ILWACO, Wash. - Salmon anglers who fish off Washington's southern and central coast will be able to retain chinook salmon that are at least 24 inches in length, beginning 12:01 a.m. Friday.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said currently, chinook caught in marine areas 1 (Ilwaco), 2 (Westport) and 3 (La Push) must be at least 26 inches to retain. The reduction in the minimum length was made because the total sport catch for the three marine areas is still well within allowable guidelines, said Pat Pattillo, WDFW statewide salmon policy coordinator.

Through Sunday, anglers had taken 14,827 chinook in the three marine areas, which have a combined season quota of 40,700 chinook. All other fisheries rules remain in place. Hatchery coho must be at least 16 inches to retain, and wild coho must be released unharmed.

Also starting Friday, anglers in Marine Area 3 will be able to keep two chinook salmon - rather than one - as part of their daily two-salmon limit. Fisheries managers already liberalized the chinook daily limit in marine areas 1 and 2 on July 23 when salmon fishing went to seven days a week and anglers could retain two chinook per day as part of their two-fish daily limit.

More fishing information is available online at (http://wdfw.wa.gov/)

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