Tag Archives: fishing

Unmarked Kings Opening For Retention On Part Of Brewster Pool

North-central Washington anglers will be able to keep one unmarked summer Chinook as part of their two-adult-king daily limit starting this Thursday, July 27, on part of the Brewster Pool.

With more wild Chinook returning to the Okanogan than are needed for spawning goals, WDFW says 2,000 are available for harvest.

BREWSTER POOL ANGLERS HAVE MORE REASON TO SMILE WITH THE ADDITION OF AN UNMARKED CHINOOK IN THE TWO-KING DAILY LIMIT. JAMIE VALENTA CAUGHT THIS NICE SUMMER SALMON SEVERAL SEASONS BACK. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

They can be kept in the waters from the Highway 173 bridge to the Highway 17 bridge, a roughly 12-mile stretch of the Upper Columbia.

But the fishery will be closely monitored and could close on short notice, WDFW warns. Keep an eye on the agency’s e-reg site for updates.

The 2017 summer king run has slightly exceeded the initial forecast, and is now predicted to come in at 68,700, a bright spot in a year of poor springer, sockeye and steelhead returns to the Columbia.

The stock is not listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Lower Columbia, Gorge Pools Fishing Report (7-26-17)

THE FOLLOWING ORIGINATED WITH ODFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

On Saturday’s (7/22) flight, 211 salmonid boats and 42 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Astoria-Megler Bridge to Bonneville Dam.

Gorge Bank: Weekly checking showed one adult Chinook and one steelhead kept, plus one Chinook and three steelhead released for 73 salmonid anglers.

WALLEYE FISHING REMAINS SUPERB IN THE COLUMBIA’S EAST GORGE WATERS, WITH BEST ACTION IN THE JOHN DAY POOL, BUT SOME BITING BELOW THERE TOO, LIKE THIS NICE ONE FOR ROLAND SWOPES, HIS FIRST EVER. HE WAS BOTTOM BOUNCING WITH A ‘CRAWLER WHILE FISHING WITH FRIEND LES LOGSDON. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Gorge Boats:  Weekly checking showed ten adult Chinook and three Chinook jacks kept, plus six adult Chinook and four steelhead released for ten salmonid boats (44 anglers).

Troutdale Boats: Weekly checking showed six adult Chinook and five steelhead kept, plus eight adult Chinook, one Chinook jack and 11 steelhead released for 69 salmonid boats (122 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank:  Weekly checking showed one adult Chinook and two steelhead kept for 37 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats:  Weekly checking showed six adult Chinook, one Chinook jack and four steelhead kept, plus four adult Chinook, one Chinook jack and six steelhead released for 47 boats (106 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Astoria-Megler Bridge to Wauna Power lines):  Weekly checking showed no catch for two salmonid anglers.

Estuary Boats (Astoria-Megler Bridge to Wauna Power lines):  Weekly checking showed no catch for six salmonid boats (19 anglers).

Bonneville Pool:  Weekly checking showed two steelhead kept and five steelhead released for three boats (four anglers)

The Dalles Pool:  No report.

John Day Pool:  Weekly checking showed no catch for two boats (three anglers).

STURGEON

Gorge boats: Catch and release only. No report.

Portland to Wauna Power lines:  Catch and release only.  Weekly checking showed one legal and 12 sublegal sturgeon released for one boat (two anglers).

Estuary Boats (Buoy 10 to Wauna Power lines):  Catch and release only.  Weekly checking showed 33 legal, four sublegal and 28 oversize sturgeon released for eight boats (31 anglers).

Bonneville Pool: Catch and release only.  No report

The Dalles Pool: Catch and release only. No report.

John Day Pool: Catch and release only.  Weekly checking showed three legal, 14 sublegal and nine oversize sturgeon released for four boats (10 anglers).

WALLEYE

Troutdale boats:  Weekly checking showed 28 walleye kept, plus one walleye released for 17 boats (40 anglers).

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed three walleye kept and five released for seven bank anglers; and 76 walleye kept, plus 20 walleye released for 10 boats (25 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 1,022 walleye kept and 453 released for 110 boats (225 anglers).

Pikeminnow Catches Dipping On Columbia, Snake

Pikeminnow catches dropped by more than 1,700 last week over the previous one, with 7,148 brought to stations on the Columbia and Snake Rivers July 17-23.

