State Fish and Wildlife sent out the fall chinook return for this year and with more than 1.6-million forecasted on top of another 1.2-million coho, which may lead to some outstanding fishing in the ocean and in-river this coming summer! In addition to nearly a million Columbia River coho swimming in the ocean, 1.6 million fall Chinook are expected to the Columbia River in 2014, the largest return since at least 1938! Nearly 1 million of those Chinook are expected to be upriver brights of which 2/3 will be four-year-olds. This year’s forecasted run is over 25% larger than the 2013 actual return. Last year’s actual return came in nearly twice as large as the preseason forecast.
COLUMBIA RIVER FALL CHINOOK
2013 Forecast/Actual Returns and 2014 Preseason Forecasts
Lower River Hatchery – LRH
- 2013 forecast 88,000
- 2013 actual return 103,200
- 2014 forecast 110,000
Lower River Wild – LRW
- 2013 forecast 14,200
- 2013 actual return 25,800
- 2014 forecast 34,200
Bonneville Pool Hatchery – BPH
- 2013 forecast 38,000
- 2013 actual return86,600
- 2014 forecast 115,100
Upriver Bright – URB
- 2013 forecast 432,500
- 2013 actual return 784,100
- 2014 forecast 973,300
Bonneville Upriver Bright – BUB
- 2013 forecast 35,200
- 2013 actual return 35,600
- 2014 forecast 49,500
Pool Upriver Bright – PUB
- 2013 forecast 70,000
- 2013 actual return 207,800
- 2014 forecast 310,600
Select Area Bright – SAB
- 2013 forecast 9,000
- 2013 actual return 23,300
- 2014 forecast 10,200
Columbia River Total
- 2013 forecast 686,900
- 2013 actual return 1,266,400
- 2014 forecast 1,602,900
LRH – Similar to the 5-year average (95,500) and 2013 actual return.
LRW – Largest return since 1989. More than double the 10-year average (13,600).
BPH – About 40% greater than the 10-year average (80,700).
URB – Nearly 1 million fish…..
BUB – About 35% greater than 10-year average (36,500).
PUB – Record high forecasted return. Highest actual return on record was 207,800 in 2013.
The total forecast of 1,602,900 Columbia River fall Chinook would be the largest return on record since 1938.
Westport’s “Boat Basin Salmon Derby” offers chance to win up to $2,000
Annual fishing contest offers cash and prizes for the largest Chinook and Coho salmon caught inside the marina,s walls.
Westport, Washington – The coastal town of Westport welcomes returning salmon for the annual Boat Basin Salmon Derby scheduled to run from Sept. 15 until Oct. 31.
No derby ticket needed !
This year’s derby starts this Sunday, Sept. 15, and will end on Oct. 31. Participants are not required to purchase tickets to participate in the derby. Fishers will, instead, enter their catches for free and vie for merchandise and services prizes provided by local merchants.
Fish are weighed ‘in the round. Just get down there, start casting, land your salmon and take it directly to this year’s Westport Marina Salmon Derby weigh-in station at the floating Seafood Connection Market on Float 8, Slip G nearby.
Salmon Tales Derby
There will be an additional derby held on September 28 and 29 during the Salmon Tales Festival. If you catch a fish inside the boat basin during that time, take it to the Maritime Museum Gazebo to weigh in for the special derby competition.
Another special weekend Derby also is planned for Oct 5 & 6. Age-appropriate prizes will be awarded to winning two- or three-person teams consisting of at least one adult and one child. Again, it’s free and there’s no need to sign up until you bring your fish in for weighing.
• All salmon must be caught in the Westport Boat Basin. Fishing is open seven days a week, with a state-mandated allowable catch of 6 salmon (no more than 4 adults) that are 12 inches or more in length. Note that Grays Harbor is closed for Chinook other than in the Westport Marina.
• Contestants must land their own fish using sport fishing tackle.
• Help with netting or gaffing is permitted.
• Fish that are snagged, netted or caught by other illegal methods will be disqualified.
• The Seafood Connection judges will have the final decision in all cases. Prizes will be awarded for the largest salmon, judged by weight. In the case of a tie, the winner will be judged by length. Only one prize per fisher will be awarded.
• Seafood Connection is the official weigh-in station. It is located on Float 8, Slip G.
• All salmon will be weighed in between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., seven days a week.
• Following weigh-in, participants may not field-dress their fish on any float, the marina bankline or discard any fish parts into marina waters.
