Tag Archives: spot shrimp

Hood Canal Shrimpers Get 2 More Days In Late July

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

Hood Canal to get two additional days for recreational shrimp fishing

Action: Opens Marine Area 12 for two more days of recreational spot shrimp harvest.

A DAY OF SHRIMPING WITH GREAT GRANDFATHER GENE BIRDYSHAW REALLY PAID OFF FOR BELLA AND ROWAN ANDERSON. THEY WERE WORKING HOOD CANAL DURING A PAST SEASON. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)


Effective date: July 23, 2019 and July 24, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.

Species affected: All shrimp species including spot shrimp.

Location: Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal).

Reason for action: The target share for recreational spot shrimp has not been taken in this area. Additional days of fishing are being added to take the target share of spot shrimp.

Additional information: Some marine areas, including 4 (east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5, 6 (outside the Discovery Bay Shrimp District) and 7 West remain open for spot shrimp fishing. Several other marine areas are open for coonstripe and pink shrimp fishing. Check WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/shrimp/ for more information.

Get a Free NewsLetter Here

Puget Sound Shrimp Season Set To Open Week Later Than 2018

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

Recreational shrimp fishing will open May 11 in Puget Sound under seasons announced today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

(COURTESY KEVIN KLEIN)

This year’s Puget Sound shrimp fishing seasons will begin the second Saturday in May, about a week later than in 2018. Shellfish managers scheduled the later opening date based on tidal conditions. The season opening date will allow shrimpers to take advantage of tides that should maximize success in areas with the shortest seasons, said Don Velasquez, a shellfish biologist for WDFW.

“This is a popular fishery, and the volume of boats using the ramps will require some patience and courtesy,” he said. “Fishers should allow extra time for launching their boats to ensure they’re in the water when fishing opens.”

Though the season opens May 11 for all shrimp (spot, pink and coonstripe shrimp), people are mostly fishing for spot shrimp, Velasquez said. Also known as prawns, spot shrimp are the largest shrimp in Puget Sound and may grow up to nine inches in length.

Puget Sound recreational shrimp season opening days are:

  • Marine areas 4 (Neah Bay east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line) and 5 (western Strait of Juan de Fuca): Open daily beginning May 11. The recreational spot shrimp season closes when the quota is attained.
  • Marine Area 6 (Port Angeles Harbor, eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, excluding the Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Open Thursday through Sunday each week beginning May 11. The recreational spot shrimp season closes when the quota is attained.
  • Marine Area 6 (Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 11, 15, 29, and June 1.
  • Marine area 7 South (Iceberg Point, Point Colville, Biz Point, Salmon Bank): Open May 11-12, May 16-19, and May 23-24.
  • Marine area 7 East (northern Rosario Strait, Bellingham Bay, Sucia and Matia islands, Strait of Georgia): Open May 11-12, May 16-19, May 23-26, and May 30-June 2.
  • Marine Area 7 West (San Juan Channel, Speiden Channel, Stuart and Waldron islands): Open Thursday through Sunday each week beginning May 11. The recreational spot shrimp season closes when the quota is attained.
  • Marine Areas 8-1 (Saratoga Passage, Deception Pass) and 8-2 (Port Susan, Port Gardner, Everett): Open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 11, and from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 15.
  • Marine Area 9 (Edmonds, Port Townsend Bay, Admiralty Inlet): Open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 11, and from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 15.
  • Marine Area 10 (Elliott Bay): Open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 11 (this is the portion of Marine Area 10 east of a line from West Point to Alki Point).
  • Marine Area 10 (outside Elliott Bay): Open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 11 (this is the portion of Marine Area 10 west of a line from West Point to Alki Point, which includes the Bainbridge Island shrimp fishing grounds).
  • Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island): Open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 11.
  • Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal Shrimp District): Open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 11, 15, 29, and June 1.
  • Marine Area 13 (South Puget Sound, Carr Inlet): Closed for spot shrimp harvest this season due to low abundance.

Additional dates and times will be announced if sufficient quota remains after the initial fishing days scheduled above.

In all areas of Puget Sound, fishers are limited to 80 shrimp a day (if open) during the month of May. A valid 2019-20 combination license, shellfish license, or Fish Washington license is required to participate in the fishery.

