Wednesday September 27, 2023

Chinook Observer

The salmon fishery in Willapa Bay hit its peak the first week of the month, and now fisherman are turning their attention to its tributaries, including the Naselle and Willapa rivers. The fishery opened on Aug. 1 and, so far, 5,306 anglers have tossed bait into the bay.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife sent out a weekly update on Sept. 22, which shows that between Aug. 1 and Sept. 17, approximately 506 wild Chinook salmon impacts have been noted, and approximately five were kept. About 122 native and 333 hatchery coho have also been retained.

In Willapa Bay, WDFW counts returning unmarked salmon as “natural” and gives them the same protections as native wild-spawning fish.

According to the report, the Naselle Hatchery is having the best return this season, including 32 male and 9 female native Chinook that were recruited into and then moved upstream of the hatchery. 799 adult and 44 juvenile hatchery Chinook have “volunteered into the attraction channel” at the hatchery and recruited into the hatchery.

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