THE TREND CONTINUES for chinook fisheries in 2022: high catch estimates from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife leading to in-season reductions or outright closures.
Thankfully, anglers avoided the worst outcome this time.
State catch estimates say Neah Bay (Marine Area 4) saw 12 percent of its chinook guideline caught on the first two days of the summer fishery last Saturday and Sunday.
A total of 758 chinook were estimated caught, out of a 6,110-king guideline.
As a result, the daily limit of two salmon has been reduced to one chinook of a minimum 24 inches for wild fish and 16 inches for hatchery-clipped kings. Other salmon species have no minimum size for retention. Wild coho must be released.
This is set to continue through July 31 or until the chinook guideline is reached.
And that 12 percent take estimate comes with halibut open last Saturday, so catch rates could have been even higher if every angler’s effort had been chinook focused.
This piece of advice applies to any prospective salmon angler: fish as early in the season as possible to make sure you have an opportunity to fish.
Winter blackmouth season catches were eyed very closely before Sekiu was closed early this spring, and other Puget Sound marine areas also had in-season changes. And with more effort in the summer, state fish managers do not seem hesitant to end the fun early if they believe catch quotas are within reach.
Extra shrimping date
Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) will open for an additional day of recreational spot shrimp harvest from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 6.
In additional shrimping news, the non-spot shrimp fishery in Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) runs through Oct. 15 with a 150-foot maximum fishing depth restriction.
The daily limit is 80 spot shrimp with a total daily weight limit of 10 pounds (whole shrimp), all species combined.
Starting this season, shrimpers who retain only spot shrimp may remove and discard the heads while in the field and before returning to shore.
Shrimpers retaining any shrimp species other than spot shrimp must continue to retain the heads of all species (including spot shrimp) until finished and on shore to verify compliance with the 10-pound daily limit.
All shrimp — including spot, dock, coonstripe and pink shrimp — can be kept as part of the daily limit.
Shrimp pots with a minimum mesh size of 1/2-inch are allowed in those areas which open for non-spot shrimp only fishing.
Crab pot fundraiser
Jefferson Search and Rescue will hold its annual crab pot sale fundraiser from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday in Port Townsend.
The sale of recovered crab pots and other gear will be held at Coon Plumbing, 3059 W. Sims Way.
For more information, call 360-797-5011.
Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.