That figure is also less than half of what it was a month ago but reflective of the typical seasonal lull in the fishery that pays anglers to remove the native species that preys on young salmon and steelhead in the Columbia hydropower system.

THE PIKEMINNOW SPORT REWARD PROGRAM OFFERS INCENTIVES TO CATCH THE SPECIES FROM THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA UP TO TRI-CITIES, AND IN THE SNAKE FROM TRI-CITIES UP TO CLARKSTON. (PIKEMINNOW.ORG)

For the third straight week, Boyer Park on the Snake below Lower Granite Dam retained its spot as most productive, with a haul of 1,771 qualifying fish,

That’s nearly 1,000 more than the second best station, Greenbelt, also on the Snake, where 787 were brought in, according to the latest figures from program manager Eric Winther.

Coming in third was The Dalles, with 675, then Cathlamet, on the Lower Columbia, with 622.

Giles French had the highest catch per angler, with 15.2 for the 38 participants, followed by 9.3 at Cascade Locks and 8.9 at Boyer Park.

The overall average per angler was 5.8 pikeminnow for 1,235 participants, down about a fish a fisherman over the previous week.

Eight specially tagged pikeminnow were turned in last week, up from five the week before, with three at Columbia Point, and one each at Cathlamet, Gleason, Washougal, The Dalles and Greenbelt.

All totaled, 121,014 qualifying pikeminnow have been removed from the Columbia and Snake since the start of season May 1.

The Dalles has been most productive, with 43,613, followed by Columbia Point at 14,681 and Boyer Park 14,054.

Average catch is 6.9, with a range from 11.0 at The Dalles to 1.5 at Willow Grove and Umatilla.

Just over 200 tagged fish have been turned in.

Effort is 17,524 on the season.

The sport reward program pays anglers from $5 to $8 per pikeminnow, with tagged ones worth $500.

For more details, including fishing maps, check out pikeminnow.org.

San Juans Chinook Limit Dropping To 1 Early Due To Catches

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

Anglers limited to 1 chinook per day in Marine Area 7 beginning Saturday

Action: Lowers the daily limit for hatchery chinook to one fish in Marine Area 7.

WITH HIGHER THAN ANTICIPATED CATCH RATES, STATE MANAGERS ARE REDUCING THE LIMIT ON HATCHERY CHINOOK IN THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS, WHERE JAKE MANDELLA CAUGHT THIS NICE ONE IN 2015, TO ONE A DAY FROM TWO. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Effective Date: 12:01 a.m. Saturday, July 22, through 11:59 p.m. Monday, July 31, 2017.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Location: Marine Area 7 (San Juan Islands Area).

Reason for action: Preliminary estimates indicate that anglers have caught more chinook than anticipated. The change to the chinook fishery is in compliance with conservation objectives and agreed-to management plans. The fishery is being modified to control impacts on stocks of concern.

The daily limit for chinook was previously scheduled to drop to one fish beginning Aug. 1.

Other information: The daily limit remains unchanged at a 2 salmon limit, plus two additional sockeye. Chum, wild chinook and coho must still be released. The fishery is scheduled to be open through Sept. 30.

Entiat Hatchery Opening Bank Spot To Chinook Fishing, For First Time

Central Washington anglers have a new spot to fish for summer Chinook.

Managers of the Entiat National Fish Hatchery are opening part of their grounds along the river for the first time.

AN EXAMPLE OF THE CALIBER OF SUMMER KING RETURNING TO THE ENTIAT NATIONAL FISH HATCHERY. (USFWS)

The specific area is “right along the riverfront, just on the other side of the hatchery’s abatement pond,” according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Amanda Smith.

The request came from residents of the northern Chelan County valley, according to the agency, and helps fulfill an edict from Washington DC.

“Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke has directed us to provide more fishing and hunting on public land,” said manager Craig Chisam in a press release, “and we’re doing that. We will do everything we can to accommodate it.”

This year will see the second full return of adult summer Chinook since the facility began producing the stock in 2009.

So far around 180 have arrived, and while biologists estimate around 1,200 will eventually show up, Chisam is “hopeful and optimistic that we will be closer to 2,000 because returns have just been on the late side this year.”