Velasquez reminds shrimpers that traps can be set one hour before official sunrise during any open period in marine areas 4, 5, 6 (except for the Discovery Bay Shrimp District), 7 East, 7 South, and 7 West only. As an example, one hour before sunrise is approximately 4:40 a.m. on May 11.

The pots must be removed from the water in these same areas by one hour after sunset at the end of an open period. The start and end times for the other areas are listed above.

More information on sport shrimp seasons, and a description of the marine areas, is available on WDFW’s recreational shrimp fishing website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/shrimp.

More Shrimping Ops Coming Up In Sound, Canal, Strait

THE FOLLOWING ARE EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE NOTICES FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Hood Canal to reopen for two more days of shrimp fishing

Action:  Recreational spot shrimp fishing will reopen for two more days (Wednesday, June 6, and Saturday, June 9) in Hood Canal (Marine Area 12).

HOOD CANAL SHRIMPERS LIKE ROWAN ANDERSON WILL SEE TWO MORE DAYS TO SCORE MORE SPOTS IN JUNE. ANDERSON WAS SHRIMPING WITH HER GREAT-GRANDFATHER, GENE BURDYSHAW, A COUPLE SEASONS AGO. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Effective date:  9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6, and Saturday, June 9, 2018.

Species affected: All shrimp species including spot shrimp.

Location:  Hood Canal (Marine Area 12).

Reason for action:  Sufficient recreational spot shrimp quota remains for two more days of fishing.

Other information:  Several other marine areas will reopen for coonstripe and pink shrimp fishing (only) on June 1. Check WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/shrimp/ for more information.

Shrimp daily limit to increase in Marine Area 6; non-spot shrimping to reopen in several Puget Sound areas 

Action: Beginning June 1, various actions take effect in Puget Sound shrimp fisheries, including:

Marine Area 6: The daily bag limit is increasing to 120 shrimp for all species (including spot shrimp) in Marine Area 6 beginning on June 1, 2018. Open daily.

Marine Area 7 East: Reopens for recreational coonstripe and pink shrimp fishing (only) with a 200-foot maximum fishing depth restriction. Open daily. All spot shrimp caught must be returned to the water immediately.

Marine areas 8-1, 8-2, 9 and 11: Reopen for recreational coonstripe and pink shrimp fishing (only), with a 150-foot maximum fishing depth restriction. Open daily. All spot shrimp caught must be returned to the water immediately.

Marine Area 13: Reopens for recreational coonstripe and pink shrimp fishing (only) with a 250-foot maximum fishing depth restriction. Open daily. All spot shrimp caught must be returned to the water immediately.

Effective date:  June 1, 2018.

Species affected:  All species for Marine Area 6. Coonstripe and pink shrimp for marine areas 7 East, 8-1, 8-2, 9, 11 and 13.

Location:  Marine Areas 6 (only) for the daily bag limit increase. Marine Areas 7 East, 8-1, 8-2, 9, 11 and 13 for the coonstripe and pink shrimp reopening.

Reason for action:  Sufficient recreational quota is available in Marine Area 6 for increasing the daily bag limit on a trial basis. Although the spot shrimp quotas have been reached in Marine Areas 7 East, 8-1, 8-2, 9, 11 and 13, there is sufficient non-spot quota available to reopen for those shrimp species.

Other information: Marine Area 10 and the Discovery Bay Shrimp District are closed for the season. For more information about shrimp fisheries, visit WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/shrimp/.

 

Yuasa Reviews Washington 2018 Salmon Seasons, Looks Ahead To Halibut, Shrimping

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 months are flying by faster than a coho hitting your bait in the prop wash.

It felt like “Yesterday” – an ode to a classic Beatles song – when we gathered in Lacey on Feb. 27 to see what the salmon forecasts had in store for us. Now a season package is “Signed, Sealed and Delivered” – did you say Stevie Wonder? – for anglers to digest and begin making plans on where to wet a line.

The process known as “North of Falcon” (NOF) culminated April 6-11 in Portland, Oregon, and I was on-hand as a sport-fishing observer.

