Ocean fishing for chinook and coho opens this weekend, with the opening also coinciding with halibut days.
“We have a halibut opener and a salmon opener, we’re going to have a lot of people checking in,” said Joey Lawrence, opener-operator of Big Salmon Resort in Neah Bay.
All four open ocean areas, including Area 3 (La Push) and Area 4 (Neah Bay) open on Saturday. Area 1 (Ilwaco) and Area 2 (Westport) are also opening.
That’s when all four marine areas open daily to fishing for Chinook and coho salmon, said Wendy Beeghley, a fishery manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
“Anglers can expect some great opportunities to fish for coho this summer,” said Wendy Beeghley, fishery manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildife.
“With increased numbers of coho projected to return, we have a much higher catch quota for coho this year in comparison with the last few years,” she said.
Lawrence said spots he expects salmon anglers to check out near Neah Bay include Green Buoy, Midway Reef, Mushroom Rock.
“They’re seeing feed and other things out there already,” he said. He expects a lot of anglers will be going after chinook, because they can keep both wild and hatchery fish.
The weather might not completely cooperate with high winds Wednesday hitting the area and some showers expected this weekend, especially by Saturday evening. Lawrence said that once the weather settles down, he expects Swiftsure Bank will be another active salmon fishing area.
“[The weather] looks a little marginal today. We’ll play it by ear tomorrow,” said Lawrence.
Coho quota up
The coho quota for 2019 is 159,600 fish, up 117,600 over last year. Meanwhile, the chinook catch quota is 26,250 fish, which is 1,250 fewer fish than 2018’s quota.
In marine areas 1 (Ilwaco) and 2 (Westport), anglers can retain two salmon, only one of which can be a chinook. Anglers fishing in marine areas 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) will have a two-salmon daily limit. In all marine areas, anglers must release wild coho.
Anglers should be aware the daily limit for the section of Marine Area 4 east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line is listed incorrectly for June 22-July 31 in 2019-2020 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet. The daily limit for the area during that timeframe is two salmon.
Although all four marine areas are scheduled to close Sept. 30, Beeghley reminds anglers that areas could close earlier if the quota is met. A section of Marine Area 3 also will re-open Oct. 1 through Oct. 13, or until a quota of 100 chinook or 100 coho is met.
Throughout the summer, anglers can check WDFW’s webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/reports/creel/ocean for updates.
More information about the fisheries can be found in the 2019-20 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, available at license vendors and sporting goods stores and online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.
Halibut days added
OLYMPIA — Two sport halibut days are being added June 27 and June 29 in Marine Areas 3 and 4.
The WDFW made the decision this week to add a couple of days because there’s additional quota to be met.
The following is a summary of open sport halibut days for local marine areas.
Marine Areas 3 and 4: Open Thursday, Saturday, June 27 and June 29.
Areas 5-6-7 (Strait of Juan de Fuca, San Juan Islands) Thursday, Saturday, June 27 and June 29.
In Marine Area 5 (Low Point west to Sekiu), it is permissible for halibut anglers to retain Pacific cod caught while fishing for halibut in waters deeper than 120 feet on days that halibut fishing is open. Lingcod season is closed in Marine Area 5. Retention of lingcod and Pacific cod seaward of 120 feet is not permitted on halibut days in Marine Areas 6-10.
The daily bag limit is one halibut per angler, with no minimum size limit. The annual limit is four and all catches must be recorded on WDFW catch record card. Possession limits remain the same.
Anderson Lake closed
OLYMPIA — Anderson Lake will be closed to fishing beginning today until further notice as toxins from blue-green algae bloom have risen well above safe levels.
According to the Jefferson County Department of Health, “this is the second highest toxin level measured at Anderson Lake since 2008 when testing began, and one of the highest toxin levels measured worldwide. Toxins at levels like these can be lethal to humans and animals.”
The closure affects all species of fish.
The Jefferson County Public Health Department provides information on algae blooms, including regular updates on the status of Anderson Lake at https://tinyurl.com/y6brwe2d,