Violation of any rule is subject to suspension from the competition.
Winners will be determined at the close of the Derby at 5 p.m. on Oct. 31, and they will be notified by phone, email or mail by Nov. 10.
Prizes will be awarded for the top three fish of the season in the Adult Division, as well as for the top fish in the Junior Division – ages 15 and under.
The returning Westport salmon were fingerlings reared in pens three years ago and released under the direction of Ocosta High School conservation classes and the Humptulips Hatchery. After their time at sea, the salmon come back into the Marina – with the Coho salmon returning now.
You don’t need a boat, you can just a fish from the dock.
Last year’s winning Coho weighed in at more than 17.5 lbs !
I was down at the marina last year and you could see salmon schools with literally tens of thousands of fish just off the floats over by the Half Moon Bay Bar and Grill. This derby promises to be an excellent year for anglers as well. There is a limit of six fish, four adults and two jacks.”
OCEAN RECREATIONAL SALMON FISHERY RESULTS
Coastwide Chinook mark-selective fishery
The Chinook mark-selective recreational fishery is now closed. The fishery operated under a coastwide quota of 8,000 marked Chinook. A total of 8,358 anglers participated in the fishery, and 2,798 Chinook were landed (35% of the quota).
All-Salmon Species Fisheries
The Columbia Ocean Area opened for all salmon species on June 22; the Westport Area opened for all salmon species on June 23. The La Push and Neah Bay Areas opened for all salmon species on June 29. Catch details for each of the areas are described below.
A total of 1,854 anglers participated in the all-species salmon fishery during the week ending July 28, landing 467 Chinook and 1,927 coho. No pink were landed. Through Sunday, July 28, a cumulative total of 3,059 Chinook (31% of the area guideline) and 8,432 coho (23% of the area sub-quota) have been landed.
A total of 2,406 anglers participated in the all-species salmon fishery during the week ending July 28, landing 1,541 Chinook, 910 coho, and 308 pink. Through Sunday, July 28, a cumulative total of 3,910 Chinook (17% of the area guideline) and 3,475 coho (13% of the area sub-quota) have been landed.
A total of 194 anglers participated in the all-species salmon fishery during the week ending July 28, landing 263 Chinook, 87 coho, and 49 pink. Through Sunday, July 28, a cumulative total of 758 Chinook (46% of the area guideline) and 495 coho (26% of the area sub-quota) have been landed.
A total of 1,572 anglers participated in the all-species salmon fishery during the week ending July 28, landing 565 Chinook, 556 coho, and 966 pink. Through Sunday, July 28, a cumulative total of 3,605 Chinook (74% of the area guideline) and 3,316 coho (43% of the area sub-quota) have been landed.
Skokomish River opens for salmon fishing Aug. 3rd under new rules, increased enforcement.
OLYMPIA – Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) enforcement officers will be increasing resource-protection patrols on the Skokomish River, where recreational salmon fishing opens Aug. 1 under several new regulations.
“Anglers should read the regulation pamphlet carefully before heading out to fish the Skokomish River, because there are several changes this year and our officers will be strictly enforcing all the rules,” said Mike Cenci, WDFW’s deputy chief of enforcement.
The daily bag limit has been increased this year from one to two salmon for anglers fishing from the mouth of the river to the Highway 101 Bridge through Sept. 30. However, a new rule in effect this year requires anglers to carefully release any wild chinook salmon they catch. As in previous years, anglers must release chum salmon through Oct. 15.
The recreational fishery was converted to a mark-selective fishery for hatchery chinook salmon – which are marked with a missing adipose fin – to help meet conservation goals for wild chinook salmon returning to the Skokomish River, said Thom Johnson, district fish biologist for WDFW.
Another change this year is that recreational fishing will be closed from the Highway 106 Bridge upstream to the Highway 101 Bridge on six Mondays to avoid potential gear conflicts with treaty tribal fishers, said Johnson. Those closures are scheduled for Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and Sept. 13. Recreational fishing downstream of the Highway 106 Bridge will remain open seven days a week through the fishing season.
Anglers fishing the Skokomish River also will be required to release any salmon not hooked inside the mouth and retain the first two legal salmon they catch. In addition, single-point barbless hooks are required and a night closure and anti-snagging rule will be in effect.
Anglers are expected to not only follow the fishing regulations, but also to properly dispose of trash and human waste, said Johnson.
