Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

September 28, 2018

Most Willapa Bay tributaries to open for coho

Action: Opens salmon in Willapa Bay tributaries with scheduled salmon seasons, except the Naselle River. Salmon daily limit is 6 fish, up to 2 adults may be retained, and no more than 1 adult may be a wild coho. Release all chinook.

Effective date: Oct. 1 until further notice.

Species affected: Salmon.

Location: Bear River; Fork Creek; Middle Nemah River; North Nemah River; South Nemah River; North River; Smith Creek; Willapa River; Willapa River; South Fork.

Reason for action: WDFW previously closed these areas to salmon fishing to protect fall chinook, which were returning in lower numbers than expected. Over the past week, active brood stocking efforts conducted by hatchery staff and volunteers have been significantly increased, making it likely that hatchery production goals for fall chinook will be met on the Willapa and Nemah river systems. Additionally, the proportion of females in the broodstock collected in these systems is higher than expected.

Returns of fall chinook needed for hatchery production in the Naselle River system are still short of the production goal. The Naselle River will remain closed to salmon fishing.

Retention of fall chinook is prohibited in all fisheries in the Willapa Bay watershed as a conservation measure in order to focus harvest opportunity on coho.

Additional information: Gamefish seasons remain as scheduled in the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

Information contact: Chad Herring, South Coast Fishery Policy Analyst, (360) 249-1299.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

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