LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS COLUMN: Shrimp season set to open Saturday
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A BIG WEEK becomes even bigger with the opening of the spot shrimp season Saturday.
Unlike halibut, which opened for fishing in Marine Areas 6 (Eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca) and 9 (Admiralty Inlet) on Thursday, the shrimp season will last longer in most areas this year.
In past years, the nontribal shrimp harvest was split evenly between sport and commercial fisheries. This year, recreational shrimpers are allotted 70 percent of the harvest.
That’s a significant increase, and more of the quota means more shrimping days for the sport harvesters.
The largest beneficiary is Marine Area 6 (excluding the Discovery Bay Shrimp District) recreational fishery, which will receive 22 percent of the harvest this year, up from 15 percent in 2012.
Fortunately, Hood Canal has escaped the tweaking of the spot shrimp allotments — the sport fishery will still receive 100 percent of the harvest.
Now, you can drop your pot and focus solely on shrimp, and your day wouldn’t be the least bit wasted. Just being out on the water is an enjoyable experience.
But, you can also multitask by dropping a shrimp pot on your way out to fish for halibut, and then picking it up on the way back in.
After sitting in the water for an extended period of time, the pot likely will have filled up — if not to the daily limit of 80 shrimp, then close.
Here are the spot shrimp details for the North Olympic Peninsula:
■ Hood Canal Shrimp District (Marine Area 12): Open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, and May 8, 15, 18 and 22.
■ Discovery Bay Shrimp District (Marine Area 6): Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday, and May 8, 15, 18 and 22.
■ Marine Areas 4 (east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5 (Sekiu) and 6 (Port Angeles, Sequim): Open daily at 7 a.m. beginning Saturday.
Areas close when the quota is attained or Sept. 15, whichever occurs first.
■ Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet, Port Townsend): Open Saturday and Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Anderson Lake is still open, and appears to have had a solid opening weekend last week.
Lake Leland isn’t producing quite like it did in late March and early April.
“It’s hit or miss; you either get them, or it’s nothing,” Brian Menkal of Brian’s Sporting Goods and More (360-683-1950) in Sequim said.
But, there are still fish to be had at Leland.
In fact, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife might have given the lake a boost on Wednesday.
“[Wednesday morning] as I was passing the launch, I saw the WDFW planting truck leaving,” said fishing tackle wholesaler and former fishery biologist Ward Norden.
“Unless he was just rinsing out the tank, one must assume the lake just got its big plant of catchables — 8- to 10-inch rainbow trout.
“I recommend flatlining — trolling a lure near the surface — a small red or orange spoon near the surface for a quick limit, or a day of a lot of catch-and-release [fishing].”
Norden also added that he saw an angler reel in a 16-inch rainbow at Leland earlier in the week.
The state did catch surveys at four Jefferson County lakes during last Saturday’s lake opener.
Here are the results, which include the anglers surveyed, average fish caught per angler and average fisher kept per angler.
Anderson Lake — 60 anglers; 4.2 fish caught per angler; 3.3 fish kept per angler.
Horseshoe Lake — Five anglers; five caught; zero kept.
Ludlow Lake — 11 anglers; 2.7 caught; two kept.
Silent Lake — Eight anglers, four caught; 3.6 kept.
In other lake news, Wentworth Lake received a plant of 2,250 rainbow trout late last month, which makes it the only Clallam County lake to be stocked by the state so far this year.
Menkal rescheduled his two-part river salmon and steelhead fishing class to begin this Tuesday, May 7, and conclude Tuesday, May 14.
The class was originally going to begin earlier this week, but Menkal decided to push it back a week.
Both sessions start at 6 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m.
Bring a notepad, pen or pencil and a chair.
The cost for the class is $25.
Class attendance is limited to 12 participants. To reserve a spot or for more information, phone Menkal at 360-683-1950.
The classes are held at Brian’s Sporting Goods and More at 542 West Washington St. in Sequim.
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Outdoors columnist Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at email@example.com.
Last modified: May 02. 2013 6:07PM