Tag Archives: coho

SW WA Fishing Report (12-31-19)

THE FOLLOWING WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Washington Tributary Fishing Report Dec 23-29, 2019

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Grays River – 3 bank anglers kept one steelhead.

WINTER-RUN STEELHEAD ARE BEGINNING TO SHOW IN SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON WATERS AS 2019 DRAWS TO A CLOSE. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Elochoman River – 82 bank anglers kept eleven steelhead and released one coho.  6 boats/14 rods kept three steelhead and released two steelhead.

Klickitat River below Fisher Hill Bridge – 5 bank anglers kept two coho.

  • Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

More 2020 Columbia Salmon Forecasts, Outlooks Posted; Sockeye A Brighter Spot

Columbia salmon managers are rolling out more 2020 forecasts and sockeye might be a bright spot next year.

Nearly a quarter million sockeye are expected to return to the big river, with just under 202,000 of those headed for the relatively cool Brewster Pool before departing up the Okanogan/Okanagan.

TYLER FLETCHER SHOWS OFF A PAIR OF SOCKEYE CAUGHT AT WELLS DAM DURING 2014’S FISHERY. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

While forecasters are still dialing in their sockeye prognostication skills, it would be a significant uptick over 2019’s return of 63,222 against a forecast of 94,400. It would also be the eighth largest run since 1980, though still only a third of 2014’s record year.

Lake Wenatchee sockeye anglers could also see a significant bump from this year’s actual return of just 7,900; the prediction calls for 39,400.

As for all-important Columbia spring Chinook, the 2020 forecasts leave as much to be desired as last week’s news of very low predictions for the Cowlitz, Kalama, Wind, Drano, etc.

Managers expect 81,700 upper Columbia and Snake springers, which is about 10,000 more than actually returned in 2019 but also 17,600 less than were forecast.

Along with the annual 30 percent buffer to protect against overforecasting, this spring’s mainstem fishery was constrained by very low returns to the Cowlitz and Lewis, which led to a closure of the Columbia below Warrior Rock to protect springers headed to those two tributaries. Returns to both are again expected to be low.

The Willamette spring Chinook forecast is for 40,800, up a bit from this year’s forecast which didn’t pan out, with only 27,292 back.

The overall forecast of 135,800 springers to the mouth of the Columbia is the fewest back to 1999.

The Columbia summer Chinook forecast is slightly better than last year, with 38,300 expected, roughly 2,000 more than were forecast in 2019 but which also led to no opportunities to target them until later in the season and only in the upper river above Wenatchee.

Anglers are increasingly skeptical of the forecasts, but managers continue to point to very poor ocean conditions as having a strong influence on numbers of returning salmon.  The Blob is back in the North Pacific, maybe not as strong as 2014 and 2015, but still likely impacting prey and marine habitat of kings, sockeye, coho and other stocks.

Managers also put out preliminary word on fall Chinook and coho expectations, and how 2019 shaped up:

2019 Preliminary Returns
• Adult fall Chinook return was predicted to be 349,600 fish.
• Preliminary return is slightly above the forecast.
• Bright jack return appears to be improved over 2018. Tule jack return appears to be slightly improved over 2018.

2020 Outlook
• Bright stocks should be similar to the 2019 preliminary return.
• Tule stocks should be similar to the 2019 preliminary return.
• Ocean conditions between 2015 and 2019 were among the worst observed during the last 21 years and are likely continuing to have a strong influence on the fall Chinook return in 2020.

Columbia River Coho
• 2019 preliminary return is about 30% of the preseason forecast of 611,300.
• Coho jack return to the Columbia River is less than 50% of the recent three-year average.

Tule Chinook power ocean seasons, upriver brights the inriver fisheries. In the Columbia’s Hanford Reach, 30,678 angler trips yielded a catch of 11,820 adult kings, an improvement of more then 3,100 fish over 2018, according to biologist Paul Hoffarth.

