There are some major changes that will take effect early next week for the ocean salmon fishery.
Beginning Monday, Aug. 1, the Westport salmon fishery will be open seven days a week, and has been closed on Fridays and Saturdays .
Also Neah Bay and La Push will go to a two chinook daily bag limit on Monday, Aug. 1. Anglers will be allowed to keep up to two chinook or two hatchery-marked coho or one of each species, plus a bonus pink.
“We will meet again next week after (state Fish and Wildlife) collects another week’s worth of data, and make a decision on what to do with possibly raising the chinook daily bag limit at Westport and Ilwaco,” said Mark Cedergreen, the president of the Westport Charterboat Association.
The issue on raising the chinook bag limit, Cedergreen says isn’t so much Westport, but the Columbia River (Port of Ilwaco) area.
“That area (Buoy-10 at the Columbia River mouth opens Monday, Aug. 1) will see a major upswing in effort coming up soon,” Cedergreen said. “They want to make sure if the Buoy-10 folks don’t catch anything that they all go out and create a huge effort in the ocean.”
As for salmon fishing the Westport area has been fair to good at times.
“It wasn’t as windy today (Thursday, July 28) as it was yesterday, and we saw a lot of small that came back in because of rough water conditions,” Cedergreen said. “The charters did pretty good yesterday and had a lot of kings caught. We aren’t seeing a lot of people out during the weekday.”
“I’d say fishing is fair, and there are not a lot of coho around yet, but it is not too hard to catch a nice chinook,” he said. “I think the chinook catch will still be going pretty well over the next three weeks, and hopefully during that time the coho will show up. Last year, the coho showed up strong during the third week of August, and fishing was good through the end of the season.”