Summer bringing fishing choices
The first day of summer is less than a week away, with a wide range of fishing activities to make an angler shout, "Fish on! " The early ocean...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seattle native and lifelong angler Mark Yuasa blogs on fishing in the Pacific Northwest.
The first day of summer is less than a week away, with a wide range of fishing activities to make an angler shout, "Fish on!"
The early ocean hatchery chinook fishery at Westport got off to a really good start, and bodes well for this summer.
"We ended up with 1,300 chinook caught (last weekend) at Westport, and an average of 1.5 fish per angler," said Wendy Beeghly, a state Fish and Wildlife coastal biologist. "That is a pretty good catch figure, and it sounds like it stayed that way at midweek.
"I would say over half the boats we sampled had limited," Beeghly said. "The average size was 10 to 12 pounds, with a wider range of weights from 7 to 22 pounds."
Beeghly says the boats weren't going out very far, and found fish just outside Grays Harbor off Ocean Shores and the south jetty in 60 to 120 feet of water.
On the southern coast at Ilwaco, last weekend's opener wasn't quite as good, mainly due to lousy weather and a rough ocean. By Sunday some boats had managed to get out, and the average was about one fish caught for every other rod. The fish were reportedly caught off Klipson Beach (located between Long Beach and Ocean Park) and North Head.
On the northern coast, Neah Bay and La Push open Saturday for hatchery chinook fishing.
Low tides coming
A series of low tides are coming up and should expose beaches for shellfish gathering.
Low tides: Saturday, -0.5 at 9:48 a.m.; Sunday, -1.0 at 10:20 a.m.; Monday, -1.5 at 10:53 a.m.; Tuesday, -1.8 at 11:28 a.m.; Wednesday, -1.9 at 12:03 p.m.; June 21, -1.9 at 12:40 p.m.; June 22, -1.6 at 1:19 p.m. Check the state fisheries website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/beaches/; and Dept. of Health website for closures and red tide updates at http://ww4.doh.wa.gov/gis/mogifs/biotoxin.htm.
Many are gearing up for a decent predicted sockeye return of 35,000 on the Lower Skagit River, which is open Saturday to July 15.
The Skagit will be open from Highway 536 (Memorial Highway Bridge) in Mount Vernon to the mouth of Gilligan Creek, about 3 three miles above Sedro-Woolley.
Further upstream, chinook catches have been fair on the Skagit from Rockport into the Cascade River.
Celebrate Father's Day by heading out with dad to lakes recently planted with 5,000 large-sized rainbow trout.
In King County, Green received 870; Geneva 450; Bitter 100 and Echo 100. In Snohomish County, Blackman's got 300 and Gissburg Ponds (aka Twin Lakes) 350. In Skagit County, Whistle 300. In Kitsap County, Island 300. In Grays Harbor County, Vance Creek (Elma) Ponds 100. In Pierce County, American 1,200.
For more information, wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/statewide/.
Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or email@example.com
|Statewide lakes||Hottest kokanee bite in state is Lake Chelan for fish averaging a chunky 14 inches, and limits have been the rule. Fair for kokanee at Stevens, Samish and American. Potholes Reservoir is good for trout, bass and walleye. Good for walleye in Moses Lake, and fair at Banks Lake for walleye and bass.|
|Statewide rivers||Fair to good for steelhead at Reiter Ponds on the Skykomish, and fair for boat anglers from Lewis Street Bridge to Sultan. Fair for spring chinook in Sol Duc. Fair for steelhead in Bogachiel, Calawah and Hoh. Slowed down on Icicle River for spring chinook. Cedar River is open for trout catch-and-release fishing.|
|Columbia River region||
"Still seeing some good steelhead and incidental sockeye catches on Lower Columbia from Longview downstream, and seeing good numbers of adult chinook being released last week," said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.
Anglers may keep adult hatchery chinook starting Saturday from the Astoria-Megler Bridge up to Priest Rapids Dam. The mark rate on adult fish released was about 60 percent in the past week. Shad fishing in the Lower Columbia remains excellent with 100,189 counted at Bonneville Dam on June 11, and 108,739 on June 12, upping the total to 948,142. Sturgeon may be kept Friday and Saturday (and June 22-23) in Bonneville Pool mainstem and tributaries. Fair to good for spring chinook in Cowlitz near salmon hatchery, and for steelhead between the hatcheries and below barrier dam. Slow for steelhead in Kalama and Lewis. Slow for spring chinook in Wind River and Drano Lake. Fair in Lower Columbia estuary for sturgeon. Good for walleye and bass in The Dalles Pool.
|Marine areas||Fair for chinook off Edmonds Pier, where a 7- and 11-pounder were caught last Saturday. Look for other piers like Seacrest in West Seattle to pick up soon. Slow for chinook in south central Puget Sound off Tacoma, Southworth and Narrows area. Last chance for lingcod in Puget Sound, which closes after Friday. Fair to good for halibut at Sekiu (open Thursdays to Saturdays only until June 23). Very good for lingcod and rockfish off Neah Bay. Central Puget Sound north of a line from Point Monroe to Meadow Point is open for salmon catch and release. The Tulalip terminal fishery is slow and open Fridays to noon Mondays.|