The release of the 2020 forecasts and outlooks mark the start of determining how many, if any, fish are available for harvest in the ocean and rivers and setting seasons at North of Falcon later in winter.

Yuasa Looks Back At 2019 Salmon Seasons, Towards 2020’s

Editor’s note: The following is Mark Yuasa’s monthly fishing newsletter, Get Hooked on Reel Times With Mark, and is run with permission.

By Mark Yuasa, Director of Grow Boating Programs, Northwest Marine Trade Association

The holiday “to do” list has pretty much taken priority over getting out on the water, but if you’re like me that also means it’s time to reassess salmon fisheries in 2019 and start thinking about what lies ahead in 2020.

I had a chance to chat with Mark Baltzell, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Puget Sound salmon manager, and Wendy Beeghly, the head WDFW coastal salmon manager, who provided insight about the future and a somewhat forgetful past.

(MARK YUASA, NMTA)

“I believe the best way to describe Puget Sound salmon fisheries overall in 2019 is a mixed bag,” said Baltzell. “We had some unexpected good salmon fishing and returns while others were as poor as the preseason forecasts had predicted.”

“Summer chinook fisheries were for the most part better than we expected despite the reduced seasons,” Baltzell said. “Early on we saw some really good chinook fishing in May and June in southern Puget Sound (Marine Catch Area 13 south of the Narrows Bridge).”

It wasn’t uncommon for Area 13 anglers during those months to hook into a limit of early summer hatchery kings, 10 to 18 pounds with a few larger, off Point Fosdick and Fox Island’s east side at Gibson Point, Fox Point in Hale Passage, northwest corner at the Sand Spit, Toy Point and Concrete Dock “Fox Island Fishing Pier.”
In the past few years, central Puget Sound (Area 10) starting in June has become a hot bed for resident coho – 2- to 4-pounds – and this past summer was no exception to the norm. On certain days you’d find hundreds of boats from Jefferson Head to Kingston and in the shipping lane.

“We had a coho fishery in Area 10 from June through August that was really good and has turned into a successful early summer salmon fishery,” Baltzell said.

(MARK YUASA, NMTA)

The Tulalip Bubble Terminal Fishery within Area 8-2 opened in June and was another location that proved to be fairly decent for early summer kings in the 10- to 15-pound range.

When July rolled around the Strait of Juan de Fuca (Areas 5 and 6) opened for hatchery kings and was off and on for much of the summer.

The San Juan Islands (Area 7) had a brief hatchery king fishery from July 1-31, which saw plenty of fishing pressure and a much higher than expected success rate.

Preliminary WDFW data during the July Area 7 fishery showed 5,310 boats with 11,739 anglers kept 3,019 hatchery kings (10 wild fish were illegally retained) along with 451 hatchery and 982 wild chinook released. The best fishing period occurred from July 1-14. WDFW test fishing showed the Area 7 legal-size chinook mark rate was 84.6 percent and overall mark rate was 78.6.

The summer hatchery king fishery in northern and central Puget Sound (Areas 9 and 10), started off poorly from July 25-28 due to extreme low tides. Once the tidal fluctuation improved as more dates were tacked onto the fishery catch rates picked up rapidly.
During an 11-day fishing period from July 25 to Aug. 4, the success rate in Area 9 was a 0.23 fish per rod average with a total of 7,779 boats with 17,147 anglers keeping 3,446 hatchery chinook (six unmarked were illegally retained) and released 1,124 hatchery and 756 wild chinook plus 697 coho kept and 747 released. WDFW test fishing showed the legal-size chinook mark rate was around 88.0 percent.

The Area 10 hatchery chinook fishery was open daily July 25 through Aug. 16 and a total of 7,606 boats with 15,900 anglers kept 3,200 hatchery chinook (17 wild were illegally retained) and released 994 hatchery and 1,579 wild chinook plus 2,013 coho kept and 463 released. WDFW test fishing showed the legal-size chinook mark rate was around 50.0 percent.

