Westport / Marine Area 2 Fishing

King salmon caught out of westport

Marine Area 2 Definition:  From Leadbetter Point north to the Queets River, excluding Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor

Marine Area 2-1 (Willapa Bay) Definition: east of a line from Leadbetter Point (46°39.20′ N, 124° 3.516′ W) due west to 46°39.20′ N, 124° 5.3′ W then due north to the westerly most landfall on Cape Shoalwater (46°44.66′ N, 124° 5.3′ W)

Marine Area 2-2 (Grays Harbor) Definition: east of a line from the tip of the north jetty to exposed end of the south jetty

Westport Marine Area 2 Map
Westport Marine Area 2 Map

Westport / Marine Area 2 – Recent Posts and WDFW News

Westport / Marine Area 2 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 salmon 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 caught out of Westport are headed for the Columbia River, so those forecasts will reveal a lot about what to expect fishing the Ocean in Marine Area 2.

Typically, a season for salmon out of Westport / Marine Area 2 will kick off in early July and go until the quota is exhausted, though some years it could open in late June as well. Typically, allowing retention of 2 salmon, 1 of which can be a chinook and a requirement to release wild coho.

Again, the above are not the actual 2023 fishing regulations, but to give you an idea if you’re making trip planning decisions. Chinook retention was modified to close Friday’s and Saturday’s on July 17th, 2022 due to 30% of the quota being consumed in those first two weeks of July. So unless the chinook are hard to find, that first week of July can be a good bet.

A lot of salmon fishing out of Westport in Marine Area 2 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:

Proposed Salmon Seasons from WDFW for Marine Area 2 / Westport

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) approved a recreational Chinook catch quota of 39,000 fish, up from last year’s quota of 27,000. The PFMC, which establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters 3 to 200 miles off the Pacific coast, also adopted a quota of 159,600 hatchery coho for this year’s recreational ocean fishery. This represents a decrease over last year’s initial coho quota of 168,000.  

Marine Area 2 (Westport): Opens June 24. Open seven days per week with a daily limit of two salmon, no more than one of which may be a Chinook. Chinook minimum size is 22 inches. Anglers must release wild coho.

Westport / Marine Area 2 Bottom Fishing 2023

Fishing for a variety of bottom fish out of Wesport in Marine Area 2 can be fantastic when the season is open. This typically occurs from the second Sat. in March until the Third Sat. in October. Note: Halibut is different, and has special opening days linked below and a quota system.

For Lingcod, you should refer to the permanent regulations as there are a variety of day periods such as the deepwater lingcod fishery, which determines what depths and areas can be fished throughout the season.

For ideas on how to fish for lingcod off Washington coastal waters see this link.

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. I wrote this blog post in early 2022 to help you prepare a variety of riggings to get super efficient limits of rockfish.

I’ve also completed a very comprehensive page on how to catch rockfish.

The below video was shot in Marine Area 2 with a trip in April, 2022 out of Westport.

Halibut Fishing out of Westport / Marine Area 2

Here’s a link to the WDFW page on halibut fishing in Marine Area 2. 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 Westport / Marine Area 2

While the Columbia River bar is the more dangerous bigger brother of river bars, the Westport / Grays Harbor bar should not be taken lightly in anyway. In the wrong conditions this bar can absolutely sink boats. I highly recommend booking a charter if it’s your first time going over a serious river bar, and even if it’s just your first time going over the Grays Harbor bar, a charter can give you an idea how a professional navigates this critical stretch of water.

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:

I now own a more serious offshore boat, but I still take trip planning extremely seriously whenever venturing over a river bar or into big water in general.

Westport / Marine Area 2 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 2 regulations here.

Emergency Fishing Regulations for Westport / Marine Area 2 2023

The above permanent regulations for Marine Area 2 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.