JUSTIN WONG HOLDS UP A NICE KING SALMON HE CAUGHT LAST SUMMER IN THE OCEAN OFF WESTPORT. (MARK YUASA, NMTA)

When proposed seasons came to light in mid-March it was like a feisty trophy king tugging on end of a line, which after a long battle unhooked itself at the boat causing the lead weight to smack you right in the eye.

While grief and a swollen black eye set in, you might have been down in the dumps. But, my mantra has been to never whine about what you can’t do or lost (the trophy king in paragraph above), and more on making the most of the present moment.

Life throws you lemons so make sweet lemonade because if you don’t your head will go into a swift-moving tidal tail-spin and turn your fishing line into a messy tangled web of hurt.

The initial good news is environmental conditions – El Nino, warm water temperatures, a “Blob” and droughts – that have plagued us with restrictions going back to 2015-16 appear to be in the rear-view mirror.

Secondly, was the warmth (albeit mixed feelings by some NOF attendees) of unity and transparency between user groups despite a usual difference in opinions over how the whole pie of sport, tribal and non-tribal fisheries was divvied up.

These are signals of “baby steps” in a complicated process that long has been filled with arguments, bitterness, cultural indifference, protests and a fight over that “last salmon” dating back to Boldt Decision.

The true litmus test of how long this “hand-holding” philosophy will last between all parties is essential as we move forward to ensure our iconic Pacific Northwest salmon runs will be around for generations to come. Even more so as we carry the torch of a long-term Puget Sound Chinook Management Plan to the federal fishery agency’s table later this year, which will dictate how we fish from 2019 to 2029 and beyond.

“Now that we’ve finished this process we need to work on being responsible with conservation, habitat issues and simply change our philosophy to create a long-term management plan,” Ron Warren, the WDFW salmon policy coordinator said at conclusion of Portland meetings.

While being mindful of that briny future, let’s go over highlights of our fisheries at hand.

A positive are extended seasons – something that hasn’t happened for several years – for hatchery coho in northern Puget Sound (Area 9) from July through September, and non-select coho in central Puget Sound (Area 10) from June through mid-November. The Puget Sound coho forecast is 557,149.

Another shining star is a South Sound hatchery chinook forecast of 227,420 up 21 percent from 10-year average and a 35 percent increase from 2017.

The northern Puget Sound summer hatchery chinook catch quota is 5,563 – a similar figure to 2017 – and is expected to last one-month when it opens in July.

The elevated forecast is a blessing when south-central Puget Sound (Area 11) opens June 1 especially in popular Tacoma-Vashon Island area. A central Puget Sound hatchery chinook fishery starts July 16 with a cap of 4,743. Area 10 has a coho directed fishery in June at popular places such as Jefferson Head-Edmonds area.

A hatchery king season opens at Sekiu on July 1, and Port Angeles on July 3. Both switch to hatchery coho in mid-August through September.

A summer king fishery in San Juan Islands (Area 7) opens July to August, but September is chinook non-retention.

Late-summer and early-fall coho fisheries will occur in Areas 5, 6, 7, 8-1, 8-2, 11, 12 and 13.

On coast, Ilwaco, La Push and Neah Bay open daily starting June 23, and Westport opens Sundays to Thursdays beginning July 1. Hatchery coho quotas are same as 2017 although chinook quotas are down a decent amount. The popular Buoy 10 salmon fishery opens Aug. 1.

On freshwater scene, a sockeye forecast of 35,002 to Baker River is strong enough to allow fisheries in Baker Lake from July 7-Sept. 7, and a section of Skagit River from June 16-July 15.

The Snohomish, Skykomish and Snoqualmie open Sept. 16 for coho. Sections of Skykomish, Skagit and Cascade open for hatchery chinook beginning June 1. For details on seasons, visit WDFW at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/.

Bounty of May fishing options

There’s nothing more exciting than pulling up a pot loaded with prawn-size spot shrimp during a season that begins May 5.

“I am more positive this year on our spot shrimp projections than the last couple of years,” said Mark O’Toole, a WDFW biologist who is retiring May 18 after an illustrious 36 years with the department, and many thanks for your valued input on shrimp and other fish policies!

BIG PRAWN-SIZE SPOT SHRIMP COME INTO PLAY IN THE MONTHS AHEAD AROUND THE PUGET SOUND REGION. (MARK YUASA, NMTA)

“In general, last year was another good season with relatively high abundance,” he said. “The catch per boat ended up being higher for all areas.”

