How salmon seasons are set is one of the most confusing and misunderstood processes for salmon anglers in Washington. Even many experienced anglers do not understand the process. For the past few years, WDFW has dedicated an entire webpage to the process.
Each year state, federal and tribal fishery managers gather to plan the Northwest's recreational and commercial salmon fisheries. This series of public meetings between state, tribal, federal and industry representatives and other concerned citizens is known as the North of Falcon process. The North of Falcon planning process includes the March and April meetings of the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PMFC), where ocean commercial and sport salmon seasons are set. In between the two PFMC meetings, the states of Washington and Oregon and the Treaty Tribes sponsor two additional public meetings. Fishery managers generally refer to the entire pre-season process as North of Falcon, although only the two meetings hosted by Washington and Oregon are actually titled North of Falcon meetings.