Summer hatchery chinook action in south-central Puget Sound (Area 11) stumbled out of the gates when it opened July 1 and was peppered with a few glory moments until it closed Aug. 25 for chinook retention. In Area 11, an estimated 12,264 boats with 22,818 anglers from July 1-Aug. 25 retained 212 chinook and released 164 hatchery and 465 wild chinook.

“We saw a lot more legal-size chinook in Puget Sound than the FRAM (Fishery Regulation Assessment Model) had predicted and more legal hatchery fish around than we had seen in past years,” Baltzell said.

In general, the wild chinook stock assessment seemed to be somewhat better in some parts of Puget Sound. Places like the Tumwater Falls Hatchery in deep South Sound even had a few nice 20-pound females return.

Heading into late summer, the Puget Sound pink returns were off the charts good here and there while other pink runs were downright dismal. Salmon anglers chasing pinks managed to find some excellent fishing from mid-August through September.

“In some places it seemed like we had twice the abundance of pinks and others didn’t get as many as we had thought,” Baltzell said. “The Puyallup did really good and a decent number of pinks pass(ed) over the Buckley fish trap and was up into the historical day numbers. But, the Skagit and Stillaguamish weren’t so good for pinks and it was the same for coho too.”

“At this point were going to be OK in places like the Snohomish for coho,” Baltzell said. “Both the tribes and state did all the things necessary to help ensure we’d exceed our hatchery coho broodstock (goals), and that did eventually happen.”

Other locations like the Green River met coho broodstock goals although that didn’t occur until late last month. In Hood Canal, the Quilcene early coho return came back less than half the preseason expectation and the size of jack coho was much smaller.”

“There was a size issue throughout the Puget Sound area and the lower returns had us taking a precautionary move to a one coho daily limit,” Baltzell said. “It was the right move in retrospect and helped us move more coho into the rivers.”

The mid- and southern-Puget Sound and Hood Canal chum forecast of 642,740 doesn’t appear to be materializing and at this point WDFW downgraded the run to almost half the preseason expectation.

“It is really hard for us as fishery managers to pinpoint the cause for all of it,” Baltzell said. “We can point the finger to marine survival and conditions in the ocean like the warm blob that sat off the coast up to Alaska for a while. We also know the Canadian sockeye runs tanked this year and saw it in our own like Lake Washington that virtually got nothing back.”

The ocean salmon fisheries from Neah Bay south to Ilwaco between June 22 through Sept. 30 encountered a mixed bag of success.

“Fishing was pretty much what I expected it to be,” Beeghly said. “The chinook fishery was slow except up north off Neah Bay where it was pretty good this past summer. The majority of chinook we see in ocean fisheries are headed for the Columbia River and their forecasts were down so the poor fishing came as no surprise.”
Close to a million coho were forecasted to flood the Columbia River this past summer and that too was a downer.

“The coho fishing wasn’t quite as good as I had expected, but we saw some decent fishing at Ilwaco and Westport,” Beeghly said. “The Columbia coho forecast didn’t come back like we originally thought but better than the past three or so years. The hatchery coho mark rate was lower than anticipated.”

Coast wide only 51.1 percent of the hatchery coho quota of 159,600 was achieved, and 41.4 percent of the chinook quota of 26,250 was caught.

Areas north of Leadbetter Point saw a coho mark rate of somewhere under 50 percent and Ilwaco where data was still being crunched might come out to be a little higher than that.

Once the fish arrived in the Lower Columbia at Buoy 10 it appeared the catch of hatchery coho fell well short of expectations with a lot of wild fish released although some glory moments occurred early on.

Coastal and Columbia River chinook forecasts should come to light around the Christmas holidays. The Pacific Fishery Management Council preseason meeting will occur in mid-February. That is just ahead of when Oregon Production Index coho forecasts will be released.

As Baltzell rubbed the crystal ball looking into 2020 it still remains pretty foggy at this point but general expectations aren’t rosy.

