OUTDOORS: Now is the time for prime coho fishing

The pinks have pushed through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and its time to seriously reel in some silvers before the season shut down this month.

Neah Bay is set to close down at the end of the day Wednesday and recreational anglers will likely forego coho quota opportunity.

As of last Sunday’s catch estimates, Neah Bay (Marine Area 4) recreational anglers have reached 75 percent of the chinook guideline of 5,825 kings and 41 percent (2,235) of the area’s 5,730-fish coho quota.

What that tells me is another weekend of chinook fishing with a two-fish limit could have been had in July instead of the early switch to a one-king daily limit.

The move preserved opportunity for coho fishing at the time, but I tend to believe most salmon anglers would rather have an extra mid-summer shot at kings, when the other option is September silvers.

Coho active

Hatchery coho have been running through Dabob Bay in Hood Canal and up the Big Quilcene River for the last few weeks, according to assistant hatchery manager Dan Magneson of the Quilcene National Fish Hatchery.

The coho were in good numbers and still in good condition as of Labor Day.

Magneson said in 2020 that in typical fishing seasons, two-thirds of the hatchery coho run reaches the facility by Sept. 18, so now is prime time to capture a river silver.

But as he said last year, he prefers to fish the river in October.

“For quality of the experience, however, I would personally choose October,” Magneson said. “The ranks of other anglers on the river are progressively thinning out and leaving one with more and more elbow room, the leaves are turning color, and during clear weather there are those crisp mornings and wonderfully warm, blue-sky afternoons.”

Adventure athletes

Trail runners from around the North Olympic Peninsula and Pacific Northwest will participate in the seventh Great Olympic Adventure Trail (GOAT) Run on Saturday.

Racers will run distances ranging from 50 kilometers (about 31 miles), marathon and half-marathon along trails and logging roads from Granny’s Cafe to the northwestern shore of Lake Crescent. The 50K route has a grueling 3,700 feet of elevation gain in the hills of Kelly Ridge between Joyce and Lake Crescent, 3,500 for the marathon and 1,500 for the half.

The event begins with the 50K running group starting at 7:30 a.m., the full marathon following at 8:30 a.m. and the half-marathon released in waves at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Peninsula Adventure Sports puts on the GOAT Run. The group’s next offering is the Big Hurt, set Sept. 25 in Port Angeles.

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

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