LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS: Idea to extend Marine Area 9 chinook fishery

By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News

REMEMBER THE MARINE Area 9 chinook fishery?

It was great.

But it lasted only 20 days.

Well, Eric Elliott of The Fishin’ Hole (360-385-7031) in Port Townsend told me a few anglers who fish that area are looking to petition the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to decrease the daily limit from two per day to one.

The idea is to extend the chinook season. Anglers might only get one king per day, but they will have more days to be out on the water.

Elliott said a longer season would likely stretch out the pressure Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) receives, because anglers wouldn’t all have to hit the water as soon as the season opens to ensure that they’re able to catch their personal quotas.

Sounds like an interesting idea that just might work.

I guess the downside could be for anglers who travel long distances to Port Townsend for one or two days. They’re king harvest wouldn’t be as great.

Silvers on the run

From the ocean to the Strait to the beaches, coho are taking over the North Olympic Peninsula’s salt water.

“They’re catching quite a darn few silvers,” Bob Aunspach of Swain’s General Store (360-452-2357) in Port Angeles said of anglers fishing the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

“Guys are catching silvers every day, those who are going out.”

Aunspach said a lot of the hatchery coho being caught weight 10-12 pounds, while the wild coho that anglers are releasing back in the water weight as much as 16 pounds.

This doesn’t affect most of the Peninsula, but starting Sunday, Sept. 15, in Marine Area 5 (Sekiu), anglers are allowed to keep wild silvers.

Joey Lawrence of Big Salmon Resort (360-645-2374) in Neah Bay said the anglers making the trip to the northern coast are having success.

“There’s a lot of fish, but not a lot of fishermen,” Lawrence said.

“They’re catching some pretty good silvers right out front.”

Ward Norden, a fishing tackle wholesaler and former fishery biologist, said beach casters just across the Hood Canal Bridge also are catching silvers.

“Salsbury Point is producing well for beach casters, with 90 percent of the salmon being coho,” Norden said.

“Most of the coho weigh 5-6 pounds, but a few have been nearly 10 pounds.

“Best fishing seems to be about low slack tide. Most of the anglers are using Buzz Bombs in green or chartreuse colors.”

So, if you’re not watching football this weekend, go catch some fish. If you get on the water soon enough, you can probably do both.

Rain helping hunters

All this rain is good for outdoorsmen.

It sends the salmon down the Strait and up the rivers, and it improves hunting conditions.

Aunspach and Bob Gooding of Olympic Sporting Goods (360-374-6330) in Forks both report that a few elk have been taken during the archery elk and deer season that began earlier this week and runs through Sunday, Sept. 15.

“The weather couldn’t be better,” Aunspach said.

“It’s wet and cool.”

It was so dry last year that I hardly hear successful hunting reports.

Last Chance derby

The Last Chance Salmon Derby, an annual event co-sponsored by Forks Chamber of Commerce, the Quileute Tribe, and the City of Forks, will be Saturday and Sunday, October 5 and 6, in LaPush.

Tickets for the two-day derby are $25, and are available now at the Quileute Marina, Swain’s in Port Angeles, Forks Outfitters, Olympic Sporting Goods in Forks, Forks Chamber of Commerce and during the derby at the Quileute Marina.

Cash prizes for largest chinook $500, $250 for second largest, and $100 for third largest; and $500 for largest Coho, $250 for second largest, and $100 for third largest.

There also will be a $100 prize for largest bottom fish.

Puget Sound Anglers

The next meeting of the North Olympic Peninsula Chapter of the Puget Sound Anglers will be Thursday, Sept. 19, at 6:45 p.m. at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Sequim (100 S. Blake Ave.)

Cheryl Baumann, manager of North Olympic Lead Entity for Salmon Recovery, and Michael Blanton of the state department of Fish and Wildlife, will be the speakers.

They will discuss the function of Lead Entities in salmon recovery for Washington state, with emphasis on the North Olympic Peninsula current and proposed projects.

For further information, see the Lead Entity website at www.tinyurl.com/pdnLeadEntities.

■ The Puget Sound Anglers’ East Jefferson Chapter will hold its next meeting Tuesday in the Marina Room at Point Hudson Marina at 6:30 p.m.

The speaker will be Cheryl Rowe of Washington State University Beach Watchers.

Refreshments will be provided and the public is invited.

Send photos, stories

Have a photograph, a fishing or hunting report, an anecdote about an outdoors experience or a tip on gear or technique?

Send it to sports@peninsuladailynews.com or P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

________

Outdoors columnist Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at lhorton@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: September 05. 2013 6:37PM
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