Last year, WDFW warned Skokomish River anglers that the fishing season could be closed after an accumulation of trash and human waste created potential health and water quality problems. A cooperative clean-up effort by WDFW employees, anglers and Hunter Farms – a private landowner – helped to avert a closure by increasing the number of portable toilets and trash receptacles in the area and removing human waste and trash from the banks of the river.
Before the fishery opens this year, WDFW will increase the number of dumpsters and portable toilets along the river, and post signs asking anglers for their assistance in keeping the area clean.
“Our goal is to conduct an orderly and sustainable fishery on the Skokomish River,” said Johnson. “That can only happen if anglers follow the rules and do their part to keep the river clean and safe.”
Fishing regulations on the Skokomish River can be found in the 2010/2011 sportfishing rules pamphlet on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations.
Recreational salmon fishing on the Puyallup River from the City of Puyallup outfall structure across the river from the junction of Freeman Road and North Levee Road upstream to the mouth of the White River is open on the following dates:
Aug. 1 through 10, and Aug. 12 through Aug. 31
Sept. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28
Recreational salmon fishing on the Puyallup River from the 11th Street Bridge upstream to the City of Puyallup outfall structure across the river from the junction of Freeman Road and North Levee Road, will be open on the following dates:
Aug. 16 through Aug. 31
Sept. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28
In all areas, anglers will have a daily limit of six salmon (minimum size 12 inches). Anglers may keep up to four adult salmon, of which only two may be any combination of chinook, coho and chum. All wild adult chinook salmon must be released.
Mid-Channel Bank off Port Townsend had been getting all the rave reviews from salmon anglers pursuing kings since it opened on Tuesday, July 16.
When word got out, I had to urge to take any ways necessary to get in on the action so I made plans to head up to this large sandy plateau located in Admiralty Inlet on Thursday.
As luck would have it, two days before saw torrential downpours, a lightning and thunderstorm that had put off the bite remarkably on Wednesday.
Well everyday is different so we still decided to play the cards and headed out under the cloudy dark skies from the Port Townsend Boat Haven Marina to the eastern ledge of Midchannel Bank.
The morning low tide when we arrived on the bank at 5 a.m. had the currents pushing the boat from Craven Rock on the northeast side of Marrowstone Island in a northerly direction toward Point Wilson located just north of the town of Port Townsend.
It was one of those perfect drifts and the boats were all trolling along the 90 to 110 foot line with about a dozen boats jigging in the “Judges Hole,” named after King County Superior Court Judge Jim Bates who passed away some time ago but was one of the best mooching anglers on the bank.
Our plan was to troll with downriggers using Coyote Spoons and flashers bouncing the big 10 to 12 pound lead balls right off the sandy bottom.
Our first two drifts came up empty-handed, but on our third drift we finally hooked into one king that pulled out line and then unbuttoned before we even got a chance to see it.
We quickly moved back into position and no sooner we had another hit and this one also took off for the horizon, but we got it near the net once before it too unbuttoned.
0-for-2 on kings is not a good way the start the morning.
Finally at around 8:30 a.m. we started to see a semi-good bite happening with anglers hooked up on fish around us.
The pole on the star board popped off the downrigger clip as my friend hooked into a nice 13 pound hatchery that we landed.
The rest of the morning it was just a fish caught here and there, and I also boated another 13 pound hatchery king and we had another hook up before the fish simply went off the bite.
We got some Intel the fish and schools of baitfish on the now changing flood tide had moved onto the western side of the sandy flats so we decided to try our luck there.
The area we trolled wasn’t what we’d consider a traditional king holding area as we trolled along an area that was anywhere from as shallow as 45 feet to a depth of 75 feet. But, the screen was lit up with schools and baitfish and we marked what were some definite kings. Birds were also working the baitfish and it just seemed really fishy.
As we doubted ourselves one of the poles slammed down and off the clip, and made a run for the horizon. In a short period of about one hour we had a few more opportunities and saw some fish caught before the bite went off once again.
Those mooching herring and jigging also found a good king bite Thursday and Friday right off the Point Wilson lighthouse right on the end off the outgoing tide in 30 to 60 feet of water.
“For several days in a row the locals have been getting a lot fish right off the Point Wilson lighthouse, and that was a very popular place and elbow-to-elbow with anglers back in the 1970s and 1980s,” said Tony Floor, director of fishing affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association in Seattle.