AN ANGLER FISHES BELOW THE HATCHERY. (USFWS)

According to WDFW catch card data from 2015, the most recent year figures are available for, anglers kept 114 kings that season, mostly in July, but about 40 percent in August and September combined.

The Entiat is open under selective-gear rules and a night closure, with a two-hatchery-Chinook limit through Sept. 15. Salmon fishing is open from the railroad bridge at the mouth to markers 1,500 feet upstream of the upper Roaring Creek Road bridge, where the hatchery is.

Try spoons or spinners. Catch code is 586.

Right now, the Entiat is flowing about average height for this time of year, 362 cubic feet per second.

Fish that make it past anglers and are surplus to hatchery needs are given to area tribes, according to USFWS.

Areas 9, 10, Ocean, Westport, San Juans Salmon Fishing Report (7-19-17)

Puget Sound salmon anglers did much better on this past Sunday’s Areas 9 and 10 marked Chinook opener, at least in the northern waters and compared to last year’s start of the fishery.

WDFW hasn’t updated its quota stats yet, but according to daily creel sampling tallies, 615 fishermen came into Everett with 202 kings on Sunday, 187 came into Fort Casey with 129 and 234 arrived at Shilshole with 38.

A RUN NORTH FROM LESS PRODUCTIVE CENTRAL SOUND WATERS ON THE JULY 16 OPENER YIELDED THIS NICE HATCHERY KING AT MIDCHANNEL BANK FOR A HAPPY ANGLER. (CHASE GUNNELL)

On the 2016 openers, 96, 36 and 44 Chinook were checked at those same ramps, or .2 kings per angler for the two northern launches and .16 for the southern.

Kingston, which wasn’t monitored on last year’s opener, recorded 26 for 259 anglers.

After poking around in the morning in more southerly waters without success, angler Chase Gunnell and crew ran up to Midchannel Bank off Port Townsend.

“The bite turned on in the latter half of the tide. Kept two nice kings and released a native. Herring Aide Coho Killer behind a moonjelly flasher pulled in two, green, yellow and white Coho Killer behind a red racer got the other one. All fish right off the bottom in 80 to 100 feet. The fish are out there and making their way south!” he said.

Tom Nelson of 710 ESPN Seattle’s The Outdoor Line reported good fishing on the second day too, and was buoyed by reports of Chinook action to the west in the Straits.

As for salmon fishing elsewhere on Washington’s saltwaters, here are this week’s reports from Wendy Beeghley of WDFW (first), John Keizer of Saltpatrol.com (second) and Kevin Klein of Puget Sound Anglers (third):

…………………………………..

Columbia Ocean Area (including Oregon)

A total of 2,006 anglers participated in the all-species salmon fishery July 10-16, landing 307 Chinook and 1,463 coho.  Through July 16, a cumulative total of 2,565 Chinook (19% of the area guideline) and 1,804 coho (9% of the area sub-quota) have been landed.

Westport

A total of 2,239 anglers participated in the all-species salmon fishery July 10-16, landing 284 Chinook and 1,053 coho.  Through July 16, a cumulative total of 1,553 Chinook (7% of the area guideline) and 1,350 coho (9% of the area sub-quota) have been landed.

La Push

A total of 89 anglers participated in the all species salmon fishery July 10-16, landing 67 Chinook and 28 coho.  Through July 16, a cumulative total of 156 Chinook (6% of the area guideline) and 53 coho (5% of the area sub-quota) have been landed.

Neah Bay

A total of 1,999 anglers participated in the all-species salmon fishery July 10-16, landing 2,352 Chinook and 291 coho.  Through July 16, a cumulative total of 4,698 Chinook (60% of the area guideline) and 688 coho (16% of the area sub-quota) have been landed.

……………………………………………………….

Fished Westport Sunday with Jerry Henderson. He caught a nice king and I nailed a decent coho just Northwest of the harbor in 280 feet trolling 100 feet on the downrigger.

(JOHN KEIZER, SALTPATROL.COM)

(JOHN KEIZER, SALTPATROL.COM)

Best action for kings came on a Pro-Troll Flasher with a purple haze squid with 6/0 Mustad hooks tied on 50-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon.

(JOHN KEIZER, SALTPATROL.COM)

We found the coho in the upper 20 to 60 feet of water and we did better pulling a Fish Flash and Herring Aide spoon.

