Max Ross recently caught this halibut while fishing the western portion of Marine Area 6.

Max Ross recently caught this halibut while fishing the western portion of Marine Area 6.

OUTDOORS: Halibut quota take pointing toward added time

A HALIBUT CATCH update recently provided by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife shows plenty of quota remaining for the North Coast (Neah Bay and La Push) and Puget Sound, which includes Marine Area 5 (Sekiu), 6 (Eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca) and 9 (Admiralty Inlet).

A total of 919 anglers caught 612 halibut for a weight of 7,990.5 pounds from May 1-7 off the North Coast and 914 anglers brought in 473 halibut for a total weight of 7,226.4 pounds from May 8-14.

Catch-to-date through May 14 is 15,216.9, which is 12-percent of the North Coast’s 129,668-pound quota.

Puget Sound and Straits anglers have had a head start and have caught 23-percent or 17,918.2 pounds of the subarea’s 79,031-pound quota.

State estimates put across all subarea’s show 21-percent or 60,330.6 of the state’s 291,950-pound quota has been taken through May 14.

Ocean heating?

Quilcene’s Ward Norden, a former fisheries biologist and now a retired tackle maker, keeps track of trends in the Pacific Ocean and how those conditions may impact future fisheries.

“After many months of dramatically colder than normal ocean temperatures off the coast of the Pacific Northwest out over 1,000 miles, the situation has completely reversed in the last two weeks,” Norden wrote in on May 16.

“Now there is even a ‘heat bloom’ off the coast of southwest Washington as much as six degrees Fahrenheit above normal with no upwelling of nutrient rich water north of Cape Mendocino, Calif.

“These conditions will stifle any plankton bloom that our salmon smolts from northwest coastal waters depend on. Primarily effected will be next year’s coho and [off-year] pink salmon returns as well as 2025 sockeye returns and chinook returns for 2026 and 2027.

“The Pacific off our coast did this regularly in the 1990’s but rarely since. It could be connected with the powerful El Nino occurring on the equator at this time but probably not since there is a large mass of colder-than-normal water from S. California all the way to Hawaii blocking El Nino.”

I asked Norden if he thought this ocean warming was connected in any way to the lancetfish popping up on Oregon beaches and caught off Neah Bay.

He didn’t think so.

“This warm water anomaly didn’t even get started until May 11,” Norden said. “That is how fast this happened.”

Norden uses NOAA’s Coral Bleaching website’s Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly section which tracks the present and near-term future and the global anomaly archives which go back 20-plus years.

“In any case, mother nature is getting real creative this spring to make sure we scientists, or former in this case, are paying attention to who is really in charge,” Norden said.

“Hopefully, that recently discovered deep ocean current that feeds nutrients just into the Straits and Puget Sound gets going soon which will isolate us from the effects of warm water offshore. It feeds our rich plankton blooms here. That happened only once in the last 40 years back in the 1980s when I caught mackerel and barracuda off Possession Point. That was really fun though, even if salmon fishing the next couple years was the pits.”


Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at

More in Sports

Wilder Baseball.
AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL: Wilder Sr. gets off to 4-0 start

Four different pitchers pick up victories

Chloe Gaydeski, Forks softball
ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Chloe Gaydeski, Forks softball

Forks softball pitcher Chloe Gaydeski was a huge part of the Spartans’… Continue reading

Left, The KONP 16U girls won the Port Angeles city championship in a series of tournaments this weekend at Lincoln Park and Volunteer Park. From left, back row, are Jadyn McCabe, Bridget Weed and Evelyn Seelye. From left, middle row, are London Lyster, KK Eastman, Lilly'Mae Treider, Chloe Clark, Sophia Ritchie, Keira Headrick, Erika Osterberg and Harlie Larrance. From left, kneeling, are Brooke Pierce and Sam Marshall.
Right, The PA Power 12U softball team won the Port Angeles city championship this weekend. The players are, from left, back row, Madison Smith, Elvira Wheeler, Lilly Lancaster, Allison Leitz, Chloe Underwood, Mariah Traband and Makenzie Smith.
PORT ANGELES CITY CHAMPIONSHIPS: KONP Girls 16U and PA Power 12U teams celebrate

(Above) The KONP 16U girls won the Port Angeles city championship in… Continue reading

Derek Binnersley of Victoria, B.C., crosses the finish line as the winner of the North Olympic Discovery Marathon. Binnersley, running his first marathon, won in a time of 2 hours, 48 minutes, 47.51 seconds, winning by more than 5 minutes. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)
Victoria runners lead the way in annual marathon

Series of races include 5K, 10K and kids event

It was the Elks at 10-3 versus the Lions at 11-2 records at the annual Cal Ripken City Championship of players 12 and under. It wasn’t even close. Elks won big. The Elks hit well and were good on defense and won going away. Elks lost in the championship game last year but not this time around.

	ID: Elks catcher Kyler Williams gets a toss back from the pitcher on a bunt attempt. The hitter did make it to first OK, but the runner from third Lions’ Gavin Doyle was out at the plate trying to steal home dlogan
CAL RIPKEN BASEBALL: Elks rolls to win Cal Ripken Majors

After coming up just short in last year’s championship… Continue reading

Local 155 is the winner of the Olympic Junior Babe Ruth Don Mudd regular season Champions Trophy with record of 11-1. From left, are coach Kelly Perry, Isaac Charles, coach Mike Mudd, Ethan Barbre, Felix Gonzales, coach Seth Scofield, Lance Moore, Carson Waddell, Brandt Perry, Bryce Deleon, Ian Smithson, Jaron Tolliver, coach Jackson Alvord and coach Travis Waddell. From row, from left, are Chris Jaynes and Alki Ross. Not pictured is coach Tanner Bray. (Courtesy photo)
OLYMPIC JUNIOR BABE RUTH: Local 155 tops OJBR regular season

Local 155 improved its record to 11-1 by jumping… Continue reading

Most Read