Today marks the final day of mark-selective (hatchery) chinook retention along the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Hatchery coho will become the primary focus in Marine Area 5 (Sekiu) and 6 (Eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca) beginning Friday.
This is already the case in Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet), where 3,452 of the area’s 3,491-hatchery chinook quota were caught, according to state estimates.
Through Sunday, Area 5 was at 94 percent of its “legal-size encounters” guideline of 8,294 hatchery chinook.
Along the kelp line
A chinook guideline or quota for Marine Area 6 is not provided by the state.
There’s been more fishing than catching during the chinook season for Port Angeles angler and lure designer Pete Rosko, but he and his neighbor Al Brown had an excellent couple of days fishing the kelp line west of Freshwater Bay earlier this week.
“This past Monday, and Tuesday, hopefully, is an indication that our chinook salmon fishery is not as bad as it has been this year,” Rosko said.
“Al Brown put on a salmon clinic on Monday that encourages me for the future. In 1 3/4 hours, (16) husky chinook were hooked by Al along with a 7-pound pink.”
Rosko, a jig fisherman to the core, described Brown’s technique as “very simple, yet extremely effective.”
“While tied to the kelp bed [near] Freshwater Bay, Al was casting a small metal jig across an active incoming tide, a technique similar to fishing a river,” Rosko said.
Brown was using a 1/4-ounce Kandlefish lure in the bioluminescent glow finish.
“I believe it is so effective because it never stops glowing, it flashes in the water like an attractor and it suspends in the water better than a fast-sinking larger jig,” Rosko said. “This is important when fish are not deep [in the water column].”
The good run continued Tuesday when Brown hooked up with seven more kings using the same technique.
“What makes Al’s days even more impressive is that very few salmon were caught by other boats, whether by trolling or any other technique,” Rosko said. “Al almost never casts. He is more comfortable jigging vertically instead of casting. In any event, it was an experience that I will not soon forget.”
After today, the southern stretch of Hood Canal becomes the closest marine area open for chinook retention.
In Hood Canal, anglers south of Ayock Point can keep hatchery chinook at least 20 inches in length as part of a four-fish daily limit (release all chum) through Sept. 30. There are a number of mouth closures for creeks and streams in that area, so check the regulation book before setting up shop.
North of Ayock Point, Hood Canal anglers can use hooks measuring ½-inch or less to go after a four-fish daily limit (release chinook and chum) through Sept. 30.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking candidates to serve on a new committee that advises the department on the commercial fishing guide industry.
Up to 12 individuals from the guiding industry will be chosen for two-year terms that begin in September. The committee may be extended beyond two years as needed.
Candidates have until Aug. 27 to apply.
Advisors on this ad-hoc committee will initially provide input on the implementation of a new monthly reporting requirement for commercial guides, said Kelly Cunningham, acting director of Fish and Wildlife’s fish program.
“Beyond that, we want to work with the guide industry to gain a better understanding of their perspective in an effort to improve opportunity,” Cunningham said.
Beginning Jan. 1, fishing guides will provide the department with information such as the date and location of each guided fishing trip, the number of anglers onboard, and the number and type of fish species caught per trip.
“We’re looking for advisors who will help us review logbook data and provide the guiding industry’s perspective on fisheries,” Cunningham said. “We’d like to establish a group that includes both part-time and full-time guides and industry representatives from the various fisheries around the state.”
Initially, the advisory group will meet monthly (beginning in September) to ensure timely implementation of the new logbook requirements next year. After the first six months, meetings will be held on a quarterly basis.
Letters of interest must include the following information:
Candidate’s name, address, telephone number, and email address.
Relevant experience and reasons for wanting to serve as a member of the advisory group.
Effectiveness in communication, including methods the candidate would use to relay information to regional constituents.
Applications are due by 5 p.m., Aug. 27, and can be emailed to Raquel Crosier at [email protected]
Written applications can also be mailed to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: Raquel Crosier, 600 Capitol Way N, Olympia, WA 98501-1091.
Second chance for tags
Hunters who purchased a multi-season permit application earlier this year, but were not selected in the April drawing, are eligible to buy the unsold 2,610 deer and 116 elk multi-season tags on a first-come, first-served basis on Thursday, Aug. 22.
Elk multi-season tags will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Aug. 22, and are expected to sell out in 5 seconds or less. Multi-season deer tags will go on sale 10 minutes later at 10:10 a.m.
Hunters planning to purchase both tags must do so in two separate transactions.
Hunters who want to purchase a deer or elk multi-season tag must have purchased a 2019 deer or elk multi-season special hunt application, and also have a general season elk or deer license before buying a multi-season tag.
General season elk or deer tags must be surrendered to an authorized license dealer at the time of the multi-season purchase — no exceptions. To find a license dealer near you, visit wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/dealers.
Multi-season deer tags are $139.10, and multi-season elk tags are $182.00.
Tag costs are the same for residents and non-residents.
Multi-season tags can only be purchased at an authorized license dealer, at a regional office, or at Fish and Wildlife headquarters in Olympia.
With the high demand for multi-season elk tags, Stinkeoway said it is likely that only one in every 20 license vendors will be able to complete a transaction for elk.
If multi-season deer tags don’t sell out on Aug. 22, they will remain on sale until the tag limit is reached. Hunters who purchase a multi-season tag will not lose points in their multi-season deer or elk special hunt application categories.
Hunters with multi-season permits can hunt all three weapon choices (modern rifle, muzzleloader, archery), season permitting, until their tag is filled.