Definition: FROM THE QUEETS RIVER NORTH TO CAPE ALAVA
La Push / Marine Area 3 – Recent Posts and WDFW News
- Coastal recreational bottomfishing opens Saturday, March 11 with new rockfish regulations
- Halibut fishing in some Puget Sound areas start Thursday, April 6; coastal areas open Thursday, May 4
- CORRECTION: WDFW announces additional halibut fishing days to round out 2022 season, seeks public input on 2023 halibut season
- Don’t cancel your Sekiu trip – July 2022!
- WDFW Fishing Rule Change: Chinook daily limit reduced in Marine Area 3
La Push / Marine Area 3 Salmon Fishing 2023
Every year, the State of Washington represented by WDFW engages with federal regulatory bodies and tribal co-managers to figure out appropriate salmon seasons on stocks of salmon bound for their natal streams.
The process begins in March and culminates towards the end of June as salmon seasons are finalized and communicated to the public.
During this period, one needs to consult emergency regulations more so than permanent regulations for any openers in that time-period of March – June. I’ve described this topic extensively in my guide to understanding WDFW saltwater salmon regulations.
As the forecasts for the salmon seasons are released and made public I will post them to this page. Much of the salmon season in Marine Area 3 out of La Push are driven by the Columbia River return forecasts and seasons, but there’s also typically a late season that is more closely tied to salmon returning to rivers in the Forks area via the Quillayute River system.
The late salmon season in La Push / Marine Area 3 will typically have a specific area or bubble where fishing for salmon is allowed.
Typically, a season for salmon in Marine Area 3 will kick off in mid – late June and go until the quota is exhausted. Allowing retention of 2 salmon, 2 of which can be a chinook and a requirement to release wild coho.
Again, the above are not the actual current fishing regulations, but to give you an idea if you’re making trip planning decisions. Chinook retention was reduced to a single fish on June 30th in 2022, which is usually a good indicator that fishing is good in the latter half of June.
A lot of salmon fishing in Marine Area 3 and saltwater locations in general is done with downriggers. I’ve written an extensive guide to fishing for salmon with downriggers and also posted a how-to video for beginners to help you get started:
La Push / Marine Area 3 Bottom Fishing 2023
Fishing for a variety of bottom fish out of La Push / Marine Area 3 can be awesome when the season is open. This typically occurs from the second Sat. in March until the Third Sat. in October. Note: Halibut is different, has special opening days linked below and a quota system.
For both Lingcod and Rockfish, the permanent regulations include several variations in various date periods in terms of depths of fishing which are allowed and rockfish species retention.
For ideas on how to fish for lingcod off Washington coastal waters see this link. Here’s another resource about fishing for lingcod you can use as well.
Catching rockfish in our nearshore waters off of the Washington coast provides some of the best and easiest angling opportunities. Look for any rock piles in water depths typically < 100 ft and you will find significant populations of rockfish.
For help with how to catch rockfish, checkout this link.
The below video was shot in Marine Area 2, but everything in there for targeting lingcod and rockfish applies to Marine Area 3 as well:
Halibut Fishing out of La Push / Marine Area 3
Here’s a link to the WDFW page on halibut fishing in Marine Area 3. It should get updated as seasons and quota are announced, but there’s a good description of what you can expect if you are trying to make trip planning decisions.
Staying safe while fishing out of La Push / Marine Area 3
There are some real advantages to making an ocean fishing trip out of La Push when it comes to exiting your point of origin to take on the big open water.
This has everything to do with James Island being an immediate wind stopper from the common west and northwest wind directions that can impact marine boating safety.
Now, what this shouldn’t communicate to you is a lack of risk or needing to pay attention to what’s happening with marine weather in general. If you get a big wind from the south or southwest which is not infrequent, you’re looking at as difficult a river bar crossing as anywhere on the coast.
Even if you have protection from westerly winds while crossing the bar, if winds are significant, you may still not want to be on the open ocean in those conditions.
I’ve written a page on marine weather safety that’s extensive and one of the best references I’ve found that’s free on the internet, which attempts to explain many of the concepts you need to understand heading over river bars and making trip planning decisions to fish the ocean.
Here’s a video I posted about going over the Westport bar in a smaller boat:
La Push / Marine Area 3 Fishing Regulations 2023
Here’s a link to WDFW’s marine area rules and definitions.
Marine Area permanent regulations are updated in late June / early July of the year as salmon seasons are finalized, and you can access the current Marine Area 3 regulations here.
Emergency Fishing Regulations for La Push / Marine Area 3 2023
The above permanent regulations for Marine Area 3 are subject to change at any time and without being updated on this blog. One must consult the WDFW Emergency Regulations before any trips to ensure they are in full compliance with state laws regulating fisheries.