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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

August 24, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Latest word on coastal salmon fishing reveals the best action is to the south off Ilwaco

Here is the latest coastal salmon fishing reports from Wendy Beeghly, a state Fish and Wildlife coastal salmon biologist in Montesano:

“At Ilwaco we had about a fish per person average, and it was about 0.3 average on chinook and 0.7 on coho,” Beeghly said. “But, the chinook fishing definitely is picking up down there, and this week we’ll see some pretty good chinook fishing.”

“Westport had half a chinook per person, and half a coho per person. It was a one fish average there as well, and they were still getting a few pinks. And on Sunday, a lot of boats got pinks, and it looks like we are seeing a wave of them coming through.”

At La Push they had a good week with a 1.49 fish per person average (0.7 on coho and 0.4 on chinook), plus a few pinks tossed in,” Beeghly said. “At Neah Bay it was almost totally a pink show, and they had a 1.65 fish per person average, and twice as many pinks as chinook and coho combined.”

“The tuna fishing really dropped off, although earlier in the week they had a good catch at Ilwaco and Westport, and then it got significantly slower later in the week,” Beeghly said. “I am not sure if it was weather related but it could’ve been.”

The big change coming up on Monday, Aug. 29 is that anglers coast wide will need to release chinook.

Catch rates in the ocean for chinook salmon have been strong throughout much of the season, but there are still enough coho remaining the sport quota.

As of Aug. 21, coastwide catch totals for the recreational salmon fishery had reached 90 percent of the overall chinook guideline of 30,100 fish.

Until the change takes effect Aug. 29, anglers can continue to keep one chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit in marine areas 1 (Ilwaco) and 2 (Westport). Anglers fishing marine areas 3 (LaPush) and 4 (Neah Bay) can continue to catch and keep two chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit. Anglers fishing marine areas 3 and 4 are also allowed one additional pink salmon each day.

Marine areas 1, 3 and 4 are open daily. Marine area 2 is currently open through Aug. 25, and will be closed Aug. 26-27. Marine Area 2 will then re-open to salmon fishing seven days a week beginning Aug. 28.

Barring any further actions, ocean salmon fisheries are currently scheduled to continue through Sept. 18 in marine areas 2, 3 and 4, and through Sept. 30 in Marine Area 1.

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