For spot shrimpers, 2013 holds bigger share
Spot shrimp anglers will get a bigger piece of the pie when fishing opens in May. The state Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Saturday...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seattle native and lifelong angler Mark Yuasa blogs on fishing in the Pacific Northwest.
Spot shrimp anglers will get a bigger piece of the pie when fishing opens in May.
The state Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Saturday on a Puget Sound spot shrimp policy that gives 70 percent of catch share to sport anglers and 30 percent to nontribal commercial fishermen.
"The increase will definitely mean more days on the water for the recreational fishery," said Mark O'Toole, a state Fish and Wildlife shellfish manager. "Some areas will see significantly longer seasons."
The current spot shrimp catches have been in place since 2003, and in some areas the nontribal commercial catch has increased dramatically while the sport fishery has dwindled.
Sport spot shrimpers in south-central Puget Sound had just two days on the water last season compared to 51 in 2003. This year, it will increase to five days.
The San Juan Island region will be open 32 days compared to six last season. The Strait of Juan de Fuca will go to 99 days.
Sport anglers will now get the entire spot shrimp catch share on east side of Whidbey Island into Saratoga Pass and in northern Puget Sound with an increase of three days compared to two days in past seasons.
Central Puget Sound would go from two to four days; and southern Puget Sound will see a boost from two to five.
Hood Canal would remain status quo and open five days, with 100 percent of the catch going to sport.
State Fish and Wildlife will conduct test fisheries in March and April to determine shrimp abundance.
"Abundance has been pretty good and above average the last couple of years in many areas, and our postseason test fishing didn't show any change," O'Toole said. "We left plenty of female spot shrimp on the grounds so hopefully we'll maintain a good population."
Razor clam update
Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager, said there were 9,500 diggers for the last opener (Dec. 13-16) averaging 13.5 clams per person (15 is the daily limit).
The next digs are Dec. 28 at Twin Harbors; Dec. 29 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; Dec. 30-31 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks.
More dates will be announced soon, possibly by Friday, for digging in January and February.
|Local rivers||Fair to good for winter steelhead in the North Fork of the Stillaguamish, Cascade, North Fork of the Nooksack, Bogachiel and Reiter Ponds on Skykomish. Fair for steelhead in Cowlitz around trout hatchery, but spotty in Lewis, Kalama and Washougal. Tokul Creek from the Fish Hatchery Road Bridge to the posted cable boundary marker below the hatchery intake opens Friday for steelhead. Tokul from mouth to the downstream edge of the Fish Hatchery Road Bridge is currently open but closed daily from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.|
Squid jigging is very good at Seacrest Pier in West Seattle, Des Moines Pier, Les Davis Pier in Tacoma, A-Dock at Shilshole Bay Marina and Pier 86 off Elliott Avenue West in Seattle, and fair at Edmonds Pier. Still very good for Dungeness crab in some areas of Puget Sound and Hood Canal, and season closes after Dec. 31. Smelt jigging is good at the Oak Harbor Marina and Cornet Bay Marina on Whidbey Island. The west side of Whidbey Island off Bush and Lagoon points is generating a few steelhead for marine bank anglers.
Hatchery chinook fishing remains fair to good at Jefferson Head, Kingston, Freshwater Bay and Port Angeles, but slow at Manchester and Southworth. Off and on in Saratoga Pass, Tacoma area and Hood Canal. The Tengu Derby in Elliott Bay lured 29 anglers Sunday, and four fish were hooked including the winning 6-pound, 7-ounce fish by Tim Ratigan. Season leader is an
11-pound, 9-ounce fish caught by Doug Hanada. Derby meets at daybreak on Sundays through Dec. 30 at Seacrest Boathouse. Details: 206-324-7600.
|Local lakes||Fair to good for trout at Battleground Lake, Klineline Pond, Spearfish Lake and Ice House Lake for recently planted trout. Fair for trout at Roesiger, Ballinger, Blackmans and Goodwin, and for cutthroat in Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. No report from Beaver Lake near Issaquah, but worth a try.|