“It would be fair for me to say that I wouldn’t expect anything much better in 2020 than what we saw in 2019,” Baltzell said. “We have no forecast information at this point but I wouldn’t expect a rosier outlook as far as chinook goes for next year.”

State, federal and tribal fishery managers in 2020 will be faced with a lot of same wild chinook stock issues as in recent past years like mid-Hood Canal and Stillaguamish. Add on top of that killer whale orca issues as well as the pending Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Plan that has been looming a dark cloud for the past three years with no end in sight just yet.

“If I had to gauge things out my gut reaction is we’ll likely have to take a more cautionary approach again next year,” Baltzell said.

The WDFW general salmon forecast public meeting will occur Feb. 28 at the DSHS Office Building 2 Auditorium, 1115 Washington Street S.E. in Olympia. The first North of Falcon meeting is March 16 at the Lacey Community Center and the second meeting is March 30 at the Lynnwood Embassy Suites. Final seasons will determined April 5-11 at the Hilton Hotel in Vancouver, WA.

Final summer ocean salmon sport fishing catch data

Ilwaco (including Oregon) – 44,297 anglers from June 22 to September 30 caught 4,018 chinook (56% of the area guideline of 7,150) and 53,377 coho (67% of the area sub-quota of 79,800).

Westport – 23,465 anglers from June 22 to September 30 caught 2,336 chinook (18% of the area guideline of 12,700) and 20,221 coho (34% of the area sub-quota of 59,050), plus 700 pinks.

La Push – 2,076 from June 22 to September 30 caught 449 chinook (41% of the area guideline of 1,100) and 1,752 coho (43% of the area sub-quota of 4,050), plus 206 pinks. Late-season fishery October 1-13 saw 240 anglers with 164 chinook (64% over the fishery guideline) and 16 coho (16% of the fishery quota).

Neah Bay – 10,116 anglers from June 22 to September 30 caught 3,895 chinook (75% of the area guideline of 5,200) and 6,223 coho (37% of the area sub-quota of 16,600), plus 869 pinks. Chinook retention closed July 14.

(MARK YUASA, NMTA)

Dungeness crab fishery reopens in Areas 8-2 and 8-1

The east side of Whidbey Island (Marine Catch Areas 8-1 and 8-2) has reopened daily for Dungeness crab fishing through Dec. 31. WDFW says crab abundance remains good indicating that the quota could be increased in-season. Crab pots must be set or pulled from a vessel and is only allowed from one hour before official sunrise through one hour after official sunset.

Dungeness crab fishing is also open daily through Dec. 31 in the Strait of Juan de Fuca (Areas 4B, 5 and 6); San Juan Islands (Area 7); and northern Puget Sound (Area 9 except waters north of the Hood Canal bridge to a line connecting Olele Point and Foulweather Bluff).

NW Fishing Derby Series hits refresh button in 2020

After 17 wonderful years since the derby series began in 2004, we’ve decided it’s time for a change and rebranded it to the “Northwest Fishing Derby Series.”

Our hope is that anglers will like the direction as we diversify the fish species our events target while boosting the number of derbies to 20 in 2020 up from 14 events in 2019.

New events are the Lake Stevens Kokanee Derby on May 23; For the Love of Cod Derbies in Coos Bay/Charleston areas and Brookings, Oregon March 21-22 and March 28-29 respectively; Father’s Day Big Bass Classic on Tenmile Lake at Lakeside, Oregon on June 21-22; and the Something Catchy Kokanee Derby at Lake Chelan on April 18-19.

(MARK YUASA, NMTA)

The highlight is a chance to enter and win a $75,000 fully loaded, grand-prize all-white KingFisher 2025 Escape HT boat powered with Yamaha 200hp and 9.9hp trolling motors on an EZ Loader Trailer. One of our newest sponsors of the derby – Shoxs Seats (www.shoxs.com) – has provided a pair of top-of-the-line seats that are engineered for maximum comfort in the roughest of seas.

