Fisheries Managers Look To Reduce Minimum Size Limit For Winter Chinook

Another in a series of state Fish and Wildlife salmon season setting meetings wrapped up today (Wednesday, March 27) at Lynnwood Embassy Suites.

Nothing definitive on specific fishing seasons was released as state and tribal fishery managers are still nailing down issues. Details should start to come to light at the final Pacific Fishery Management Council meetings April 6-11 at the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel in Portland, Oregon.
One of the major topics discussed by sport anglers at the Lynnwood meeting was reducing the chinook minimum size limit from 22-inches to 20-inches during the winter marked-selective hatchery chinook fisheries.
Marked-selective hatchery chinook fisheries are those where anglers can only keep hatchery fish that are identified by a missing adipose fin meaning.
Many sport fishing constituents at the meeting supported reducing the minimum size limit, and say a lot of the fish encountered during the winter are 20- to 21-plus inches.
While the support is there for lowering the size limit, one of the main concerns is what effect this will have on fisheries like early inseason closures and impacts on wild fish encounters.
“Anytime you increase the harvest, you increase the scrutiny of the fisheries,” said Steve Thiesfeld, a state Fish and Wildlife Puget Sound salmon manager.
State Fish and Wildlife intends to send a proposal on reducing the minimum size to their tribal co-managers by Friday, March 29.