OUTDOORS COLUMN: Silvers galore in Strait of Juan de Fuca

EDITOR’S NOTE: Outdoors columnist Matt Schubert is on vacation. His columns will resume Wednesday.

The kings are a little shy but the silvers are coming to the party for the first day of wild salmon retention Thursday on the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Wild chinook and coho along with hatchery salmon can be retained though Oct. 15 in Marine Area 5 (Sekiu) and Area 6 (eastern Strait).

Sekiu fishing was busy during the first day of wild retention.

“No kings today [Thursday],” Gary Ryan of Van Riper’s Resort (360-963-2334) in Sekiu said.

“Kings are kings. This time of year you are lucky to see a king. Still, there are lots and lots of silvers out there.”

“Fishing is steady,” Sharon Goodwin of Olson’s Resort (360-963-2311) of Sekiu said. “Fourteen boats went out today [Thursday] with 28 fishermen and they caught 36 fish.”

Most were coho or blackmouth (juvenile kings). Only one was a chinook.

“A 21-pound king was brought in,” Goodwin said. “There are still some kings out here.”

The coho being caught are good size.

“Some nice silvers are being caught,” Goodwin said.

But it looks like fishing may be good for the next two weeks of the wild fishery in Area 5.

But anglers have only two more days to use Van Riper’s Resort, which is closing for the season Sunday.

“I was told to take motel reservations only through Saturday,” Ryan said. “We are not protected from the weather like they are at Olson’s [Resort].”

Van Riper’s is down to one dock for the next two days.

“It’s getting toward the end of the [fishing] season,” Ryan said. “People are getting ready to go hunting.”

Olson’s Resort, however, is open year-round.

“We got breakwater,” Goodwin said. “We shorten up our docks and keep fishing.”

Eastern Strait

Some wild fish were being caught in Area 6 during the first day of retention Thursday, according to Bob Aunspach of Swain’s General Store (360-452-2357) in Port Angeles.

Like in Area 5, though, Aunspach hasn’t heard of any kings being caught.

“One boat had four fish, all coho, up to 12 pounds each,” he said. “Someone said there were 20 boats out and it looked like everyone was catching fish.”

Aunspach also heard that coho are being caught in the Elwha River right now.

Admiralty Inlet

Fishing is going great right now in the Port Townsend area, according to Wayne Bibbins of Down Home Charters (360-643-1960) in Port Townsend.

Bibbins is so busy fishing, he wasn’t available for comment, but in his Down Home Charters telephone message greeting, “On Admiralty Inlet [Area 9], Bright coho salmon, both hatchery and wild, [are plentiful].

“Coho fishing in Port Townsend has been excellent.”

Down Home Charters will be fishing for winter kings Nov. 1-30.

Ocean fishing

If you’re looking for kings, maybe LaPush (Marine Area 3) is the place for you.

While the Strait was mostly getting stumped for chinook, three were caught Thursday out by LaPush, according to Randy Lato of All-Ways Fishing (360-374-2052) in Forks.

“Today [Thursday] was pretty good with three kings and four silvers, just one under the limit,” Lato said.

The kings came in at 28, 17 and 12 pounds. All were adults, Lato said.

LaPush’s bubble fishery has limits of 100 kings and 100 silvers. The coho must be hatchery fish.

“We have never filled our limit in this bubble fishery, which is in its fifth or sixth year,” Lato said.

The fishery closes Oct. 11.

All-Ways Fishing is completely booked for this weekend but there are openings the next week, which is the final week of the fishery.

“There is supposed to be good weather next week, too,” Lato said.

Also going on in Area 3 right now is that bottom fish are available beyond 20 fathoms.

Now through Oct. 13, anglers can go for lingcod and other bottom fish as far out as they want to go.

The Rock Pile is a great place to catch lingcod, Lato said.

Hunt for October

This recent rain should help the deer and elk hunters out this weekend.

Muzzleloaders have been taking aim at deer since last Saturday in the Pysht, Sol Duc, Goodman, Clearwater and Coyle GMUs (Game Management Units) only.

Elk comes under fire this Saturday in the Dickey, Pysht and Sol Duc GMUs.

“It should be good muzzle hunting for deer, but the elk will be a challenge,” Aunspach said.

Elk will be difficult because hunters can bag only three-point or better.

But the rain should help all hunters.

“The rain will keep things quiet,” Aunspach said. “They get a little more aggressive because of the weather, and it keeps them moving.”

The early muzzleloader season for deer lasts through Sunday, while muzzleloaders can go after elk Saturday throug Oct. 9.

Bear season continues throughout the Peninsula, as does grouse hunting.

Razor clams

The razor clam season is looking promising.

The coastal season begins Oct. 17, and it looks like there is an abundance of clams on most beaches.

The exciting news for area clam diggers is that Kalaloch Beach will open for the first time since the spring of 2007 because of a low number of clams.

This year’s assessment shows about 3.5 million clams of harvestable size.

Digs are tentatively scheduled at Kalaloch and Mocrocks (Oct. 17-18), Twin Harbors (Oct. 16-19), and Long Beach and Copalis (Oct. 16-18).

Digging will be allowed from noon to midnight each day.

Also . . .

• East Jefferson Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers in Port Townsend will hold its next meeting on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. in the Marina Room at Hudson Point Marina.

The speaker will be Gary Loomis, founder of G. Loomis Rods, and chairman of the Coastal Conservation Association in the Pacific Northwest.

Loomis also is founder and president of Fish First, a Washington-based not-for-profit organization committed to restoring native salmon and steelhead runs.

Loomis will present “The Big Picture” on Pacific Northwest recreational fishing.

The public is invited.

• The public will get a chance to review Fish and Wildlife’s new sportfishing rule proposals, effective 2010-12, at a series of meetings during the next few weeks, including one held at Peninsula College, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., in Port Angeles, on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Comments can be submitted at the meeting or by mail to Fish and Wildlife Rules Coordinator Lori Preuss at preuslmp@dfw.wa.gov or 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA, 98501.

Numerous rule changes are being proposed for the three-year period and can be viewed at Fish and Wildlife’s Web site (http://wdfw.wa.gov).

• National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife biologists will hold a public meeting concerning Kalaloch Beach razor clams at 7 p.m. on Oct. 11 in the state Department of Natural Resources conference room at 411 Tillicum Lane in Forks.

Officials will discuss Kalaloch clam populations at the meeting, as well as the upcoming digging seasons. The beach will be open to digging this fall for the first time in two years.

• Washington Trails Association is accepting submissions for its seventh annual Northwest Exposure Photo Contest through Oct. 16.

Entries can be mailed to: Northwest Exposure Photo Contest, Washington Trails Association; 2019 Third Ave., Suite 100; Seattle, WA 98121.

For more information, visit www.wta.org.

• The Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association is offering classes for beginners and novices through Oct. 24 through the Clallam County Family YMCA.

The beginner class will meet each Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m., while intermediate rowers will meet from 8:30-10 a.m.

For more information, contact Tim Tucker at tim@ccfymca.org.

Call us, photos welcome!

Want your event listed in the outdoors column?

Have a fishing or hunting report, an anecdote about an outdoors experience or a tip on gear or technique, why not share it with our readers?

Send it to Matt Schubert, Sports Department, Peninsula Daily News, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362; phone, 360-417-3526; fax, 360-417-3521; e-mail matt.schubert@peninsuladailynews.com.

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