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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 6, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Early hatchery king fishery off the southern coast begins Saturday, and should be decent

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All eyes will be on the ocean salmon fishery where the southern ports of Westport and Ilwaco open this Saturday (June 9) for hatchery-marked chinook.

To get a feel for how productive the opening day will be one needs to just look at how the nontribal commercial troll fishery has been faring since it opened May 1.

“They’ve (the trollers) been having weather issues and weren’t staying out fishing for extended periods of time, but with that said the catches have been good,” said Doug Milward, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal salmon manager.

Catches per boat have been reasonable with anywhere from 10 to 15 fish caught per day with some getting as high as 20 fish.

“There has also been some big hits of fish caught in Area 1 (off Ilwaco) if you can believe that, which those fish came out from nowhere are headed north so they could be in Area 2 (off Westport),” Milward said. “The chinook are healthy and fat.”

The average size of the fish caught by trollers is 15 pounds (11.75 pounds dressed), usually it’s more like 10 to 11 pounds. Since the troll fishery opened May 1 they’ve caught 15,000 fish, which is decent.

Up on the northern coast, Neah Bay and La Push also open June 16 for hatchery-marked chinook.

(Photo by Mark Yuasa)

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