OUTDOORS: 2014-15 state salmon season set

By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News

SALMON, THOSE KINGS of the underwater jungle, those titans of the deep whose flesh has launched thousands of boats and the construction of countless canneries, still exist, and can soon be caught in our North Olympic Peninsula waters.

Those that remain are a highly prized commodity and the market opens for the trading of bait and hook for a hoped-for fillet shortly.

The 2014-15 salmon fishing seasons, developed by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and treaty tribal co-managers, were finalized recently during a meeting of the Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Salmon fisheries in Puget Sound, the Pacific Ocean and coastal areas and the Columbia River are all regulated by these rules.

Council members agreed to increase the recreational chinook catch quota to 59,100 fish, a rise of 11,000 from the 2013 quota.

Coho quota numbers are even better: an allowable recreational harvest of 184,000 silvers — about 110,000 fish more than in 2013.

Some new additions are listed directly below.

Chinook mark-selective fishery

In Marine Area 5 (Sekiu), unmarked wild chinook must be released from Oct. 1-31 and Feb. 16-April 10.

The change from a nonselective fishery is meant to help protect wild chinook return to Lake Washington and other watersheds.

Wild coho release

A mark-selective fishery requiring anglers to release all wild coho will exist in Marine Area 5 from Sept. 1-18 and Sept. 26-Oct. 31.

Sockeye return

State and Canadian fisheries managers estimate 23 million sockeye will try to return to Canada's Fraser River and many of them will take the exit for the Strait of Juan de Fuca in order to get back home.

Anglers fishing for sockeye in Marine Areas 5-7 will be allowed to keep two sockeye in addition to daily catch limits for other salmon during July and August.

2014-15 sport fishing

Sport salmon seasons by marine area for 2014-15 are as follows (unless a closure is announced or a quota is reached):

Marine Area 3

■ LaPush

■ May 16-17, May 23-24 and May 31-June 13: Daily limit of two. Open to chinook with a minimum size of 24 inches. No size limit for other salmon species.

Release coho and wild chinook.

Season may close earlier if coastwide guideline of 9,000 chinook is attained.

■ June 14-Sept. 21: Limit two. Release wild coho.

LaPush Late Season Area: Sept. 27-Oct. 12: Two. Release wild coho.

Marine Area 4

■ Area: Neah Bay —west of the Bonilla-Tattoosh Line

■ May 16-17, May 23-24 and May 31-June 13: Daily limit of two. Open to chinook with a minimum size of 24 inches. No size limit for other salmon species.

Release coho and wild chinook.

Season may close earlier if coastwide guideline of 9,000 chinook is attained.

■ June 14-Sept. 21: Two. Release wild coho. From Aug. 1-Sept. 21, release chum.

Marine Area 4

■ Area: Neah Bay —east of the Bonilla-Tattoosh Line

■  May 16-17, May 23-24 and May 31-June 13: Daily limit of two. Open to chinook with a minimum size of 24 inches. No size limit for other salmon species.

Release coho and wild chinook.

Waters east of a true north/south line through Sail Rock are closed to salmon fishing.

■ June 14-July 31: Two. Release wild coho. Waters east of a true north/south line through Sail Rock are closed to salmon fishing.

■ Aug. 1-Sept. 21: Two. Release chinook, wild coho and chum.

Marine Area 5

■ Area: Sekiu

■ July 1 – Aug. 15: Open for two salmon, plus two additional sockeye. Release chum, wild chinook and wild coho.

■ Aug. 16 – Sept. 18: Two salmon plus two sockeye. Release chinook, chum and wild coho.

■ Sept. 19 – Sept. 25: Limit is two. Release chinook and chum.

■ Sept. 26 – 30: Limit is two. Release chinook, chum, and wild coho.

■ Oct. 1 – Oct. 31: Two. Release wild chinook and wild coho.

■ Nov 1 – Feb. 15: Closed

■ Feb. 16 – April 10: Two. Release wild chinook.

■ April 11 – April 30: Closed.

■ Kydaka Point Closure: Waters south of a line from Kydaka Point westerly approximately 4 miles to Shipwreck Point are closed to fishing for salmon July 1 through Oct. 31.

Marine Area 6

■ Area: Port Angeles

■ July 1 – Aug. 15: Two, plus two additional sockeye. Release chum, wild chinook and wild coho; release all chinook east of Ediz Hook.

■ Aug. 16 – Sept. 30: Two salmon plus two additional sockeye through Aug. 31. Release chinook, chum and wild coho.

■ Oct. 1 – Oct. 31: Two; no more than one chinook.

■ Nov. 1 – Nov. 30: Closed.

■ Dec. 1 – April 10: Two. Release wild Chinook.

■ April 11 – April 30: Closed.

■ Dungeness Bay: Open to two coho only from Oct. 1-Oct. 31.

Salmon fishing is closed all other times in this area from the waters inside a line from the Dungeness Spit Lighthouse to the No. 2 Buoy, then to the Port Williams Boat Ramp.

■ Freshwater Bay Closure (Elwha River mouth area): Waters south of a line from Angeles Point westerly approximately 4 miles to Observatory Point are closed to fishing July 1 through October 31.

■ Port Angeles Harbor Closure: Waters of Port Angeles Harbor west of a line from the tip of Ediz Hook southerly to the ITT Rayonier Dock are closed to salmon fishing July 1 through Oct. 31.

■ Sequim Bay Closure: Waters of Sequim Bay south of a line from the southern end of Gibson Spit to the west end of Travis Spit are closed to salmon fishing Oct. 1-31.

■ Discovery Bay Closure: Waters of Discovery Bay south of a line from the Gardiner Boat Ramp to Beckett Point are closed to salmon fishing Oct. 1-31.

Marine Area 9

■ Area: Admiralty Inlet

■ July 1-15: Two. Release chinook and chum.

■ July 16 – Aug. 31: Two, no more than one chinook. Release wild chinook and chum.

■ Sept. 1 – Sept. 30: Two. Release chinook and chum.

■ Oct. 1 – Oct. 31: Two. Release chinook.

■ Nov. 1 – Nov. 30: Two. Release wild chinook.

■ Dec. 1 – Jan. 15: Closed.

■ Jan. 16 – April 15: Two. Release wild chinook.

■ April 16 – April 30: Closed.



________

Outdoors columnist Michael Carman appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at mcarman@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 23. 2014 6:16PM
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