Low-graphic news index |
Thursday, August 23, 2012 - Page updated at 07:30 p.m.
Coho make up for early closure of hatchery-king salmon fishery
By Mark Yuasa
Seattle Times staff reporter
The hatchery king salmon fishery ended sooner than expected in northern and central Puget Sound, but good numbers of coho are making up for lost opportunities.
"We finally got reports of a hot coho bite in Puget Sound, and these early fish are definitely better biters than the fish that arrive later in September," said Mike Chamberlain, owner of Ted's Sports Center in Lynnwood. "One customer (on Wednesday) got his limit of coho off Edmonds and said he saw fish caught in boats all around him."
Coho have also been reported at Tulalip Bay, Midchannel Bank off Port Townsend, Point No Point and the west side of Whidbey Island at Bush Point, Lagoon Point and Fort Casey.
In central Puget Sound, the local charter boat fleet has been finding decent coho action off Shilshole Bay, Meadow Point, West Point off Magnolia Bluff, the east side of Bainbridge Island and Jefferson Head.
"It has started off very good, and we got 15 coho (Wednesday) morning," said Gary Krein, owner of All Star Fishing Charters in Everett. "Most averaged 3 to 4 pounds, along with a couple in the 6- to 7-pound range."
Northern and central Puget Sound was supposed to stay open for hatchery kings until Aug. 31. Catches were higher than expected, however, and the state Fish and Wildlife Department closed it this past Monday, keeping it open for coho only.
In the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the hatchery coho fishery also remains very good from Sekiu to Port Angeles.
"The boat-ramp checks have been getting better for coho at Sekiu and Port Angeles," said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife sampler in the Strait. "They're getting some bigger coho in the 8- to 9-pound range."
The coastal tuna fishery has been off-the-charts good, and the salmon bite remains fair to good.
"Tuna fishing is red-hot, and they're doing really well, especially off Westport 30 to 45 miles south of the harbor," said Wendy Beeghley, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. "Boats out of Ilwaco and even La Push also had some successful tuna trips. I saw some private boats with 15 fish per person at Westport."
The salmon catch at Ilwaco was about 0.5 fish per rod, and just over half of the catch was hatchery coho. At Westport, it was 0.7 fish per rod and a few more chinook than coho, although Sunday the coho bite ramped up.
"La Push was the salmon hot spot with 1.3 fish per person, and they saw about two-thirds of the catch made up of coho and the rest were chinook," Beeghley said. "Neah Bay had a 1.1 fish-per-person average with a few more coho than chinook."
Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or email@example.com
Fishing report Location Comment Statewide lakes Baker Lake is slow to fair for sockeye, and better in Lake Wenatchee where the daily limit is now five sockeye. Fair for perch, bass and cutthroat in Lake Washington. Lake Sammamish is open for chinook, but slow. Good in Riffe Lake for coho. Bumping Lake is worth a try for kokanee. Good for lake trout in Lake Chelan. Good for trout, bass and walleye in the Potholes Reservoir. Biting: Yes
Statewide rivers Slowed for sockeye and improving for kings on the Upper Columbia in the Brewster Pool. Slow to fair for steelhead and a few chinook in Lower Columbia. Fair for steelhead in the Skykomish. Fair to good for steelhead in Bonneville Pool near the mouths of Drano Lake and White Salmon River. Fair for steelhead in Cowlitz between the hatcheries and near the mouth. Samish River is open for kings, but spotty. Fair to good for kings in the Skokomish River below the Highway 101 Bridge; expect combat fishing. Lower Puyallup is open for salmon, but no reports. Biting: Yes/no
Anglers off Edmonds Pier hooked 17 kings on Monday morning and landed 10 that night, and fishing has been fair through Wednesday. Good for kings and a few hatchery coho at Buoy 10 up to the Astoria-Megler Bridge near Ilwaco. Fair for kings in Samish Bay. Slow for kings in San Juan Islands. The Willapa Bay king fishery slowed down but should peak around Labor Day. Last chance for hatchery kings in south central Puget Sound at Dolphin Point off Vashon Island, Brace Point and the Tacoma area. Slow to fair for hatchery kings in Hood Canal south of Ayock Point. Quilcene Bay is open for coho, but was slow and should pick up soon. Very good crabbing in Puget Sound and Hood Canal; all are open Thursdays through Mondays only. Biting: Yes
Copyright © The Seattle Times Company
Low-graphic news index
Graphic-enabled home page