LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS: Coastal chinook limit increased
By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News
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Anglers fishing the northern coast are now allowed to keep up to two chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit in Marine Areas 3 (LaPush) and 4 (Neah Bay), the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced.
These increases mean that the chinook limit is two per day throughout all of Washington’s Pacific Coast.
The daily limit in Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) was also boosted, and in Area 2 (Westport) the limit has been two since the first week of the month.
The king limits in Neah Bay and LaPush were decreased to one per day beginning on Aug. 10, and it appears that helped prevent the coast’s chinook fisheries from surpassing their quotas too early in the season.
According to the state, through Sunday, Aug. 18, anglers coastwide had caught 57.6 percent (23,029 chinook) of the 40,000 chinook quota.
And while were talking quota, anglers had caught 47.4 percent (35,422 coho) of the 74,760 coho quota by that same date.
On the Strait of Juan de Fuca, only hatchery chinook can be retained, but the North Olympic Peninsula’s coastal marine areas have no such restriction.
But, only hatchery silvers can be kept.
Now, obviously, this is the silvers’ time to shine — or maybe shimmer, sparkle or glisten would be more appropriate verbs for silvers — and pinks are still a presence, so this isn’t the prime time to be catching kings.
However, last week Joey Lawrence of Big Salmon Resort (360-645-2374) in Neah Bay told me that there were still some kings “moving around.”
With this updated limit, the daily salmon limit is two per day per anglers, plus an additional two pinks can be retained.
To break that down, your first two salmon can be either chinook, hatchery coho or pinks, but your third and fourth catches can only be pinks.
The Neah Bay and LaPush salmon fisheries are scheduled to remain open through Sept. 22, and then LaPush will have its late-season opening from Sept. 28 through Oct. 13.
My prediction from a few weeks ago that Neah Bay would close to chinook fishing continues to look sillier and sillier.
Sutherland ramp closing
The state giveth, and the state taketh away.
Starting Tuesday, the state-owned and -maintained boat launch at Lake Sutherland will be closed through Tuesday, Sept. 17, while a new ramp is installed.
“The current boat ramp is dilapidated and in urgent need of replacement,” Department of Fish and Wildlife regional manager Mick Cope said in a press release.
The state also plans to close the launch for a few more days in late September so it can install a new boarding float and piling. The specific dates for this short closure have not yet been scheduled or announced.
The state also plans a few other improvements for the Lake Sutherland launch, including a new vault restroom and a paved parking lot.
I did a Twitter search for “Quilcene” last week and saw a few people mention the good coho fishing in Quilcene Bay.
This fishery opened, along with Dabob Bay, on Friday, Aug. 16, with a daily limit of four coho.
Well, fishing tackle wholesaler and former fishery biologist Ward Norden of Quilcene emailed me a day or two later and said the fun might be over for sport fishermen.
“Just thought you should know that the seiners came into the bay on Friday afternoon and got most of the coho,” Norden said.
“[Saturday] I saw a couple gillnetters in among the sports guys near the swimming beach cleaning up any surviving coho.
“That pretty well takes care of that fishery, unless you just happen to be there when a new run [of coho] arrives before more nets go down.”
Norden recommends sport fishermen will find better salmon fishing north of the Hood Canal Bridge.
Outdoors columnist Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: August 28. 2013 6:17PM