OUTDOORS: Surfperch anglers sought for survey

A TEAM OF biologists is seeking the public’s help in a surfperch survey of the Pacific Ocean off our coast and along the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Jeffrey S. Jensen of the University of Washington Bothell’s Division of Biological Sciences and some colleagues from NOAA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management are looking into the distribution of calico perch in area waters.

“Calico perch (Amphistichus koelzi) are officially rare north of California, but I have picked them up a number of times in Washington,” Jeffrey wrote in an email. “We are trying to get a better handle on their abundance and distribution, so we have developed online surveys for anglers to report their history with surfperch and to make specific trip reports.”

Anglers may have encountered calico surfperch while seeking the far more prevalent redtail surfperch.

The biggest difference between the two species can be found at the tailfin — Calico perch’s tails are typically dark in color, while redtails…have redder tails.

And the redtails also have bigger mouths, prominent bar-like striping on their bodies and taller spines along their dorsal ridge.

Anglers who have experience fishing for surfperch are asked to take the survey online at bit.ly/SurfperchHistory.

Those who are fishing for surfperch are asked to fill out trip reports at bit.ly/SurfperchTripReport.

Fishing for surfperch from the beach is open year-round on the coast and in Marine Area’s 4B (Neah Bay-east of the Bonilla-Tattoosh Line) 5 (Sekiu), 6 (Eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca) and 9 (Admiralty Inlet).

Here is a simple method for beach casters: Attach two leaders a foot or two above a piece of lead, send it out into the waves and wait for something to hit.

About any traditional bait works, including clam necks, squid or sand shrimp.

The daily limit is 12 surfperch (no species listed) and 15 shiner perch.

Kalaloch produced the state record surfperch, a 4.05-pounder landed by Chris Maynard in August of 1996.

Veteran fishing trip

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary is honoring veterans and their families with an invitation to head out on sanctuary waters for a full-day fishing and wildlife watching trip with Neah Bay’s Windsong Charters.

The trips are scheduled Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 3-4.

Reservations are required and group size is limited.

For more information or to reserve your space, contact Jacqueline Laverdure at [email protected] or 360-406-2084.

More Canal shrimping

Shrimpers rejoice, those plying the depths of Hood Canal (Marine Area 12) have not reached the “target share” of its spot shrimp quota, ill re-open for two more days of recreational shrimping.

The bummer of it all is the opening is mid-week, not on the weekend.

Hood Canal will re-open for harvest of all shrimp species from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, July 23-24.

Some marine areas, including 4 (east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5, 6 (outside the Discovery Bay Shrimp District) remain open for spot shrimp fishing.

Marine Area 9 is open for coonstripe and pink shrimp fishing.

COASST training Neah Bay

The University of Washington’s Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team needs volunteer beachwalkers to report on seabird mortality. It will hold an orientation/training workshop from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The workshop will be held in the Makah Tribal Community Center, 81 Third Ave., in Neah Bay.

No prior experience is needed, but volunteers should be interested in surveying a local beach at least once a month.

The COASST training will provide volunteers with the skills and equipment needed to identify seabirds and record mortality data.

RSVP to Saturday’s workshop by calling 206-221-6893 or emailing [email protected] There will be a break for lunch in the middle of the workshop.

COASST is a citizen science project of the UW in partnership with state, tribal, and federal agencies, environmental organizations and community groups.

For more information on COASST, visit www.coasst.org.

Jefferson closure

Shellfish samples from Mystery Bay and Fort Flagler State Park containing elevated levels of marine biotoxins that cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning have forced the state Department of Health to close Fort Flagler State Park, Kilisut Harbor and Mystery Bay for recreational shellfish harvest.

Danger signs have been posted at high-use beaches, warning people not to consume shellfish from this area. The closure includes clams, oysters, mussels, scallops and other species of molluscan shellfish.

Crabmeat is not known to contain the biotoxin but the guts can contain unsafe levels. To be safe, clean crab thoroughly and discard the guts (butter).

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