OUTDOORS: High gas prices beaching anglers?

A WAVE OF beach casters has descended on the beaches of Admiralty Inlet this salmon season including Point Wilson at Fort Worden and Marrowstone Point at Fort Flagler and at numerous Whidbey Island beaches, including Bush Point.

“How people are fishing is very different this year,” Quilcene angler and tackle maker Ward Norden said.

While on a ferry trip to Whidbey at the height of the pink run, Norden was witness to the difference.

“From the ferry I only saw two boats with my binoculars, yet an hour later on a side trip down to Bush Point I saw a hundred casting [and catching] from the beach,” Norden said. “The cost of marine fuel and auto fuel is changing behavior of the anglers. At $5-plus per gallon of marine fuel, a two humpy or two hatchery coho rule is simply not worth it.

Have our high gas prices influenced the number or frequency of your fishing trips this year?

Small coho in Canal

Norden stopped by the Quilcene National Fish Hatchery to take a look at the holding pens and was taken aback by how small the coho were.

“Of the hundreds there, I don’t think I saw a one that was 5 pounds,” Norden said. “Most were 3-to-4 pounds.

Norden also spoke with Skokomish Tribe beach seiners netting coho on Quilcene Bay.

“They weren’t getting any that the buyers wanted because the buyers wouldn’t accept any coho under 5 pounds,” Norden said.

“The seiners released most back to the bay. This morning on my morning bicycle ride I stopped off at the hatchery again where the workers were spawning the coho from the pens. I think I saw only one of many dozen that might have been 5 pounds.

“This is amazing and poses questions. Of course, the domesticated coho used by both this federal hatchery and the state hatcheries have become smaller after a century of inbreeding, but the case here in Quilcene is extreme.

“I can only speculate the Quilcene coho are not migrating to where the best food supply is as you would expect but are staying in an area with less plankton like the nutrient-poor Hood Canal”

End with a bang

Expert angler John Beath of Sequim will discuss coho fishing techniques 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.

Beath is a chapter member of the group and will share his knowledge on catching coho, based on years guiding in Alaska and developing lures that catch fish.

Beath’s company, SquidPro Tackle, offers a wide range of gear and can be found in area sporting goods stores.

A short business meeting, current fishing reports and raffle drawings will follow Beath’s talk.

Raffles are for members only, but guests can join at the meeting to take part.

An annual individual membership is $25 and a family membership is $35, which includes a monthly subscription to The Reel News.

________

Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at mcarman@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in Sports

Runners take off at the beginning of the 2023 North Olympic Discovery Marathon at 7 Cedars Casino in Blyn. The two days of running events begins Saturday with the marathon and half-marathon Sunday. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
RUN THE PENINSULA: North Olympic Discovery Marathon returns this weekend

Saturday and Sunday is North Olympic Discovery Marathon weekend,… Continue reading

AREA SPORTS BRIEF: Days added for shrimping at Discovery Bay and Admiralty Inlet

The recreational spot shrimp fishery will reopen in the Discovery… Continue reading

Ava-Anne Sheahan, Port Angeles softball.
ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Ava-Anne Sheahan, Port Angeles softball

Port Angeles’ Ava-Anne Sheahan had a spectacular 2A state tournament this weekend,… Continue reading

Peninsula College’s Hannah Wagner of Sequim signs to play soccer for Vancouver Island University surrounded by her teammates and assistant coach Andrew Cooper and head coach Kanyon Anderson. Wagner was also the women’s soccer team recipient of the Wally Sigmar and Art Feiro awards for leadership, academics and citizenship. (Peninsula College)
COLLEGE ATHLETICS: Pirates hand out awards for leadership, inspiration

Peninsula College last week announced its annual athletics awards… Continue reading

The Port Angeles softball team celebrates its fourth-place finish at 2A state tournament Saturday. The Roughriders won three out of five games at state to place and they only graduate two seniors. (Port Angeles softball)
STATE SOFTBALL: Roughriders finish fourth at state

Forks pulls out one victory but unable to place at 2B

Port Angeles' Parker Nickerson competes in the long jump this weekend at Mount Tahoma. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
STATE TRACK AND FIELD: Peninsula athletes shine at state meets

Sequim’s Clare Turella lone state champion from area but plenty of athletes place

AREA SPORTS BRIEFS: Lincoln Park BMX clinic hosted by Olympian Nyhaug

Canadian BMX Olympic champion Tory Nyhaug will be giving… Continue reading

Garrett Little of Sequim finished second at the state 2A boys tennis tournament this weekend. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
STATE TENNIS: Sequim’s Garrett Little finishes second

Sequim’s Garrett Little finished second in the state 2A boys… Continue reading

Port Angeles' Kennedy Rognlien slides in to base against Shadle Park on Friday. The Riders beat Shadle Park 10-9, then went on to beat Lynden in the quarterfinals Friday in Selah. (Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News)
STATE SOFTBALL: (Updated) Port Angeles in third-place game at state tournament

Roughriders will face North Kitsap for a fifth time this season

STATE TENNIS: (Updated) Sequim’s Garrett Little in finals

Sequim’s Garrett Little is in the state finals after winning… Continue reading