Just as the ocean hatchery marked chinook fishery was getting off to a stellar start, Mother Nature comes in and throws a wrench at it by whipping up windy weather and frothy rough seas.
“The weather broke up the schools of fish they (the charters and private boats) were fishing on so it was kind of scratchy, and (Sunday) it was horrible weather wise and that goes the same for (Monday, June 18),” said Wendy Beeghly, a state Fish and Wildlife coastal biologist.
“The (catch per unit effort) was not very good this weekend, and we had a lot of effort, but for private boats it was under one per person, and for the charters it was well under a fish per person,” Beeghly said.
Beeghly says there was also a little bit of angler fishing effort out of Ilwaco and Neah Bay, but not much news came out of La Push and bad weather was the likely source there.
“At Ilwaco it was almost a fish per person, and at Neah Bay there was also a few fish landed,” Beeghly said. “Anytime we get some bad weather it seems like the fish disappear, and the anglers struggle to locate them. Once it settles down things should change.”
Before the bad weather the catch average out of Westport was 1.35 fish per rod (two hatchery chinook is a daily limit) with 1,387 kings caught on June 9-10. Fishing success held on and was decent through Friday, June 15.
The ports of Westport Ilwaco are open daily through June 23 for an early hatchery-marked chinook fishery. La Push and Neah Bay are open daily until June 30.
The chinook and hatchery coho season off Westport will continue June 24 to Sept. 30 with fishing allowed Sundays to Thursdays. Ilwaco will be open daily June 23 to Sept. 30. Neah Bay and La Push will be open daily July 1 to Sept. 30. Each port has specific catch quotas, and might close sooner if those are achieved.
(Photo courtesy of the Westport Charterboat Association)