Look for good shrimping in Strait; San Juan Islands; east side of Whidbey Island; central, south-central and northern Puget Sound; and Hood Canal. Test fishing conducted this spring showed marginal abundance in southern Puget Sound.

Hit pause button on spring chores since trout fishing in statewide lowland lakes is now underway.

Justin Spinelli, a WDFW biologist says 460,000 trout went into Puget Sound region lakes on top of 500-plus statewide lakes planted with 16,840,269 trout – 2,171,307 of them are the standardized size averaging about 11 inches compared to 8-inches in past seasons.

If you prefer a large-sized halibut then head out on May 11. The Washington catch quota is 225,366 pounds down from 237,762 in 2017, and a bump up from 214,110 in 2016, 2015 and 2014. Dates for Neah Bay, La Push, Westport and Strait/Puget Sound are May 11, 13, 25 and 27. Depending on catches other dates are June 7, 9, 16, 21, 23, 28 and 30. Ilwaco opens May 3 with fishing allowed Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Once you get your halibut fix add some black rockfish and lingcod to the cooler. Ilwaco, Westport, Neah Bay and La Push are open for both, and some Puget Sound areas are open for lingcod.

NW Salmon Derby Series hits pause button

While we take a break from a spectacular winter derby series be sure to keep sight of the PSA Bellingham Salmon Derby on July 13-15.

2018 NORTHWEST SALMON DERBY SERIES GRAND PRIZE BOAT. (MARK YUASA, NMTA)

More great news is Edmonds Coho Derby on Sept. 8 and Everett Coho Derby on Sept. 22-23 – the largest derby on West Coast – are likely back on “must do” list. In mean time, check out derby’s grand-prize KingFisher 2025 Falcon Series boat powered with Honda 150hp motor and 9.9hp trolling motor at Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show on May 17-20 at Cap Sante Marina. The $65,000 boat also comes on an EZ-loader trailer, and fully-rigged with Scotty downriggers; Raymarine Electronics; custom WhoDat Tower; and Dual Electronic stereo. Details: http://www.nwsalmonderbyseries.com/.

I’m sprinting out the door with rod in hand so see you on the water!

Puget Sound Shrimp Season Opening May 5

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

Recreational shrimp fishing will open May 5 in Puget Sound under seasons announced today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

PUGET SOUND SHRIMPERS LIKE ROWAN ANDERSON CAN START DROPPING POTS FOR SPOTS STARTING MAY 5. ANDERSON WAS SHRIMPING WITH HER GREAT-GRANDFATHER, GENE BURDYSHAW, A COUPLE SEASONS AGO IN HOOD CANAL. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

This year’s Puget Sound shrimp fishing seasons are generally similar to those in 2017, said Mark O’Toole, a shellfish biologist for WDFW, noting that he expects a strong turnout by shrimp fishers – especially on opening day.

“Because this is such a popular fishery, boat ramps can get pretty crowded on the opener,” he said. “As always, we ask that people be patient at the ramps and wait their turn.”

In all areas of Puget Sound, fishers are limited to 80 shrimp a day (if open) during the month of May. A valid 2018-19 combination license, shellfish license, or Fish Washington license is required to participate in the fishery.

More information on sport shrimp seasons, and a description of the marine areas, is available on WDFW’s recreational shrimp fishing website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/shrimp/.

Though the season opens May 5 for all shrimp (spot, pink and coonstripe shrimp), people are mostly fishing for spot shrimp. Also known as prawns, spot shrimp are the largest shrimp in Puget Sound and may grow up to nine inches in length.

O’Toole said shrimpers should be aware that traps can only be set or pulled from one hour before official sunrise through one hour after official sunset each day in areas 4, 5, and 6 (except for the Discovery Bay Shrimp District), as well as marine areas 7 East, South and West. On opening day, one hour before sunrise is approximately 4:40 a.m.