As we ended our day and going three-for-eight on kings we knew this was just the start of another great summer to the hatchery king fishery that will continue through Aug. 30 in northern and central Puget Sound.
Other areas where a king bite had finally started to pick up were Point No Point, Jefferson Head, Bush Point, the west side of Marrowstone Island, Possession Bar, West Point south of Shilshole Bay, Yeomalt Point, Pilot Point, Richmond Beach, Edmonds area and Jefferson Head.
Surprisingly one place that hasn’t produced and usually does is Kingston, but that could change quickly as these fish migrate into Puget Sound. Also look for action to pick up to the south at Allen Bank off Blake Island, Dolphin Point on Vashon Island, Lincoln Park off West Seattle, Brace Point, Southworth and down along both side of Vashon Island heading into August.
The Pinks are Coming!
“It is wall-to-wall pinks and lots of silvers up at Neah Bay, and it hard to get your line down to catch a chinook because you’ll end up nailing a pink or coho,”. “In no time the rest of the Strait will get inundated with pinks.”
Just east off Sekiu, the hatchery king fishing has been just fair at best, but there are increasing numbers of pinks and coho.
“Most of the boats at Sekiu are hanging in close to shore looking for kings, and the pinks are being caught further offshore,”. “I’m sure if they ventured father out they’d get into a lot of pinks. Some of the pinks I’ve seen at Port Angeles are decent size in the 5 pound range.” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife fish checker in the Strait. “We had over 200 pinks checked at Port Angeles and they are catching them right along the shore.”
Don Armeni ramp, West Seattle — July 11: Nine boats with 19 anglers caught two chinook; July 12: 11 boats with 24 anglers caught 44 flounder; July 13: 21 boats with 42 anglers caught two chinook; July 14: 18 boats with 37 anglers caught three coho and one pink.
Eddie Vine ramp, Shilshole Bay — July 12: 11 boats with 19 anglers caught one coho and 15 flounder; July 13: 36 boats with 78 anglers caught 28 coho, one pink and 37 flounder; July 14: 39 boats with 85 anglers caught 12 coho and 37 flounder.
Mukilteo ramp — July 13: Four boats with seven anglers caught no fish.
Everett ramp — July 12: 12 boats with 26 anglers caught 13 flounder; July 13: 47 boats with 101 anglers caught two chinook, four coho and 52 flounder; July 14: 33 boats with 77 anglers caught two chinook.
Manchester ramp — July 8: Five boats with 10 anglers caught four flounder.
Port Orchard ramp — July 8: One boat with three anglers caught no fish; July 12: One boat with two anglers caught no fish.
Glenn Street ramp, Bellingham — July 8: Four boats with 12 anglers caught one chinook; July 12: Two boats with six anglers caught one chinook; July 13: 34 boats with 88 anglers caught 36 chinook and nine pinks; July 14: 26 boats with 79 anglers caught 45 chinook, one coho and one pink.
Cornet Bay ramp, North Whidbey Island — July 8: Seven boats with 15 anglers caught one chinook; July 12: 11 boats with 24 anglers caught nine chinook, seven coho and five pinks; July 13: 17 boats with 48 anglers caught 22 chinook, 32 coho and 30 pinks; July 14: 24 boats with 58 anglers caught 27 chinook, 31 coho and 43 pinks.
Washington Park ramp, Anacortes — July 8: 13 boats with 26 anglers caught four chinook; July 9: Five boats with 10 anglers caught four chinook; July 12: Eight boats with 17 anglers caught four chinook; July 13: 40 boats with 84 anglers caught 15 chinook, seven pinks and one sockeye; July 14: 28 boats with 61 anglers caught five chinook, four coho, 13 pinks and two sockeye.
Olson’s Resort, Sekiu — July 10: 61 boats with 155 anglers caught 66 chinook, 65 coho, 65 pinks and four rockfish; July 11: 57 boats with 127 anglers caught 45 chinook, 51 coho, 53 pinks and six rockfish; July 12: 68 boats with 170 anglers caught 54 chinook, 89 coho and 139 pinks; July 13: 160 boats with 426 anglers caught 132 chinook, 160 coho and 283 pinks; July 14: 69 boats with 190 anglers caught 57 chinook, 63 coho, 87 pinks, 24 rockfish, 16 kelp greenling and four lingcod.
