managers will present information on the Puget Sound salmon management framework, updates on the Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Plan, trends in salmon abundance and environmental indicators, and summarize the early 2024-2025 salmon season outlook. The public will also have time to provide feedback and comments.
The annual statewide salmon forecast meeting is March 1 at the Office Building 2 Auditorium, 1115 Washington Street S.E. in Olympia. Salmon forecasts are developed by WDFW and tribal co-managers. Fishery managers use a suite of scientific data, including watershed sampling and monitoring, ocean indicators, and previous year returns, to estimate the number of salmon and steelhead that will return annually to Northwest waters, and how many fish will be available for harvest.
That meeting, part of the season-setting process known as North of Falcon, is just one of more than a dozen in-person and virtual meetings scheduled in the coming months to discuss salmon fisheries across Washington. North of Falcon refers to waters north of Oregon’s Cape Falcon, which marks the southern border of management of Washington’s salmon stocks, including Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Columbia River, and coastal areas.
This process also occurs in tandem with Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) public meetings to establish salmon fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 nautical miles off the Pacific coast. The PFMC will discuss preliminary options for ocean fisheries during its March 5-11 meeting and is expected to adopt final fishing seasons and harvest levels at its April 6-11 meeting. Meeting information is available on PFMC’s website.