Puget Sound recreational shrimp season opening days are:

  • Marine areas 4 (Neah Bay east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line), 5 (western Strait of Juan de Fuca) and 6 (Port Angeles Harbor, eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca, excluding the Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Open daily beginning May 5. The recreational spot shrimp season closes when the quota is attained or Sept. 15, whichever comes first.
  • Marine Area 6 (Discovery Bay Shrimp District): Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 5, 9, 12, and 23.
  • Marine areas 7 East (northern Rosario Strait, Bellingham Bay, Sucia and Matia islands, Strait of Georgia) and 7 South (Iceberg Point, Point Colville, Biz Point, Salmon Bank): Open May 5May 9-12, and May 23-26.
  • Marine Area 7 West (San Juan Channel, Spieden Channel, Stuart and Waldron islands): Open daily beginningMay 5. The recreational spot shrimp season closes when the quota is attained or Sept. 15, whichever comes first.
  • Marine Areas 8-1 (Saratoga Passage, Deception Pass) and 8-2 (Port Susan, Port Gardner, Everett): Open from7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 5, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 9.
  • Marine Area 9 (Edmonds, Port Townsend Bay, Admiralty Inlet): Open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 5, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 9.
  • Marine Area 10 (Elliott Bay): Open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 5 (this is the portion of Marine Area 10 east of a line from West Point to Alki Point).
  • Marine Area 10 (outside Elliott Bay): Open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 5 (this is the portion of Marine Area 10 west of a line from West Point to Alki Point, which includes the Bainbridge Island shrimp fishing grounds).
  • Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island): Open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 5.
  • Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal Shrimp District): Open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 5, 9, 12, and 23.
  • Marine Area 13 (South Puget Sound, Carr Inlet): Open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 5, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.on May 9.

Additional dates and times will be announced if sufficient quota remains after the initial fishing days scheduled above.

WDFW Opening Canal For One More Day Of Shrimping

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

Hood Canal to reopen for one more day of shrimp fishing

Action: Recreational spot shrimp fishing will reopen for one more day in Hood Canal (Marine Area 12).

HOOD CANAL SHRIMPERS LIKE ROWAN ANDERSON WILL HAVE ANOTHER DAY TO SCORE MORE SPOTS. WDFW IS OPENING AREA 12 ON JUNE 14. ANDERSON WAS SHRIMPING WITH HER GREAT-GRANDFATHER, GENE BURDYSHAW, A COUPLE SEASONS AGO. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Effective date: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, June 14, 2017.

Species affected: All shrimp species including spot shrimp.

Location: Hood Canal (Marine Area 12).

Reason for action: Sufficient recreational spot shrimp quota remains for one more day of fishing.

Other information: The daily limit is 80 shrimp in Hood Canal.

Contact: Mark O’Toole, La Conner, (360) 466-4345 ext. 241, or Don Velasquez, Mill Creek, (425) 775-1311, ext. 112.

Latin Lessons, And Other Thoughts On Puget Sound Fishing, Circa 2017

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

I learned a new phrase a few weeks ago which is a Greek saying called “Carpe diem.”

It’s very strange; however, I like the meaning. Carpe diem means to seize the day and put little trust into tomorrow. When I think about the recent outcome a few weeks ago at the annual North of Falcon salmon season setting process, it causes me to want to head to a tattoo shop to have Carpe diem welded on my shoulder!

For those who know me, my attitude towards sport salmon fishing is to focus on what we can do, versus what we can’t do. And, for the second time in as many years, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has delivered a semi load of ‘can’t dos’ to the 2017-18 sport salmon fishing season, with emphasis on marine waters from Sekiu to Bellingham.

On the flip side, and to be fair to the North of Falcon outcome, there are a decent amount of ‘Can dos’ which are highlighted by significant improvements in central and northern Puget Sound catch quotas, especially for hatchery-produced Chinook salmon.

So, while you gather information on whether this year’s salmon season package is good or bad, it very much depends on where you like to fish, whether it’s the Strait of Juan de Fuca, San Juan Islands, Puget Sound, or all of the above. While you look for a smoking gun, you do not need to look beyond the end of your nose to find good ‘ol Mother Nature holding the gun. The El Niño of 2015-16, with the warm water mass of “The Blob”, caused havoc to salmon survival rates. Last year was the first year anglers were whacked with conservation-based restrictions delivered by Mother Nature. And 2017 will be the second consecutive year of paying the conservation price, which will likely be carried forward through 2018.

