IN ANOTHER BLOW to recreational fishing, Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced a complete closure of finfish fishing in the Canadian waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca — a vast stretch off of southern Vancouver Island — to increase prey availablity for Southern Resident Killer Whales and conserve chinook stocks.
The closures are effective today and run through September 30.
“The recreational finfish closures in Subareas 20-3, 20-4 and a portion of Subarea 20-5 west of Otter Point are full closures, and include salmon,” Fisheries and Oceans Canada spokesperson Janine Malikian said.
For geographic reference those Canadian waters closed to recreational fishing and commercial salmon fishing run from roughly midway between Neah Bay and Sekiu to west of Joyce.
Not just the Strait
Other areas closed to recreational fishing include portions of the Gulf Islands north of San Juan Island and all Fraser River chinook populations entering the mouth of the Fraser River near Vancouver, B.C.
Fisheries and Oceans are implementing these measures to reach a “precautionary 25 to 35 percent reduction in exploitation rates for chinook stocks of concern to support conservation and promote rebuilding.”
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife previously announced a no-go boating/fishing/marine recreation zone on the west side of San Juan Island to protect the dwindling stock of orca whales.
The no-go zone is located on the west side of San Juan Island, including:
•From Mitchell Bay in the north to Cattle Point in the south, extending a quarter-mile offshore for the entire stretch.
•In an area around the Lime Kiln Lighthouse, the no-go zone extends further offshore — half a mile.
Two more halibut days
High winds, rough seas and swirling currents kept halibut catch totals down again in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound last Friday and Sunday.
Puget Sound Creel reports from last Friday showed 753 anglers landed 24 halibut.
Halibut numbers bumped up to 84 landed by 1,190 anglers on Sunday.
The state announced two more halibut days late Thursday.
Marine Areas 3-10 will reopen Thursday and again Saturday, June 9 without risk of exceeding the quota.
Hoh River open
The Hoh River has opened to fishing for hatchery chinook and trout, including hatchery steelhead.
This opening is for the stretch of the Hoh River from the Olympic National Park boundary upstream to the boat launch at the Department of Natural Resources’ Oxbow Campground.
Fish and Wildlife opened the river because wild spring/summer chinook are projected to return in sufficient strength to allow incidental impacts that will occur during the June hatchery chinook and trout fishery.
Anglers are required to release all wild salmon, wild steelhead, and wild rainbow trout (wild are defined as those fish with an intact adipose fin).
In addition, bait is prohibited and only one barbless hook with up to three points may be used.
The daily limit is one hatchery chinook (no size limit). The daily trout limit, including hatchery steelhead, is two fish (minimum size of 14 inches).
Daily salmon limit is one hatchery chinook. Daily limit for trout, including hatchery steelhead, is two fish (minimum size of 14 inches).
Like last summer, the Hoh River will be open to fishing for trout, including hatchery steelhead in July and August under rules listed in the 2018-19 sport fishing rules pamphlet, available this month.
Fly Fishers meet
Fly fishing author Tim Lockhart will provide lessons for catching more trout in lakes, ponds and reservoirs at Monday’s meeting of the Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishers.
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Campfire USA Clubhouse, 619 E. Fourth St. in Port Angeles.
Lockhart, author of Stillwaters Simplified, will touch on timing, strategy, patterns and more in his remarks.
Group member Ken Campbell also will offer a fly-tying demonstration of one of his favorite ties.
Anglers meet in PT
Fish and Wildlife shellfish biologist Don Velasquez will speak at the Tuesday, June 12 meeting of the East Jefferson Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers.
The meeting will be held in the Port of Port Townsend Commissioners Office, 333 Benedict St. in Port Townsend. A social time will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting will begin at 7 p.m.
Refreshments will be served and the public is invited.
More spot shrimp in Canal
Recreational spot shrimp fishing will reopen from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday, June 9 in Hood Canal (Marine Area 12). Sufficient recreational spot shrimp quota remains for two more days of fishing.
Fish and Wildlife announced a number of shrimping changes and updates.
• Marine Area 6 (east Strait of Juan de Fuca): The daily bag limit increased 120 shrimp for all species (including spot shrimp) in beginning today.
• Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet): Shrimping has reopened for recreational coonstripe and pink shrimp fishing only, with a 150-foot maximum fishing depth restriction. Open daily. All spot shrimp caught must be returned to the water immediately.
Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]