(JOHN KEIZER, SALTPATROL.COM)

Tuna fishing is going full on now with local charters running southwest around 50 miles plugging their boats with albacore tuna.

………………………………………

The Bellingham Puget Sound Angler’s annual salmon derby took place this last weekend. Fishing for hatchery Chinook was anywhere from red hot to ice cold depending on where you were. Kings aren’t all over the Islands right now, but if you land on them, it can be very good fishing. Hoochies, spoons and bait have all been working.

Doug Marr took the $7500 first place prize with a 26.10-pound clipped fish. Alex Davis landed the biggest kid’s division Chinook at 15.42 pounds. The Bellingham Salmon Derby has always been a fun, family friendly event, with proceeds going to a lot of great causes.

Crabbing kicked off on July 15th. It’s been pretty good from most reports. Look for days with soft tides, or drop for a couple hours during a tide change. Dropping pots on a low and letting them soak into the flood can be productive. Our weather has been pretty darn good, and adding some Dungeness into the mix truly makes it feel like summer is here!

Pictures:

(VIA KEVIN KLEIN, PSA)

1. Doug Marr took top prize in the Bellingham Salmon Derby with this 26.10 lb hatchery Chinook. Well done!

(VIA KEVIN KLEIN, PSA)

2. Alex Davis showed up on top of the Kid’s division again with this 15.42 lber. Nice job young man!

(VIA KEVIN KLEIN, PSA)

3. Oliver Marica and family got a crab feed going on the open July 15th. It’s Dungie time!

Columbia, Gorge Pools, SW WA Fishing Report (7-12-17)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED FROM JIMMY WATTS, ODFW, PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW, AND JOE HYMER, PSMFC, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY HYMER

SALMON, STEELHEAD AND SHAD

On Saturday’s (7/8) flight, 271 salmonid boats and 90 Oregon bank anglers were counted from the Astoria-Megler Bridge to Bonneville Dam.

Gorge Bank: Weekend checking showed six adult Chinook kept and three adult Chinook released for 39 salmon anglers; and 250 shad kept for 43 shad anglers.

COLUMBIA RIVER FISHERY MONITORS CONTINUE TO REPORT GOOD ANGLING FOR WALLEYE THIS YEAR. LEXI HAN HOOKED THIS ONE IN JUNE NEAR TRI-CITIES. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Gorge Boats: Weekend checking showed five adult Chinook kept and three adult Chinook released for seven salmon boats (18 anglers).

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed one adult Chinook kept plus three adult Chinook and one steelhead released for 27 salmon boats (57 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed three adult Chinook, one Chinook jack and four summer steelhead kept plus one adult Chinook released for 72 bank anglers.

Portland to Westport Boats: Weekend checking showed two adult Chinook kept and four adult Chinook released for 29 boats (64 anglers).

Estuary Bank (Astoria-Megler Bridge to Wauna Power lines): Weekly checking showed no catch for three anglers.

Estuary Boats (Astoria-Megler Bridge to Wauna Power lines):  Weekend checking showed no catch for two salmon boats (five anglers).

Bonneville Pool: Weekly checking showed one adult Chinook kept plus one adult Chinook released for seven bank anglers.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed one adult Chinook kept for six bank anglers; and no catch for two boats (four anglers).

John Day Pool: No report.

STURGEON

Gorge boats: Catch and release only. No report.

Portland to Wauna Power lines: Catch and release only. No report.

Estuary Boats (Buoy 10 to Wauna Power lines): Catch and release only. Weekend checking showed 16 sublegal and 31 oversize sturgeon released for four boats (11 anglers).

Bonneville Pool: Catch and release only. No report.

The Dalles Pool: Catch and release only. Weekly checking showed one sublegal sturgeon released for one bank angler.

John Day Pool: Catch and release only. Weekly checking showed eight sublegal and one legal sturgeon released for five boats (20 anglers).

WALLEYE

Troutdale boats: Weekend checking showed no catch for two boats (three anglers).

Bonneville Pool: No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed three walleye kept and 50 walleye kept for three boats (13 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 421 walleye kept and 223 walleye released for 68 boats (152 anglers).

