In-seasons salmon management has been a hot-button topic for North Olympic Peninsula anglers throughout 2022.
Sekiu’s blackmouth season was cut short this spring after high catch estimates were compiled by Department of Fish and Wildlife staffers working the dock — despite checkers working four of seven days and the lack of Marine Area 5 monitoring via Fish and Wildlife test fisheries.
Neah Bay’s king fishery has been on-again, off-again this summer due to high initial catch estimates — and it’s suspension put undue burden on Sekiu’s king fishery as Area 5 switched to an alternate-day fishery for much of July before reverting back to originally agreed-upon dates.
Marine Area 6 (Eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca) also has been managed tightly this summer due to high king catch estimates — first limited to a Wednesday-through-Saturday fishery before being shut down entirely for kings and all other salmon west of Ediz Hook on Aug. 3.
King anglers in Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) are likely used to their seasons being cut well short, but Area 9 fared well this summer with 14 days of king fishing spread across three weekends. It also appears that only harvest quota (actual fish caught) were counted toward quota totals as opposed to “encounters” with kings that may or may not result in a catch.
Fish and Wildlife Puget Sound Recreational Fisheries Biologist Kirsten Simonsen has been asked to describe how the department arrives at these catch estimates and the Marine Area 6 Chinook Management Plan at Wednesday’s meeting of the North Olympic Peninsula chapter of Puget Sound Anglers.
The meeting is open to the public and will be held at the Sequim Elks Lodge, 143 Port Williams Road, with a social half-hour beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting starting at 7 p.m.
“Given our shortened season, this should be a topic of great interest,” Puget Sound Anglers secretary Sherry Anderson said.
A short business meeting, plus fishing report and a raffle drawing for members, will follow Simonsen’s talk. To join the club, membership is $25 and includes a monthly subscription to The Reel News.
West End meeting
A Fish and Wildlife Department biologist will speak at Wednesday’s meeting of the West End Sportsmen’s Club, 243 Sportsman Club Road in Forks.
With hunting season coming up soon, discussion topics include big game, a potential discussion of the black bear study being held in the Clearwater area, new rules for bottom fishing in Marine Area 5 and ATV riding.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m.
The club also will hold a 22LR rifle-only shoot for youths ages 12 to 17 and adults, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 27.
Format is a split the pot with a top shooter prize.
Each round will be $1 to $3.
For more information, contact Jason Earls at 360-640-4346.
Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest implemented a campfire restriction Thursday that only allows campfires in metal rings at designated site, campgrounds or picnic areas. This includes the coastal areas of Olympic National Park.
Gas or propane camp stoves may still be used in the wilderness backcountry and campgrounds, but should be operated well away from flammable vegetation and forest litter. Extreme caution is urged with any open flame.
Last shrimping dates
Marine Area 6 (excluding the Discovery Bay Shrimp District) opens for five additional days of recreational spot shrimp harvest from Wednesday through Aug. 21.
Marine Areas 4 (east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line) and 5 are currently open to recreational spot shrimp harvest.
In all areas open for all shrimp, including spot shrimp, the daily limit is 80 spot shrimp with a total daily weight limit of 10 pounds (whole shrimp) all species combined.
Marine Area 9 is open for non-spot shrimp using shrimp pots with a minimum mesh size of 1/2-inch. Each area has a maximum depth restriction to reduce the potential for capture and handling of spot shrimp. Spot shrimp encountered in the non-spot shrimp only fisheries must be released immediately unharmed.
Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.