Sport anglers will have the opportunity to reel in salmon off the Washington coast starting Saturday, June 19 in all four coastal marine areas.
Fish managers expect higher numbers of coho salmon will make their way through the ocean this year as compared to 2020.
“The Columbia River coho forecasts are the highest we’ve seen in many years, which could lead to some great coho fishing,” said Wendy Beeghley, an ocean salmon manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “However, the ocean quotas were constrained by the low expected returns to coastal rivers.”
The recreational coho catch quota this year is 70,000, up from 26,500 in 2020. This year’s chinook quota of 27,250 fish is a slight increase over the 2020 quota of 26,360. In Marine Areas 1 and 2, coho retention begins June 27, and in Marine Areas 3 and 4, coho retention begins July 4. Anglers should check the area-specific rules for daily bag limits.
Season details are listed below.
Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco):
Columbia River Control Zone is closed to fishing for salmon, except open to fishing from the north jetty when adjacent waters north of the Control Zone are open to fishing for salmon or the Buoy 10 fishery is open to fishing from salmon. The Chinook guideline in Area 1 is 7,200 and the Area 1 coho quota is 42,400.
Marine Area 2 (Westport-Ocean Shores):
Willapa Bay (Area 2-1) and the portion of Grays Harbor (Area 2-2) west of the Buoy 13 line also open June 19 under the same rules as Area 2. Regulations for Areas 2-1 and 2-2 change in August, and details are listed in the Sport Fishing Rules Pamphlet. The 2021-2022 edition of the pamphlet will be available in late June.
Grays Harbor Control Zone is closed beginning August 9. The Marine Area 2 Chinook guideline is 12,925 and the Area 2 coho quota is 20,440.
Marine Area 3 (La Push):
The Marine Area 3 Chinook guideline is 1,300 and the Area 3 coho quota is 1,430.
Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay):
The Marine Area 4 Chinook guideline is 5,825 and the Area 4 coho quota is 5,730.
Waters east of a true north-south line through Sail Rock are closed through July 31. After August 1, Chinook retention prohibited east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line.
All four marine areas are scheduled to close to salmon fishing at the enda of the day Sept. 15, but Beeghley noted these areas could close earlier if the quota is met.
Throughout the summer, anglers can check WDFW’s webpage at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/reports/creel/ocean for updates.