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Salmon in the San Juans? One and done for the rest of winter fishing season
Anglers fishing in the San Juans are now limited to one salmon per day through the rest of the winter season, which closes April 30.
The catch-limit for salmon in the San Juans, also known as Marine Area 7, was reduced from two to one per day, beginning Monday, Feb. 24, to control the fishery's impact on stocks of concern, according to the Washington state Department of Fish & Wildlife.
“Nice weather and calm days on the water have led to a productive winter salmon season for anglers fishing in the San Juan Islands,” WDFW's Ryan Lothrop, a fish biologist, said in a department press release.
According to preliminary estimates by WDFW, anglers had kept or released 4,572 chinook salmon in Marine Area 7, as of Feb. 16.
Lothrop said the new catch limit will ensure compliance with conservation objectives and state-tribal management plans in Puget Sound. Fish & Wildlife will continue to monitor the fishery in Marine Area 7 through April 30, when it is scheduled to close.
Anglers fishing in Marine Area 7 must release any chinook not specifically marked with a clipped adipose fin, sign of a hatchery fish. However, since some released wild chinook do not survive, they are counted toward the management guideline of 4,888 total encounters with legal-size chinook during the fishery.
Bellingham Bay and Samish Bay will be closed to salmon fishing for the month of April. Anglers can check for updates on WDFW’s Fishing Hotline (360-902-2500), or the department’s website, at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.