As coho fishing began its second day on two Seattle-area waters, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s director said that two nearby rivers are being eyed for potential openings as well.
“We’re also looking at some other systems right now, both the Skykomish … and the Snohomish. We’re doing some evaluations on them. We have some biologists out there. We’re going to try to get a little test fishery in there this week,” Jim Unsworth said this morning on a Seattle-based radio show. “Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that there are fish there that we can take advantage of with a little fishery.”
Anecdotally there are plenty, but Unsworth warned Tom Nelson and Rob Endsley of The Outdoor Line on 710 ESPN that managers need to be mindful of possible impacts on ESA-listed Chinook, as the back end of those stocks’ return are overtopped by coho.
When WDFW opened the Green-Duwamish on Friday for coho, it limited the upstream end of the fishery to I-405 because of Chinook still in the system.
Tribal test netting there and at Lake Washington has helped determine that this year’s coho are coming back much above the dire preseason forecasts, allowing fisheries to occur.
While we have lost the bulk of saltwater opportunities for silvers, it appears state managers are working to see what can be salvaged in the rivers.
That won’t come fast enough for anglers watching coho jump or swim their way past them, but Unsworth this morning said there is “last-minute scrambling to get things going.”
In the rest of his 13:34-minute interview on The Outdoor Line, he also talked about modeling salmon runs, permitting fisheries in the past and future, and his “reluctance” to have court systems dictate seasons.
Unsworth added that he has been talking with Skokomish Tribe Chairman Guy Miller about the river closure there that hit Chinook bank anglers hard.
“We need to get that fishery opened,” he said.
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