OUTDOORS: Still some saltwater salmon options left

The floating docks have been removed, the final downrigger cable has been reeled in and the last coho of September and the summer saltwater salmon season has been caught.

A long offseason awaits, especially for Marine Area 6 anglers denied a blackmouth fishery for the second straight winter.

But opportunities for catching salmon on the salt do still exist. Today marks the start of a month-long hatchery coho fishery on Dungeness Bay with a two hatchery coho only limit through Oct. 31.

And the entirety of Hood Canal (Marine Area 12) will be open through Nov. 30 for salmon.

Anglers can keep a daily limit of four salmon of no minimum size, but must release chum and must release chinook today through Oct. 15.

Winter crabbing

A number of marine areas have reopened to recreational crabbing, including 4 (Neah Bay, east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5 (Sekiu), 6 (eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca), 7 (San Juan Islands), 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island, and Skagit Bay), 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner), 9 (Admiralty Inlet), and the portion of Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) north of Ayock Point.

In each area, crabbing will be allowed seven days a week through Dec. 31.

Sport crabbers are reminded that setting or pulling traps from a vessel is only allowed from one hour before official sunrise through one hour after official sunset.

Today also is the deadline to submit summer catch record cards before the reporting period closes for the season.

Summer CRCs can be submitted online or mailed to the address listed on the card.

The daily limit in Puget Sound is five Dungeness crab, males only, in hard-shell condition with a minimum carapace width of 6 1/4 inches. Crabbers may also keep six red rock crabs of either sex per day with a minimum carapace width of 5 inches, and six Tanner crabs of either sex with a minimum carapace of 4 1/2 inches.

Bear rule change

The public can submit written comment on a proposed spring black bear season rule change by Oct. 21.

The proposed rule sets the spring black bear special permit limits of approximately 664 hunters with about 145 bears available for harvest.

Geographically focused spring hunting of black bears will continue in areas where Fish and Wildlife have observed on-going human-bear conflict, low fall harvest results, commercial timber damage or concerns for ungulate species recruitment.

“We are seeking feedback on the proposed rule, and we’ll use this information to guide how we offer spring black bear special permit opportunities in 2022,” said Anis Aoude, game division manager.

Follow the link to the survey at https://publicinput.com/H6080 to provide feedback by Oct. 21. The public can also submit written comments via email to [email protected]PublicInput.com.

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

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