The ocean recreational salmon fishery off Washington will open June 22 and run through Sept. 30 unless chinook or coho quotas are reached earlier, according to a plan approved by the Pacific Fishery Management Council.
The council called for a harvest of 26,250 chinook in the Pacific section that encompasses Oregon, north of Cape Falcon in northern Oregon, and all of Washington. That compares to a harvest of 27,500 in that same zone last year, and reflects expectations of lower returns.
The council set a quota of 159,600 marked hatchery coho in the area north of Cape Falcon. That is a big increase from the 42,000 marked hatchery coho limit set last year, and reflected improved conditions in the ocean, where these salmon spend most of their adult lives.
The council’s recommendations, made last week for the ocean salmon season, are being forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service for final approval.
“This year’s package was adopted after careful consideration and analysis in order to meet our conservation objectives,” said Council Chair Phil Anderson, who noted the harvest level also took into account the importance of chinook salmon to the southern resident killer whales.