Popular sport salmon fishing seasons continue to dry up this week as the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced additional reductions to harvest limits on regional waterways.
Beginning Saturday, anglers fishing the assorted watersheds between Marine Area 2-2 in Grays Harbor and the Hoh River will be limited to just one adult fish per day. Once anglers have attained their allotted adults salmon they will be required to cease fishing.
That rule change was not given a firm end date by the WDFW. The reason for the reduction in harvest limit has been blamed on disappointing returns of coho salmon on coastal rivers ranging from Grays Harbor to the rain forest drainages of the Olympic Peninsula.
A press release from the WDFW noted that, “Coho returns to tributaries along the coast from Hoh River south to Grays Harbor appear to be significantly lower than preseason predictions. These conservation measures are being taken to ensure escapement goals are met.”
Waterways subject to the conservation measure include the mainstem Chehalis, Skookumchuck, Newaukum, Satsop, and Wishkah rivers. In particular, that rule change applies to for following waters:
• Marine Area 2-2 (Grays Harbor)
• Black River (Grays Harbor/Thurston Co.), from mouth to bridge on 128th Ave. SW.
• Chehalis River (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth (Hwy. 101 Bridge in Aberdeen) to the
high bridge on Weyerhaeuser 1000 line.
• Copalis River (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth to Carlisle Bridge.
• Elk River (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth (Hwy. 105 Bridge) to the confluence of
• Hoh River (Jefferson Co.), from Olympic National Park boundary upstream to Morgans
Crossing boat launch.
• Hoquiam River, including West Fork (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth (Hwy. 101 Bridge
on Simpson Ave) to Dekay Rd. Bridge (West Fork).
• Hoquiam River, East Fork (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth to confluence of Berryman
• Johns River (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth (Hwy. 105 Bridge) to Ballon Creek.
• Moclips River (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth to Quinault Indian Reservation boundary.
• Newaukum River, including South Fork (Lewis Co.), from mouth to Leonard Rd. near
• Quinault River, Upper (Clallam Co.), from mouth at upper end of Quinault Lake
upstream to Olympic National Park boundary.
• Salmon River (Jefferson Co.) outside Quinault Indian reservation and Olympic
• Satsop River and East Fork (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth to bridge at Schafer
State Park; and from 400’ below Bingham Creek Hatchery to the dam.
• Skookumchuck River (Lewis/Thurston Co.), from mouth to 100 feet below outlet of
TransAlta WDFW steelhead rearing pond located at the base of Skookumchuck Dam.
• Wishkah River (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth to 200’ below the weir at the Wishkah
Rearing Ponds; and from 150’ upstream to 150’ downstream of the Wishkah adult adult
attraction channel/outfall structure (within the posted fishing boundary).
• Wynoochee River (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth to WDFW White Bridge access site.
Those reductions in daily harvest limit comes just days after the WDFW closed all salmon fishing in the Willapa system due to poor coho returns. A section of South Puget Sound was also closed recently due to a poor return of chum salmon.