State Fish and Wildlife coastal biologist Wendy Beeghly in Montesano gave me a rundown on the state of coastal salmon and tuna fisheries.
Here is what she had to say:
“The entire coast saw effort diminishing this past week, and we are getting near the end and seeing a tail off of people turning out,” Beeghly said. “We did have chinook fishing closed last week, but it reopened this week. The only place I saw data from was Westport on Monday, and they’re getting a few more chinook. It was about half a fish per person average on chinook, and the other half was coho.”
“At Neah Bay we had a 0.5 fish per person average. Two out of three caught at Neah Bay were pinks. At La Push they had a one fish per person average, and only a few pinks left up there and it was mostly coho.”
“In Westport we had a 0.7 fish per average, and the pinks disappeared there. Ilwaco had a 0.9 fish per person average, and again it was all coho.”
“We are hearing of quite a few coho (coast wide), but a lot of them are unmarked ones and they’re not being able to keep a lot of them, and that is typical of September. It was slow at Buoy 10 (near the Columbia River mouth).”
“(A state Fish and Wildlife employee) went out last weekend, and in three hours they hooked seven kings and got two in the boat (at Willapa Bay). Scott Barbour (a state Fish and Wildlife biologist) went out by Washaway Beach and got their kings.”
“We saw a little bit of a spike in the tuna catches last week, where some of the charter boats did well and had 15 tuna per person. And then we had a lot of trips that weren’t as successful. Ilwaco’s top tuna trip had about six fish per person, and many more had like two to three fish per person. The private boats going out for tuna weren’t doing anything.”