I grew up in Washington State, close to the southern part of Puget Sound. Back then, I caught a lot of different fish. But when it comes to fishing, salmon are what this area is best known for. The salmon fishery in the Pacific Northwest is one of the most regulated fisheries in the world. Marine biologists are constantly monitoring the stock and predicting the annual return based on the data collected. Fishery regulations are then set based on the their findings.
This year, Washington fisheries managers are predicting a return that could rival anything in the last 50 or more years. Find out why this might be the year for you to go salmon fishing in Washington.
During the holiday shopping rush, state fisheries released preliminary forecasts showing Columbia River chinook returns could rival those dating back to 1938.
“That huge return of chinook not seen in more than 70 years should elevate the excitement level very high this summer,” Tony Floor, director of fishing affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association, said of a landmark return of nearly 3 million Columbia River chinook and coho.
“This should definitely be the cornerstone of any saltwater fishing activity in Washington,” said Floor.
Not soon after the fishing seasons were set in April, the commercial coastal chinook troll fisheries in May jettisoned into high gear. Success skyrocketed at Neah Bay and Ilwaco leading to catch reductions and brief in-season closures.
Photos: Westport Charters