When the Westport salmon season opens June 19, sport anglers will be working with a Chinook quota a few hundred fish greater than last year’s, and about double the 2020 coho quota.
The state’s 2021-22 salmon fishing seasons, developed by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and treaty tribal co-managers, were tentatively set last week at the end of a weeklong Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting.
Managers made a late push to reach final consensus on potential fisheries for Queets River and Grays Harbor coho while staying within conservation objectives established under the Pacific Salmon Treaty, according to a Fish and Wildlife statement. A quota of just 20,440 marked coho for the Westport area is double what it was last year, but less than half that of the area south of Leadbetter Point in Pacific County, where the quota is 42,400 marked coho. That’s due to concerns over a Queets River coho return not expected to reach escapement goals that are set to ensure sustainable runs in the future.
“These are difficult times for salmon in Washington, which means it’s also a difficult time for fishing,” said Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind. “Fortunately, there should still be some good opportunities available to anglers throughout the state. We’ll be monitoring returns closely to make sure we’re staying within our conservation objectives, and modify fisheries as needed.”
All four of Washington’s marine areas are scheduled to open June 19 for a Chinook-only fishery, then transition to a Chinook and coho fishery beginning June 27 in Westport and Ilwaco, and beginning July 4 in Neah Bay and La Push. Daily limits and days of the week open to salmon fishing vary between areas.
Additional information about this year’s sport salmon fisheries can be found online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/nof. Visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations to see statewide fishing regulations and download the latest fishing rules pamphlet, and https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ for emergency rule changes that may impact fisheries.