May means prawns in most Puget Sound waters as the season opens May 6. Shellfish biologists say this year’s test fisheries showed healthy numbers of spot prawns in most areas. Bob Cannon, Westport, pulled this pot loaded with spot prawns in the San Juan Islands during last year’s opener.

BELLA ANDERSON SHOWS OFF SEVERAL NICE SPOT SHRIMP BROUGHT OUT OF THE DEPTHS OF MARINE AREA 12 ON A PAST OPENER. SHE WAS OUT WITH HER GRANDMA AND GRANDPA, NANCY AND GENE BURDYSHAW. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Back at the turn of the 21st century, many saltwater salmon anglers, including this cat, believed mass marking of Chinook and coho salmon (removal of the adipose fin at salmon hatcheries) would lead anglers to target hatchery-produced fish in expanded seasons while releasing and protecting wild fish. That isn’t necessarily the case today, as expanded closures and sport fishing restrictions have resulted in reducing fishing opportunities in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the San Juan Islands for the upcoming seasons despite the evolution of selective fishing for hatchery-produced fish.

Releasing wild Chinook and coho salmon isn’t good enough anymore, especially in the tribes view, which was agreed to by WDFW and witnessed by participants in the discussions between the two parties. Sport salmon fishing closures are becoming the choice of salmon managers in these annual negotiations versus relying on selective fishing. Just ask the sport salmon fishing community in Port Angeles and Sequim as their winter and spring blackmouth fishery for hatchery-produced fin-clipped Chinook salmon went from a five month season to six weeks.

Now that the 2017-2018 salmon season (May 1 through April 30) is set, I recommend careful examination of where you intend to fish for Chinook, coho and pink salmon in the months ahead. Similar to many other years, planning is critically important to opportunity and success.

And by the way, if I’ve left you scratching your head to this writing, HB 1647 is alive in the legislature which proposes to increase your sport salmon fishing license fees beginning April 1, 2018. The Northwest Marine Trade Association and other sport fishing advocacy groups have been working with WDFW, the legislature, and the governor’s office to see if a fee increase is really necessary. If the answer is yes, depending on who you ask, it is our priority to ensure sport fishing priorities and benefits are realized.

Here Comes the Spot Prawn Season

May 6 is just a few days away as serious prawn fishers should be putting the final touches in becoming gear ready for this annual blast. The tides on the opener are unbelievably fantastic as many of us who dig this fishery finalize our prawning plans. The Strait of Juan de Fuca, San Juan Islands, central and northern Puget Sound, along with Hood Canal look good as the result of test fishing by WDFW shellfish biologists. Even south Puget Sound has a robust population, according to the tests, however, there are ongoing challenges by some south Puget Sound tribes who do not support a sport fishery. Get over it.

I warmed up my prawn pots a few weeks ago in Esperanza and Tahsis Inlet on Vancouver Island where the season is open most of the year with a 200 prawns per day limit. Just like home but different.

Trailering a boat to Vancouver Island, or the Gulf Islands from Olympia is not a cake walk in time or expense. However, in my experience, Canada does a great job hosting thousands of Pacific Northwest anglers and the quality of fishing opportunities for salmon, marine fish and shellfish gives anglers an impression that we are welcome in their fisheries.

For several recent decades, Canada has recognized the economic importance of sport fishing which is very refreshing. As a result, they have adjusted their allocations between the troll and the sport fishing fleet increasing opportunity for anglers. And, with the current exchange rate favoring the strength of the U.S. dollar, why not add that card to your hand while developing your fishing strategy in the months ahead.

Sooke, Port Renfrew, Barkley Sound, Tofino, Nootka Sound, and Esperanza Inlet, to name a few. For the last 13 years, I have made the trek to Tahsis in early July to fish coastal waters including the north facing shoreline of Ferrer Island. All day long trolling naked herring off the kelp beds in 50-80 feet of water, down 30 feet on the downrigger, the king salmon go crunchie-munchie. Two kings per angler per day, four in possession. It’s a slam dunk! Sign me up for 2017!

Sort it out, Vernon, the summer salmon fishing season is coming and it’s time to finalize your plans. Carpe diem baby! See you on the water!