Winter Chinook fishery opens four days per week starting March 1 in Marine Areas 10 and 11

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

OLYMPIA – Winter Chinook fishing in Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton Area)and Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island) opens four days per week – Wednesdays through Saturdays only – starting March 1, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) fishery managers announced today.

“Given the popularity of these fisheries in recent years, our goal was to plan the season to give us the best chance of fishing into April,” said Dr. Kirsten Simonsen, WDFW’s Puget Sound recreational salmon manager. “Based on the pre-season test fishing data and the available quota for the winter season, we believe that a four day per week fishery gives us the best opportunity for a consistent winter fishery.”

WDFW fishery managers decided to move ahead with the four day per week opener after consulting with the Puget Sound Sports Fishing Advisory Group and recreational anglers, who indicated a priority for preserving fishing opportunity as long as possible late into the winter fishing season. The fishery is scheduled to run Wednesdays through Saturdays only – from March 1 through mid-April, except at year-round piers.

In Marine Area 10, the winter Chinook fishery guidelines are 4,953 total encounters, 953 unmarked encounters, and 4,181 sublegal encounters. In Marine Area 11, the winter Chinook fishery guideline is 1,191 total encounters, 259 unmarked encounters and 816 sublegal encounters. WDFW will continuously analyze the fishery data collected via test fishing and creel sampling throughout the season. For weekly updates on the status of these fisheries, anglers can view the WDFW’s seasonal Puget Sound salmon fishery guidelines and quotas webpage.

The daily limit is two salmon including no more than one Chinook. Anglers must release chum and wild Chinook, and the Chinook minimum size is 22 inches. All other salmon species have no minimum size limit. Commencement Bay (east of a line from Cliff House Restaurant to Sperry Ocean Dock) in Marine Area 11 is closed to salmon fishing. The Agate Pass Area in Marine Area 10 remains open daily to catch and release fly fishing only through March 31.

Check the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet and WDFW’s emergency rules webpage and download the Fish Washington mobile app for up-to-date regulations.

Salmon seasons are a result of an annual collaborative state and tribal salmon season-setting process known as North of Falcon. The 2024-2025 statewide salmon forecast meeting is March 1 in Olympia. For the public meeting schedule with opportunities to participate and provide public feedback, visit WDFW’s North of Falcon webpage. Visit the WDFW North of Falcon FAQs and Glossary for key terms and suggested resources.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.

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