The good news is anglers who enter any of the 20 derbies don’t need to catch a fish to win this beautiful boat and motor package!

A huge “thank you” to our other 2020 sponsors who make this series such a success are Silver Horde and Gold Star Lures; Scotty Downriggers; Burnewiin Accessories; Raymarine Electronics; WhoDat Tower; Dual Electronics; Tom-n-Jerry’s Marine; Master Marine; NW Sportsman Magazine; The Reel News; Outdoor Emporium and Sportco; Harbor Marine; Prism Graphics; Lamiglas Rods; 710 ESPN The Outdoor Line; Salmon & Steelhead Journal; and Salmon Trout Steelheader Magazine.

First up are the Resurrection Salmon Derby on Feb. 1-2 (already 50 percent of tickets have been sold as of Nov. 13); Friday Harbor Salmon Classic on Feb. 6-8; and Roche Harbor Salmon Classic on Feb. 13-15. A new website is currently being designed and will be launched sometime in mid-December but for now, go to http://www.nwsalmonderbyseries.com/.

In the meantime, take a break from holiday shopping and hit up a lake or open saltwater areas for a feisty fish tugging on the end of your line.

I’ll see you on the water!

Southwest Washington Tribs Fishing Report (11-26-19)

THE FOLLOWING WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Washington Tributary Fishing Report Nov 18-24, 2019

Salmon/Steelhead:
Columbia River Tributaries

Grays River – 5 bank anglers released thee coho.

Elochoman River – 15 bank anglers released one steelhead and one coho.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 18 bank rods kept one coho. 1 boat/2 rods had no catch.

Above the I-5 Br – 15 bank rods kept two coho. 1 boat/5 rods kept one coho.

Kalama River – 4 bank anglers had no catch.

Lewis River – 12 bank anglers had no catch. 1 boat/1 rod had no catch.

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – 8 bank anglers kept four coho and released one Chinook.

? Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

Coho Restrictions Hit Cowlitz, Kalama, Lewis, Other SW WA Tribs

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Southwest Washington tributary coho fisheries modified 

Action:

  • Anglers limited to 1 adult coho on lower Cowlitz and lower Kalama Rivers.
  • Release all adult coho on the Lewis River, Cedar Creek (including all tributaries), and Washougal River.

NICOLE GREENWOOD CAUGHT THIS COWLITZ RIVER HATCHERY COHO IN MID-OCTOBER ON A MAG LIP. (VIA JAROD HIGGINBOTHAM, YAKIMA BAIT)

Effective date: Nov. 23, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2019.

Species affected: Coho salmon.

Locations and salmon rules:

  • Cowlitz River, from the mouth to the posted markers 400 feet below the Barrier Dam:  Min. size 12”. Daily limit 6. Up to 1 adult may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery coho.
  • Kalama River, from the mouth to 1,000 feet below the fishway at the upper salmon hatchery (i.e. Kalama Falls Hatchery):  Min. size 12”. Daily limit 6. Up to 3 adults may be retained of which up to 1 may be an adult coho. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho.
  • Lewis River, from the mouth to the overhead power lines below Merwin Dam:  12” min. size. Daily limit 6. Up to 2 adult Chinook may be retained. Release all salmon other than Chinook and hatchery jack coho.
  • Cedar Creek, from the mouth upstream, including all tributaries:  Min. size 12”. Daily limit 6. Up to 2 adult Chinook may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery jack coho.
  • Washougal River, from the mouth to the bridge at Salmon Falls:  Min. size 12”.  Daily limit 6. Up to 1 adult Chinook may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery jack coho.

Reason for action: Coho salmon returns to tributary hatcheries in the Lower Columbia Basin have been below levels needed to meet broodstock collection goals for some programs. These programs can utilize coho salmon collected at hatcheries located in the above tributaries when brood shortfalls occur. Modifying coho fisheries on these rivers will provide additional fish for these hatchery programs and help ensure future hatchery returns and fishing opportunities.