………………………………………………………

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – I-5 Bridge downstream:  2 boat and 25 bank rods had no catch.  Above the I-5 Bridge:  142 boat rods kept 4 adult spring Chinook, 37 steelhead, and 1 cutthroat and released 26 cutthroats.  155 bank rods kept 26 adult spring Chinook and 10 steelhead and released 4 adult and 2 jack spring Chinook, 1 steelhead, and 1 cutthroat.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – During the first nine days of July we sampled 1,081 salmonid anglers (including 183 boats) with 72 adult and 4 jack summer Chinook, 82 steelhead, and 1 sockeye.  26 (36%) of the adult summer Chinook were kept (remember, adult Chinook had to be released through July 6). 52 (63%) of the steelhead and the lone sockeye were kept.

Tri-cities Area Summer Chinook & Sockeye Fishery – WDFW staff interviewed 58 anglers from 30 boats this past week with a reported catch of 1 adult chinook and 24 sockeye.  For the week an estimated 12 adult summer chinook and 300 sockeye were harvested.  For the season there have been 2,144 angler trips for sockeye/summer chinook with 107 adult hatchery chinook, 23 chinook jacks, and 885 sockeye harvested. Area fisheries will continue to be open to fishing for hatchery summer chinook through August 15.

Paul A. Hoffarth
District 4 Fish Biologist
WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife

Sturgeon

Lower Columbia mainstem below the Marker 82 line – 50 sturgeon anglers (including 15 boats) were sampled with 37 legals released.

Shad

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – 188 anglers (including 2 boats) kept 601 shad and released 16 fish.

Walleye

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – 21 walleye anglers (10 boats) kept 6 walleye.

Trout

Recent plants of catchable size rainbows and browns into SW WA waters.  No report on angling success.

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per pound
Hatchery
Notes

CHAMBERS LK (LEWI)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=CHAMBERS+LK+%28LEWI%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Lewis County – Region 5
Jul 05, 2017
Brown Trout
1,000
2
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY

MAYFIELD LK (26)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=MAYFIELD+LK+++%2826%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
County – Region 5
Jul 06, 2017
Rainbow
4,290
2.13
EELLS SPRINGS

‘Let The Party Begin!’ Floor On Start Of Washington July Chinook Season

Editor’s note: The following is Tony Floor’s monthly newsletter and is run with permission.

By Tony Floor, Fishing Affairs Director, Northwest Marine Trade Association

As a lifelong saltwater salmon angler in the Pacific Northwest, I wait for July 1st seemingly all year long. In a perfect world, it would be July 1st every day as the summer salmon season opens from the ocean, Strait of Juan de Fuca and throughout the San Juan Islands for Chinook salmon. Let the party begin!

My first imprinting of king salmon fishing in Washington began 55 years ago when my dad purchased our first salmon fishing boat. It was a 1960 16-foot Uniflite, made in Bellingham and powered with a 35-horse Evinrude. This boat, with its soft white hull and turquoise top, had fins in the back, dude, like a ’57 low-rider Cadillac. It was so ugly, passengers in our boat were issued Alfred E. Neuman masks. Ugly! Got a visual? The hull was as flat as a piece of plywood with a 4-inch keel. All my teeth fell out on our first fishing trip.

MY DAD’S FIRST SALMON FISHING BOAT, A 16-FOOT UNIFLITE. JUST LIKE TODAY’S SALTWATER FISHING BOATS – BUT DIFFERENT! (TONY FLOOR)

My Dad bought the one-year-old boat from a guy who worked at Hanford around one of several nuclear reactors. I was convinced he was radioactive and the boat, I believed, if tested, would set off a geiger counter like a pin ball machine on 220 volts!

During those early salmon fishing years, my dad towed the boat to Sekiu in early July for fishing vacations every year while growing up. It was a blast even though we caught each other more often than an occasional king salmon. I emphasize the word few.

Today, some 50-plus years later, I am back fishing the Strait of Juan de Fuca at Port Angeles, trolling along Ediz Hook with a longtime fishing buddy from Sequim, Mike Schmidt.

