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News / Sports / Outdoors

Salmon seasons tentatively set for 2024-2025

By Columbian news services
Published: April 13, 2024, 5:45am

Anglers in Washington can expect similar salmon fishing opportunities in 2024-2025 compared to last season, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fishery managers announced.

The 2024-25 salmon fishing seasons, cooperatively developed by WDFW and treaty tribes, were tentatively set Thursday at the week-long Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting held in Seattle.

“These salmon fishing seasons were crafted carefully to ensure conservation goals are achieved for salmon populations, especially those listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act,” said WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. “We’ve worked carefully with treaty tribes to ensure there will be sustainable salmon fisheries and developed a fair number of fishing opportunities in Washington while protecting weaker salmon stocks.”

Columbia River

Summer Chinook salmon fisheries on the Columbia River are expected to have fewer retention opportunities than 2023, with fishing planned to be open June 16-19 from the Astoria-Megler Bridge to Bonneville Dam. Bonneville Dam to Priest Rapids Dam will open June 16-30, and closed to retention thereafter. Sockeye retention is expected to be allowed in the daily salmonid bag limit from June 16-July 31 for waters downstream of Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco.

Fall fisheries from Buoy 10 to the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco are planned for an Aug. 1 opener, with different dates by area for Chinook and coho. This includes steelhead restrictions throughout the river. The coho run size is expected to be lower than in recent years but should provide similar fishing opportunities. The Chinook run size is less than last year’s return but is still expected to provide good fishing opportunities.

The 2024 Columbia River sockeye forecast of 401,700 is up 16% over the recent 10-year average. The Okanogan River sockeye forecast of 288,700 is up from 187,400 and an actual return of 179,655 in 2023.

The Lake Wenatchee sockeye salmon forecast is 97,000 up from a 44,300 forecast in 2023 and the actual return was 146,875. The management objective is 23,000 sockeye at Tumwater Dam. The lake could provide a late-summer sport fishery if the objective is met.

Coastal fisheries

The ocean salmon fisheries reflect forecasts for Columbia River Chinook that are similar to 2023. The number of hatchery coho expected to return to the Columbia River is lower than 2023 but should provide good opportunities. WDFW fishery managers agreed during this week’s PFMC meeting to recreational ocean quotas of 41,000 Chinook and 79,800 marked coho.

Marine Area 4 (Neah Bay), Marine Area 3 (La Push), and Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) will open for salmon retention beginning June 22. Marine Area 2 (Westport-Ocean Shores) opens June 30-July 11 on Sundays through Thursdays only, and then open daily beginning July 14. Marine Areas 2, 3, and 4 are scheduled to remain open until Sept. 15 or until quotas are met. Marine Area 1 is scheduled to remain open until Sept. 30 or until quotas are met. Species and size restrictions are dependent on the area.