SW WA Fishing Report (11-19-19)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY BRYAN SPELLMAN, WDFW

Washington Tributary Fishing Report Nov 11-17, 2019

Salmon/Steelhead:
Columbia River Tributaries

Grays River – 4 bank anglers had no catch

Elochoman River – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 8 bank rods had no catch. 9 boats/21 rods kept 13 coho and released 1 Chinook.

Above the I-5 Br – 15 bank rods kept one coho and released two Chinook. 3 boats/7 rods released one Chinook and three coho.

IN THIS IMAGE DREDGED OUT OF THE WAY, WAY, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY BACK FILE, FALL SALMON ANGLERS FISH THE LOWER COWLITZ ABOVE AND BELOW THE MOUTH OF THE TOUTLE FOR COHO. (CHRIS SPENCER)

Kalama River – 1 bank angler had no catch.

Lewis River – 15 bank anglers released three coho. 5 boats/12 rods released one Chinook and one coho.

Washougal River – 1 bank angler had no catch.

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – 31 bank anglers kept 10 Chinook, 12 coho and released three Chinook and one coho. 4 boats/14 rods kept one Chinook and 18 coho.

Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

Salmon Limit Reduced From Hoh To Harbor Rivers

THE FOLLOWING IS A WDFW EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE NOTICE

Adult portion of salmon daily limits reduced in coastal freshwater systems from Hoh River south to Grays Harbor basin and Marine area 2-2

Action: Reduces the adult portion of salmon daily limit to no more than 1 adult fish.

LIMITS ON ADULT COHO AND OTHER LATE SALMON ARE DROPPING TO ONE A DAY ON A NUMBER OF WASHINGTON COAST SYSTEMS. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Effective date: Nov. 16, 2019, until further notice.

Species affected: Salmon.

Locations:

  • Marine Area 2-2 (Grays Harbor)
  • Black River (Grays Harbor/Thurston Co.), from mouth to bridge on 128th Ave. SW.
  • Chehalis River (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth (Hwy. 101 Bridge in Aberdeen) to the high bridge on Weyerhaeuser 1000 line.
  • Copalis River (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth to Carlisle Bridge.
  • Elk River (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth (Hwy. 105 Bridge) to the confluence of Middle Branch.
  • Hoh River (Jefferson Co.), from Olympic National Park boundary upstream to Morgans Crossing boat launch. 
  • Hoquiam River, including West Fork (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth (Hwy. 101 Bridge on Simpson Ave) to Dekay Rd. Bridge (West Fork).
  • Hoquiam River, East Fork (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth to confluence of Berryman Creek.
  • Johns River (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth (Hwy. 105 Bridge) to Ballon Creek.
  • Moclips River (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth to Quinault Indian Reservation boundary.
  • Newaukum River, including South Fork (Lewis Co.), from mouth to Leonard Rd. near Onalaska.
  • Quinault River, Upper (Clallam Co.), from mouth at upper end of Quinault Lake upstream to Olympic National Park boundary.
  • Salmon River (Jefferson Co.) outside Quinault Indian reservation and Olympic National Park.
  • Satsop River and East Fork (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth to bridge at Schafer State Park; and from 400′ below Bingham Creek Hatchery to the dam.
  • Skookumchuck River (Lewis/Thurston Co.), from mouth to 100 feet below outlet of TransAlta WDFW steelhead rearing pond located at the base of Skookumchuck Dam.
  • Wishkah River (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth to 200′ below the weir at the Wishkah Rearing Ponds; and from 150′ upstream to 150′ downstream of the Wishkah adult adult attraction channel/outfall structure (within the posted fishing boundary).
  • Wynoochee River (Grays Harbor Co.), from mouth to WDFW White Bridge access site.

Reason for action: Coho returns to tributaries along the coast from Hoh River south to Grays Harbor appear to be significantly lower than preseason predictions. These conservation measures are being taken to ensure escapement goals are met.

