This year's South Sound recreational salmon fishing seasons will be nearly identical to last year's.
That is the assessment of fish managers from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife after they and tribal co-managers agreed Wednesday on fishing seasons for 2011.
The seasons were finalized during the meeting of the Pacific Fishery Management Council in San Mateo, Calif. The agreement sets dates and regulations for salmon fishing in Puget Sound, the ocean off Washington’s coast and the Columbia River.
“The seasons throughout Puget Sound pretty much replicate last year’s seasons,” department director Phil Anderson said.
“I don’t think we made any changes to Marine Area 11 (Tacoma) and 13 (South Sound) seasons,” said Steve Thiesfeld, Puget Sound salmon manger for the department.
Also, the department will require anglers to use barbless hooks on the Nisqually River.
“We’re trying to do everything we can to increase the survival of the fish we release. There is a benefit to doing that,” Thiesfeld said.
For the ocean fisheries, the council adopted a recreational chinook quota of 33,700 fish despite an expected increase in abundance.