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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

July 6, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Northern region fisheries biologist found good king fishing in San Juan Islands, but rivers are raging with snowmelt

Brett Barkdull, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in the northern section of Western Washington spent opening day (July 1) of king fishing in the San Juan Islands, and reported very good action.

“It was pretty good, and everything I’ve heard since then is that it still is good in the islands,” Barkdull said. “All my friends have been coming home with limits, the biggest I saw was a 30 pound king caught by a 12 year old kid. I also saw a bunch of fish in the mid-teens and 20 pound range.”

Barkdull says the fish were coming from all over the island chain, including Thatcher Pass, Obstruction Pass, Point Lawrence and Rosario Strait.

As for the rivers in his area, they are really high and running with lots and lots of water. This includes the Baker, Cascade and open parts of the Skagit.

“Slow king fishing, effort dropped off to nothing, and there is way too much water,” Barkdull said. “Bottom line is they are running full bore at Seattle City Light Project and up to 7,800 (cubic feet per second) so all the tribs are raging right now.”

He says the snowpack is just incredible up in the northern Cascades, and we up to our eyeballs in snow, which is finally starting to come off.

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