MIKE SCHMIDT, SEQUIM, HOISTS HIS LIMIT OF 20-POUND KING SALMON CAUGHT OFF EDIZ HOOK IN PORT ANGELES EXACTLY ONE YEAR AGO ON THE JULY 1, 2016 OPENER. (TONY FLOOR)

Exactly one year ago from today, we were working our flashers and Coho Killer spoons while trolling west on a morning outgoing tide in 110 feet of water from the Coast Guard station west to the “Winter Hole.” Thinking about it gives me goosebumps as that day three of us brought 15 kings to the boat, taking the six hatchery fish we wanted. The following day, on July 2nd, Mike and I hooked 10 kings and kept the four “keepers” we could, or wanted. It was just like those early days at Sekiu – but different.

July is game day. It’s a time in a Pacific Northwest angler’s playbook where it all goes into motion. Reservations are locked, the boat and equipment is in perfect fishing condition and the trailer is ready to lay down some miles. It’s time to fish.

One of the challenges about July king salmon fishing is where to go. Westport, La Push, Neah Bay, Sekiu, Port Angeles and the San Juans are all open.

Similar to picking a selection from the dinner menu at a favorite restaurant, go with what works for you during the first two weeks of the month. My choices in early July are Port Angeles and Freshwater Bay. As we move forward in time toward the second week of July, I’m headed for Neah Bay, as king salmon migrating down the Washington coast and the Columbia River transition through the Neah Bay region.

Since 1977, I have primarily focused on fishing the kelp beds east and south of Cape Flattery, looking for quality king salmon dining on schools of sandlance abundant around the kelp. Mercy! Another takedown! Somebody please stop time!

In mid-July, as in recent years, salmon anglers will witness the kickoff to the central and northern Puget Sound Chinook fisheries (marked hatchery Chinook only). From the north end of Vashon Island north to Pt. Wilson and Port Townsend, I anticipate very good Chinook fishing beginning July 16 as the Chinook salmon guidelines (quotas) have been nearly doubled since last year. The traditional hot spots of Possession Bar, Kingston and especially Mid-Channel Bank at Port Townsend should be on fire. Find the bait and you’ll find the kings. If you’re not fishing any of these areas on July 16 and you can see Puget Sound, please refrain from dialing 911 as you witness water on fire. Baby, I love it when that happens.

This fishery is especially important to stay-cationers who live in the central and northern Puget Sound region. Expect an epidemic from salmon anglers who will be calling in sick, reporting something in their eyes and can’t see going into work!

For the northern Washington fisheries, which include anglers from Mt. Vernon, Anacortes and Bellingham who fish the San Juan Islands, the green flag also drops on July 1. As veteran anglers will tell you, the Islands can be inconsistent from day to day, making it challenging to find where Chinook salmon are holding. Recognized fishing spots like Obstruction Pass, the buoy on the south end of Cypress Island, Boulder Reef and Eagle Bluff in the eastern San Juans are notorious for kicking out summer king salmon.

For this old cat, Port Angeles, Tahsis, B.C. and Neah Bay are on my menu for the first two weeks of July, followed by Mid-Channel Bank off and on during the last two weeks of the month. By the end of the month, I’ll be doing that zombie walk again, hopefully with Chinook salmon on my breath. Somebody pinch me.

See you on the water!

Tony

No Washington Budget By July 1 Means Large-scale Fishery Closures

Editor’s note: This is a developing story that is being updated, including that state House and Senate lawmakers appear to have reached a budget deal “in principle,” per Governor Inslee.

All salmon, walleye and trout waters shut down.

Delayed July fishing and crabbing openers.

WDFW boat ramps on the Skykomish, Cowlitz and Skagit rivers closed.

This morning, Washington sportsmen are being warned they could see those and more starting starting this Saturday IF — note the big if — lawmakers don’t pass a state operating budget by June 30.

“We are optimistic that lawmakers will resolve their differences and avoid a shutdown, but it’s possible they will not succeed,” WDFW Director Jim Unsworth said in a press release. “We are providing this information to inform the public of the potential effects of a shutdown, so they can revise their plans if necessary during the busiest recreation season of the year.”

Similar situations in 2013 and 2015 were avoided with late deals on budgets, and UPDATE it may again be the case in 2017 — a “deal in principle” is being reported as of 9:53 a.m., though there are no actual details of what’s being proposed, only confidence that it would get to Governor Inslee’s desk on time to avoid a shutdown.

To get the latest on the state of negotiations, monitor #WaLeg on Twitter, as well as state capital reporters , @RachelAPOly and, among others.

