OUTDOORS: Halibut and salmon two-fer Saturday

Anglers are about to make the jump from halibut to salmon, appropriate for salmon, a species named after the Latin word for leap.

Thanks to the Pacific Northwest Region of the National Forest Service for the etymology lesson in a recent social media post, I hadn’t looked into the origins of the word.

But before the full switch to salmon, there’s some overlap for anglers off Neah Bay (Marine Area 4) and La Push (Marine Area 3), which will be open for halibut and salmon Saturday, June 24 and June 26.

And a reminder that La Push and Neah Bay remain closed to visitors, so anglers will have to transit to the marine areas from either Sekiu or Westport in order to wet a line.

Only one king in Area 4

Saturday will be the first day of salmon fishing off the coast, and the rules are a little different for Neah Bay and La Push.

Through July 3, Neah Bay anglers can keep one salmon per day. Keepable kings must be a minimum of 24 inches in size, and there’s no size limit for other salmon species. All coho must be released.

Starting July 4, Neah Bay anglers can keep two salmon per day. Kings must be 24 inches in size, and hatchery coho must be at least 16 inches. All wild coho must be released. All chum must be released beginning Aug. 1.

Waters east of a true north-south line through Sail Rock are closed through July 31.

After Aug. 1, king retention is prohibited east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line.

The Marine Area 4 king guideline is 5,825, and the Area 4 coho quota is 5,730.

Setting those downriggers deep to avoid coho interactions is a good piece of advice if anglers would like to see the salmon fishery stretch as long as possible this summer.

La Push has a two-salmon daily limit from Saturday through July 3. Kings must be a minimum size of 24 inches, and all coho must be released.

From July 4 onwards, La Push anglers also can keep hatchery coho of a minimum 16 inches in size as part of their two-salmon limit. Chum must be released beginning Aug. 1.

Halibut catch

A total of 865 North Coast anglers caught 444 halibut at an average weight of 17.56 pounds for a weekly total of 7,798 pounds.

The total catch in this area is 42,027 pounds with 86,901 quota pounds remaining through June 12.

In Puget Sound, 1,390 anglers caught 367 halibut at an average weight of 13.14 pounds for a weekly total of 4,824 pounds. The total catch in this area rose to 42,233 pounds with 36,058 pounds remaining through June 12.

Added halibut dates to chip away at that remaining quota poundage have been proposed for late summer.

Openings in Marine Areas 3 and 4 (La Push/Neah Bay) and Marine Areas 5-10 (Puget Sound) are proposed to begin Aug. 19, three days per week, Thursday through Saturday, through Sept. 24 or until the quota is projected to be taken, whichever occurs first.

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Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or [email protected] news.com.

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