At last, summer season on salmon fisheries is open. NOAA Fisheries has given state Fish and Wildlife its approval to reopen sport salmon fisheries effective immediately. According to the state Fish and Wildlife salmon policy coordinator, the reason for a two-month delay in the opening salmon season was negotiations between the state and tribal fishery managers.
The main issue of negotiations on salmon fisheries was how to carve out fishing seasons while putting an emphasis to help conserve weak runs of Puget Sound wild coho and chinook — they are listed under the federal endangered species act. Both the state and tribes finally came to the mutual agreement only on May 26.
At last, permit processed, and marine areas (south-central Puget Sound, southern Puget Sound, and the Tulalip Bubble Fishery) are open for hatchery chinook only. The piers in Puget Sound are open for salmon fishing, but anglers must release all coho. Anglers fishing from piers within Sinclair Inlet are only required to release wild coho.
According to federal statistics, the overall ocean sport quota this season is 35,000 chinook and 18,900 hatchery-marked coho. Last year it was 64,000 chinook and 150,800 coho, much more in comparison with the today’s quota.