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Originally published Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Salmon biting in Strait and into Puget Sound | Fishing report

Summer salmon fishing action has cooled off on the coast.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Reel Time Northwest

Seattle native and lifelong angler Mark Yuasa blogs on fishing in the Pacific Northwest.

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Summer salmon-fishing action has switched to the inside waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca into Puget Sound, and the coastal fishery has cooled off.

"We had a three really great days (July 1-3) and then (Tuesday) the king bite dropped off, but we're starting to see some bigger ones," said Chris Mohr, owner of Van Riper's Resort at Sekiu.

"Limits aren't the exception but more the rule (for mainly pinks and hatchery-marked coho, 4 to 6 pounds)," said Mohr, who also weighed a 7-pound pink. "If this is just the front shoulder of the pink run (6 million forecast to return), and I can't imagine what it will be like in a month when it peaks."

Just east in the Strait, the Port Angeles and Freshwater Bay areas were good for hatchery chinook as well as a few coho and pinks.

"There are fish around Port Angeles, and it was good on (July 1) opener (58 boats with 78 chinook)," Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife checker in the Strait said. "It slowed down somewhat, but we got hit with big winds and now fog."

Bennett says the biggest king was 30 pounds at Sekiu, and 27 pounds at Port Angeles.

The hatchery king fishery opened on a good note last Friday in the San Juan Islands, and was going strong at midweek for fish 15 to 20 pounds, and a few up to 30 pounds.

"We found pretty good fishing on the opener for kings, and all my friends have been coming home since then with limits," said Brett Barkdull, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.

Good island areas are Thatcher Pass, Obstruction Pass, Point Lawrence and Rosario Strait.

Central Puget Sound is open for coho, and charters have been finding good catches of 2- to 4-pounders, and releasing many kings (can't keep them until July 16) at Jefferson Head, Richmond Beach and Kingston.

In south central Puget Sound, the king fishery went from poor to fair at times.

"It picked up each day this week for kings (10 to 20 pounds) over at Point Dalco (off south side of Vashon Island), Girl Scout Camp (on west side of Colvos Passage), and on the shelf between Dalco and Point Defiance lighthouse," said Art Tatchell, manager of the Point Defiance Park Boathouse in Tacoma.

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

Fishing report
Location Comment
Marine salmon and crab Excellent start to the Dungeness crab fishery in Hood Canal and Puget Sound (open Thursdays to Mondays). San Juan Islands open for crabbing July 15 in south portion, and Aug. 15 in the north. Slow for salmon this week at Ilwaco, Westport, La Push and Neah Bay, and best off Ocean Shores and Swiftsure Bank off Neah Bay. Slow south of Ayock Point in Hood Canal, but look for pinks to arrive soon at Hoodsport. The Bellingham Puget Sound Anglers Chapter Salmon Derby is July 8-10. Details: www.bellinghampsa.com. North and Central Sound open July 16 for hatchery chinook.
Biting: Yes/No

Rating: 4 stars

Statewide lakes Good for kokanee at Lake Stevens in deep water about 50 to 70 feet, and fair to good at Palmer, Kachess, Keechelus, Samish, Bumping, Whatcom and American. Fair for trout at Deer, Mineral, McMurray, Baker, Meridian, Banks, Angle, Lone, Green and Roesiger. Lake Chelan is very good for lake trout. Fair to good for bass and cutthroat in Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. Good at Potholes Reservoir for walleye and bass.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 3 stars

Statewide rivers Good for steelhead at Reiter Ponds on Skykomish, but slow for kings in open sections. Lot of snowmelt runoff on the Cascade and open areas of Skagit (both open through July 15), and slow for kings. Fair to good for steelhead, shad, chinook and sockeye in Lower Columbia. Sturgeon catch in Columbia River estuary improved around Deep River and Knappton. Good for steelhead in Lower Calawah and Bogachiel. Good for walleye and bass in The Dalles Pool.
Biting: Yes/No

Rating: 3 stars

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