Additional information: Once the adult portion of the salmon daily limit has been retained, anglers may not continue to fish for salmon.

Anglers should refer to the 2019-20 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other ongoing fishing opportunities available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/

Refer to updated regulations in waters within the Olympic National Park online at http://www.windsox.us/VISITOR/ONPS_Fishing/Fishing_Regulations.html.

Willapa Bay, Tribs Closed To Salmon Fishing Starting Today

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Salmon fishing to close in Willapa Bay and its tributaries

Action: Closes salmon fishing

COLIN MEDVED SHOWS OFF A WILLAPA SYSTEM COHO CAUGHT IN A PREVIOUS SEASON. THE BAY AND ITS TRIBUTARIES ARE CLOSING AS OF NOV. 13 DUE TO “SIGNIFICANTLY” BELOW FORECAST RUNS. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Effective date: Nov. 13, 2019 until further notice.

Species affected: Salmon

Locations:

  • Marine Area 2-1 (Willapa Bay)
  • Bear River
  • Forks Creek
  • Naselle River
  • Nemah River Middle, North, and South
  • North River
  • Smith Creek
  • Willapa River
  • Willapa River South Fork

Reason for action: Coho returns to tributaries in the Willapa Bay watershed have been significantly lower than preseason predictions. These conservation measures are being taken to ensure escapement goals are met. Managers will continue to assess coho returns and re-open if warranted.

Additional information: For more information on other Willapa Bay fisheries, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations.

The Ol’ Coho Fumblerooski Fails For 2 Hood Canal Anglers

There’s catching a second wind in the second half, but two anglers are having second thoughts about recently trying to catch a second limit of salmon.

The duo reportedly were observed at a Hood Canal boat access stashing eight coho — the daily limit — into their rig, and then heading back out onto the water for round two.

(WDFW)

Responding to the report, WDFW Officers Isaac Stutes and Jesse Ward watched as the two men netted and kept another pair of fish.

That was enough for the game wardens to contact the anglers, but then things got slippier than the football in last night’s turnover-ridden (but still glorious) Seahawks-49ers game.

“One of the men began fumbling around with the fish when they saw the officers,” WDFW Police stated on its Facebook page today. “The man dropped both fish in the water between the boat and the dock.”

Only problem, the water was so shallow that Ward could see both coho a mere 4 feet below the boat, according to WDFW.

At first the two men said they hadn’t caught any salmon besides the pair that were fumbled.

But given another chance to tell the truth, one responded, “You probably keep asking me because I’m such a bad liar,” according to WDFW.

They eventually allegedly admitted to all 10 salmon they caught, which were seized, and now the county prosecutor will be referred charges.

SW WA Fishing Report (11-12-19)

THE FOLLOWING WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

November 12, 2019

Tributary Fishery Reports

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Grays River – 4 bank anglers had no catch

Elochoman River – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 84 bank rods kept five coho and one coho jack. 42 boats/110 rods kept 28 coho, 3 coho jacks and released 4 Chinook and 42 coho.

Above the I-5 Br – 44 bank rods kept three coho and released 37 Chinook. 5 boats/15 rods kept five coho, 3 coho jacks and released one Chinook and four coho.

Kalama River – 10 bank anglers had no catch.

Lewis River – 32 bank anglers kept one coho. 16 boats/43 rods kept four Chinook, 2 Chinook jacks, 10 coho, one coho jack and released five Chinook and three coho.

TRAVIS GOTTSCH SHOWS OFF A NICE LEWIS RIVER FALL CHINOOK CAUGHT A FEW MID-OCTOBERS BACK AND FORWARDED BY HIS PROUD UNCLE PATRICK. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – 39 bank anglers kept 15 Chinook, 13 coho, 2 coho jacks and released 15 Chinook and 11 coho.

Klickitat above #5 Fishway – 1 bank angler had no catch.

Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.