OUTDOORS: Sequim’s Carrie Blake Park Pond offers youth fishing opportunity

Rivers productive; squid in Port Townsend, Hood Canal

ANOTHER FALL FISHING option has opened for the age 14 and younger set, with the recent rainbow trout planting in the Carrie Blake Park Pond.

Some good-sized rainbows in the range of 12 to 15 inches have been landed already by young anglers.

The trout were raised at the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Hurd Creek Hatchery near Sequim.

This fall/winter fishery has been in place for the last three years, a partnership between the North Olympic Peninsula Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers and Fish and Wildlife.

Kids ages 14 and younger can fish the Carrie Blake Pond and keep the first two fish they catch per day. Club members ask that anglers do not catch and release or try to upgrade for larger-sized trout, “because they are all about the same.”

And anglers are urged to “practice good pandemic habits of social distancing and masks.”

More trout plants will occur over the next month or two, so youth anglers will have options for a trout dinner through the fall.

No license is required.

The Carrie Blake Pond is open from dawn to dusk.

Rivers productive

Nick Roberts of Swain’s General Store (360-452-2357) in Port Angeles found success during the Dungeness River hatchery coho opener last weekend.

“The Dungeness had a pretty good opener,” Roberts said. “All the fish historically are down low [lower section of the river] and this year, they are at the hatchery already.

First day, I was up there and did well. Saturday, I was back and fishing was a lot slower. The river had come down by then. I got a couple more that second day, but I’ve been hearing people are struggling since then.”

The West End rivers also are producing kings and cohos.

“Rivers seemed to have picked up in the last week or two,” Roberts said. “Plenty of posts of guys catching them. There are still some nice chrome kings to be found and coho are making their way up.”

Squid a possibility

A squid explosion is underway in Puget Sound, according to Quilcene’s Ward Norden, a former fisheries biologist and owner of Snapper Tackle Co.

“I have heard people talking about astounding numbers of squid in Puget Sound,” he said. “It makes sense. The same things that caused last spring’s huge herring spawn, the biggest in 40 years, are now leading to huge numbers of immature squid.”

“Anglers at the Edmonds pier are getting 10-pound limits in just an hour. Here on the North Olympic Peninsula, interested anglers might test out the nighttime squid jigging at the piers in Port Townsend and available piers in Hood Canal.”

Squid are attracted to bright lights, so find a well-lit pier.

Anglers can use glow-in-the-dark jigs armed with multiple hooks to catch the squid.

These jigs, when thrown into brighter water, will attract them from out of the dark. Squid then wrap their tentacles around the jig, bob up and down in the water, and hook themselves.

Summer time is historically the right time to try squidding in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, including off City Pier in Port Angeles, but squid don’t follow a set migration period, so it’s always a bit of a gamble.

Norden also said those immature squid “will be a lot bigger in a month or two,” so a calamari appetizer could possibly be found on area Thanksgiving tables.

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

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