A SKYKOMISH RIVER FISHERMAN PREPARES HIS DRIFT BOAT FOR LAUNCH AT SULTAN, ONE OF MANY STATE LAUNCHES THAT WOULD BE CLOSED IF LAWMAKERS CAN’T AGREE ON A WASHINGTON BUDGET BY JULY 1. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Legislators in the House and Senate have until Friday night to agree to a spending plan and get it to Governor Inslee to avoid the widespread consequences.

Everyone’s crossing their fingers Olympia politicians get the job done, and there are positive rumblings from the capital as I press publish on this blog.

But in the meanwhile the uncertainty is forcing WDFW to push its contingency plan for a state shutdown further into the open.

It’s held off doing so since late last week, because putting out those details comes with a risk — too much alarm could impact businesses in sportfishing-dependent places like Westport.

There, July 1 not only marks the salmon opener in the “Salmon Fishing Capital of the World,” with a larger Chinook quota, but coho are back on the menu this year after 2016’s closure for the stock.

But with DNR and Ecology posting warning notices on their websites last night, WDFW put out the word this morning.

A shutdown would leave just 70 of the agency’s 1,800 staffers on the job, too few to monitor and police fisheries, even every-day ones.

Asked last week which of his lakes and rivers would be affected, one Eastside fishery manager offered a blunt assessment.

“All of them.”

A Westside biologist told me the same.

“Everything is my understanding. So no salmon, no river fisheries, no lakes, nothing.”

The only exceptions, according to WDFW, would be Dungeness crabbing off the coast, because funding for it is not reliant on the legislature.

The shutdown would also leave no staff to write up potential emergency openers.

While about half of WDFW’s 83 hatcheries are required to stay open because they rear federally protected salmon and steelhead, the other 41 raising rainbows and nonlisted stocks might have to be gated.

“But we are exploring options to avoid closing any of them,” Unsworth said.

State wildlife areas would stay open, but restrooms would be closed.

WDFW would also stop processing hydraulic permit approvals, public disclosure requests and selling fishing and hunting licenses.

Its main and regional offices would be closed, and poaching reports would have to be dealt with by other agencies.

Again, this is NOT A DONE DEAL, but with negotiations coming down to the wire, it’s prudent to warn sportsmen about the possibilities.

We’ll be closely monitoring the situation and post any significant updates.

 

Salmon Open Off Most Of WA Coast This Saturday, Westport July 1

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Sport anglers will have the opportunity to reel in salmon off the Washington coast starting Saturday, June 24.

That’s when marine areas 1 (Ilwaco), 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) open daily for salmon fishing. Marine Area 2 (Westport) will open a week later on July 1.

ILWACO IS AMONG THE WASHINGTON PORTS OPENING FOR SALMON THIS SATURDAY, AND WILL DRAW LOCAL ANGLERS AND PUGETROPOLITES LIKE JOHN KEIZER ALIKE. (SALTPATROL.COM)

Fish managers expect slightly higher numbers of chinook and coho salmon will make their way through the ocean this year as compared to 2016, said Wendy Beeghley, an ocean salmon manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

ADS ON THE SIDES OF SOUND TRANSIT AND METRO BUSES ROLLING THROUGH SEATTLE AND ITS SUBURBS BECKON RESIDENTS TO WESTPORT. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Due to the improved forecasts, the recreational chinook catch quota this year is 45,000, up from 35,000 in 2016. This year’s coho quota of 42,000 fish is an increase of 23,100 coho from 2016, when anglers were allowed to keep coho only in Marine Area 1. Coho retention is allowed in all four marine areas this summer.

Anglers fishing in marine areas 1 and 2 will have a daily limit of two salmon, only one of which can be a chinook. In areas 3 and 4, anglers will have a two-salmon daily limit. In all areas, anglers must release wild coho.

STUART ALLEN AND OTHER NEAH BAY ANGLERS WILL BE TARGETING FAT CHINOOK THIS SEASON. THE TRI-CITIES ANGLER CAUGHT THIS ONE SEVERAL SEASONS AGO. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

All four marine areas are scheduled to close to salmon fishing at the end of the day Sept. 4 but could close earlier if the quota is met.

Throughout the summer, anglers can check WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/creel/ocean/ for updates

More information about the fisheries can be found in the 2017-18 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, available at license vendors and sporting goods stores and online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01914/2017-18_marine.pdf.