Where are the pink salmon? their moving in big numbers through Strait of Juan de Fuca

Those who want to track the pink salmon returns need to just look toward the Strait of Juan de Fuca off the southeastern side of Vancouver Island. With our recent rain, maybe they’re on their way in bigger numbers? or is the Fish and Wildlife’s preseason predictions of 6+ million fish way off?

The pink salmon action in central Puget Sound remains very good, but those up along the east side of Whidbey Island were finding a hard time.

On the downside those fishing in the Mukilteo south to Shipwreck-Possession Point boundary have struggled for pinks as a tribal purse seine commercial fishery has been ongoing.

That area has been getting hammered by commercial nets, which weren’t there in years past, and their even fishing on the weekends. My brother has video of the commercial boats 8 at a time pulling 1,500.00 fish a set. This is complete BS! Kings, Silvers, and some Pinks. Also, I’ve heard a rumor that these are Lummi Indians that somehow the Tulalip tribe invited on down to do some netting.

Locally, catches of pinks and some coho have been good in front of Edmonds Marina; Meadow Point to West Point near Shilshole Bay; Browns Bay; Jefferson Head; Possession Bar; and Alki Point south to Tacoma. Elliott Bay is open daily for pinks starting Friday, and fishing has picked up.

Pier and beach anglers were hooking pinks at Lincoln Park off West Seattle, Golden Gardens, Elliott Bay piers, Dash Point Pier, Browns Point, Deception Pass, Point No Point, Des Moines, Redondo and west side of Whidbey Island.

It is at this location where the Pacific Salmon Commission in conjunction with the Fraser River Panel conduct weekly updates on the sockeye and salmon returns headed to British Columbia and Washington waters.

In the latest news release, the purse seine test fishing catches of pinks had increased in recent days as of Aug. 23 in a location commonly referred to as “Area 20.”

Catches have shown that almost half of the pinks were of Fraser River origin, and the panel approved a run-size estimate of 10-million for the Fraser River pink return compared to a preseason forecast of more than 8.9-million. No inseason updates are made for Puget Sound pink stocks but the forecast calls for more than 6.2-million.

Here is the Area 20 “San Juan purse seine” catches: Aug. 11, 3,257; Aug. 12, 1,047; Aug. 13, 3,456; Aug. 14, 2,172; Aug. 15, 2,582; Aug. 16, 3,410; Aug. 17, 1,278; Aug. 18, 1,283; Aug. 19, 1,902 pinks; Aug. 20, 3,377; Aug. 21, 3,222; Aug. 22, 4,766; Aug. 23, 5,122; Aug. 24, 10,248; Aug. 25, 14,110; Aug. 26, 4,880; Aug. 27, 17,653; Aug. 28, 9,135. Total catch is 123,073 pinks.

The entire commercial troll, purse seine and gill-net catch-to-date by Canada and United States non-tribal and tribal (excluding Alaska) through Aug. 23 is 313,400 pinks.


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