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Originally published Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 6:28 PM

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Salmon fishing off coast is a top spot | Fishing report

Ocean salmon fishing season remains the top choice with hot fishing off Ilwaco and Westport in recent days.


Seattle Times staff reporter

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There is a lot happening on the fishing front, and the ocean salmon fishing season remains the top choice with hot fishing off Ilwaco and Westport in recent days.

“We’ve had some pretty good fishing, and at Ilwaco we saw a 1.5 fish per person average and most were coho (3 to 6 pounds),” said Wendy Beeghly, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “At Westport action picked up by Friday, and they ended up with a 1.6 fish per rod average. It was about two coho for every chinook.”

To the north, La Push anglers averaged 1.3 fish per rod, and most were coho. At Neah Bay, it was 0.8 fish per rod with a catch rate of four chinook for every coho.

Locally, south-central Puget Sound is fair for hatchery kings averaging 8 to 15 pounds with a few larger.

“There’s been a decent king bite around the tide changes mostly off the Clay Banks and Shelf area (off Point Defiance Park in Tacoma),” said Art Tatchell, manager of the Point Defiance Park Boathouse.

“Point Evans (near the Narrows Bridge) has also produced some fish, and the biggest I’ve seen was a 29 pounder caught on Sunday,” Tatchell said. “The hatchery-mark rate was about 50 percent (anglers can keep on hatchery fish with a missing adipose fin).”

The northern portion of central Puget Sound is open for salmon catch-and-release fishing, and fishing slowed down but should improve this week with the better tidal exchange.

The upcoming low tide series in Puget Sound and Hood Canal bodes well for gathering clams and oysters. North Sound low tides are: Thursday, minus-1.6 feet at 10:54 a.m.; Friday, -1.6 at 11:30 a.m.; Saturday, -1.4 at 12:05 p.m.; and Sunday, -1.1 at 12:41 p.m.

Before heading to a beach know the rules first by checking the regulation pamphlet. Then check the state Fish and Wildlife website at http://wdfw.wa.gov, and their hotline at 866-880-5431 or http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/. State Fish and Wildlife also offers a good interactive shellfish map at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/beaches/. Lastly, call the marine biotoxin hotline at 800-562-5632 or visit the Department of Health website at www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Shellfish.aspx.

Nibbles and bites

Sekiu, Port Angeles, San Juan Islands and Hood Canal south of Ayock Point open for salmon fishing on Tuesday; northern Puget Sound and Admiralty Inlet open Tuesday through July 15 for coho only; Crabbing fishing opens July 3 in most areas of Puget Sound and Hood Canal; Baker Lake opens July 10 for sockeye; northern Puget Sound, Admiralty Inlet and central Puget Sound open for hatchery kings July 16. Check the regulation pamphlet for specific catch details.

Fishing Report
Location Comment
Marine areasSouthern Puget Sound, south of the Narrows Bridge, is open daily for Dungeness crab and has been fair to good, but slow for hatchery kings. The Tulalip Bay terminal salmon fishery is also open Fridays to noon Mondays. The Edmonds Pier is producing a few kings.
Biting: YesRating: ★★★  
Statewide rivers

“We’re seeing some boats doing well on steelhead and summer chinook, and bank anglers are catching both,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “The best spot for bank anglers is closer to (Bonneville) dam and best bet for steelhead is from the mouth of Cowlitz downstream.”

Good in the Cowlitz for spring chinook at barrier dam, and for summer steelhead between the hatcheries.

Spring chinook closes on the Wind after Monday. Lots of sockeye streaming up Bonneville, and some were caught in Bonneville Pool. Slow for sockeye in the Skagit from Highway 536 at Mount Vernon (Memorial Highway Bridge) up to mouth of Gilligan Creek, which is open through Sunday with a two sockeye daily limit. Fair in the Skykomish for summer steelhead, but off and on for hatchery chinook. Lower Columbia is good for shad below Bonneville Dam and in the Washougal area. Fair to good for walleye and bass in The Dalles and John Day pools of Columbia.

Biting: YesRating: ★★★  
Statewide lakes

In Snohomish County, Gissburg Ponds was planted June 16 with 1,640 trout and Lake Goodwin received 4,420. In southwest Washington, Spearfish Lake was planted June 13 with 2,752 trout. In the Puget Sound region, lakes recently planted were Green Lake in King County; American and Rapjohn in Pierce County; Blackmans and Gissburg Ponds in Snohomish County; Campbell and Padden in Skagit County; and Padden in Whatcom County. Other west side lakes worth a try are Mineral in Lewis; Sawyer, Rattlesnake, Walker, Beaver, Desire, Meridian, Wilderness and Cottage in King; Tanwax and Kapowsin in Pierce; and Duck and Aberdeen in Grays Harbor. For the latest trout plants go to http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/. Good at Potholes Reservoir for walleye, bass and trout. Lake Chelan is good for lake trout and kokanee. Good for trout catch and release in Omak Lake. Fair for cutthroat trout in Lake Washington. Fair for kokanee Stevens, American, Meridian and Roesiger.

Biting: YesRating: ★★★  

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



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