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Originally published Monday, March 11, 2013 at 8:08 PM

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Ocean salmon quotas should be similar to last summer's catch | Fishing

Three ocean salmon fishing catch-quota options were set by state and federal fisheries officials, and it could mirror last summer's good...

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Three ocean salmon fishing catch-quota options were set by state and federal fisheries officials, and it could mirror last summer's good season.

"Our quota range for coho encompasses last year, but it looks like we'll see a lower chinook catch," said Doug Milward, a state Fish and Wildlife coastal salmon manager.

The Lower Columbia River hatchery chinook return is forecast at 126,000, which is down from last year's forecast 191,000 (actual return of 141,600). That return is regarded as the backbone for ocean and in-river fisheries. The Columbia coho forecast is 716,400 compared to 632,700 last year, and an actual run of 306,100.

The high sport fishing quota option this summer is 51,500 chinook and 75,600 hatchery coho; middle option is 41,500 and 71,400; and the lower end option is 30,000 and 63,000. Last year's quota was 51,500 chinook and 69,720 hatchery coho.

The top two options will include the highly popular early summer sport hatchery-marked chinook fishery that begins in mid-June. That early coastal summer fishery generated 5,500 angler trips with 5,400 hatchery chinook.

Those good times carried into the entire summer ocean salmon fishery, which remained very good right up until it closed in late September although coho catches were relatively sparse.

State Fish and Wildlife will discuss preliminary Puget Sound, coast and Columbia River fisheries from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday at the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E. in Olympia. Final seasons will be set April 6-11. For a list of meetings, go to http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon.

Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or myuasa@seattletimes.com

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