Van Riper’s Resort, Sekiu — July 10: 43 boats with 98 anglers caught 54 chinook, 46 coho and 66 pinks; July 11: 53 boats with 136 anglers caught 85 chinook, 36 coho, 54 pinks, one rockfish and one flounder; July 12: 50 boats with 119 anglers caught 38 chinook, 35 coho, 78 pinks, three rockfish and five lingcod; July 14: 49 boats with 135 anglers caught 41 chinook, 41 coho, 40 pinks and nine rockfish.
Curley’s Straitside Resort, Sekiu — July 10: 16 boats with 37 anglers caught 15 chinook, nine coho and 23 coho; July 12: 16 boats with 43 anglers caught 12 chinook, 11 coho, 27 pinks and four rockfish.
Freshwater Bay ramp — July 13: 39 boats with 59 anglers caught 29 chinook, 29 coho and 16 pinks.
Ediz Hook ramp, Port Angeles — July 8: Six boats with 11 anglers caught one chinook, three coho and four pinks; July 9: Five boats with 12 anglers caught nine chinook and 12 pinks; July 10: Six boats with 14 anglers caught nine chinook and four pinks; July 11: 12 boats with 29 anglers caught 23 chinook, one coho and 14 pinks; July 12: 56 boats with 104 anglers caught 82 chinook, 11 coho and 117 pinks; July 13: 84 boats with 173 anglers caught 80 chinook, 18 coho and 258 pinks; July 14: 73 boats with 169 anglers caught 72 chinook, 12 coho and 138 pinks.
Port Angeles West ramp — July 9: Three boats with six anglers caught four chinook and three pinks; July 12: 19 boats with 40 anglers caught 14 chinook, five coho and 47 pinks; July 14: 33 boats with 75 anglers caught 23 chinook, two coho and 61 pinks.
John Wayne Marine, Sequim — July 12: Two boats with six anglers caught three chinook.
Port Townsend Boat Haven Marina — July 8: One boat with two anglers caught no fishl July 9: Two boats with six anglers caught no fish; July 13: Five boats with 10 anglers caught three kelp greenling; July 14: Four boats with nine anglers caught one chinook.
Hoodsport shoreline, Hood Canal — July 13: Two anglers caught one pink; July 14: 20 anglers caught four pinks.
Union ramp, Hood Canal — July 13: Two boats with four anglers caught no fish.
Twanoh State Park ramp, Hood Canal — July 12: One boat with two anglers caught no fish.
Skokomish ramp, Hood Canal — July 12: Two boats with three anglers caught no fish; July 13: Four boats with seven anglers caught no fish; July 14: Eight boats with 13 anglers caught one pink.
Redondo Beach ramp — July 10: Five boats with nine anglers caught no fish; July 14: 62 boats with 137 anglers caught three chinook, one coho and 20 flounder.
Narrows Marina and ramp — July 10: One boat with three anglers caught no fish; July 11: Three boats with four anglers caught no fish; July 12: 10 boats with 16 anglers caught one chinook.
Gig Harbor ramp — July 10: Seven boats with 15 anglers caught one chinook; July 11: Five boats with 10 anglers caught one chinook; July 13: 25 boats with 49 anglers caught five chinook and eight flounder.
Point Defiance Park ramp and Boathouse, Tacoma — July 8: 13 boats with 17 anglers caught one chinook; July 9: 10 boats with 17 anglers caught three chinook and 32 flounder; July 10: 18 boats with 30 anglers caught two chinook, one coho and 30 flounder; July 11: 69 boats with 104 anglers caught six chinook and 75 flounder; July 12: 35 boats with 64 anglers caught four chinook and 26 flounder; July 13: 111 boats with 236 anglers caught eight chinook and 165 flounder; July 14: 165 boats with 363 anglers caught 17 chinook, one coho and 95 flounder.
Solo Point ramp south of Tacoma — July 12: Eight boats with 14 anglers caught three flounder.
Luhr Beach ramp — July 12: Two boats with three anglers caught no fish; July 14: 11 boats with 22 anglers caught no fish.
Zittel’s Marina — July 8: Three boats with six anglers caught no fish; July 13: Nine boats with 18 anglers caught no fish; July 14: 13 boats with 24 anglers caught 43 flounder.
Brownsville ramp — July 12: Three boats with five anglers caught no fish.
Boston Harbor Marina — July 8: Five boats with 12 anglers caught no fish.
Olalla ramp — July 10: Two boats with three anglers caught no fish.