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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

July 11, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Coastal salmon catches remain good, and improving in two spots

NeahBayChinook.jpg

The coastal salmon catches remain good, although action off Westport has cooled from their hot start last month.

“Neah Bay has been the hottest place to be, and they’re catching in excess of a fish per person,” said Wendy Beeghly, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “Ilwaco also has a good week averaging a fish per person, and the catch was pretty even at half coho and chinook. They are seeing a pretty good number of chinook at Ilwaco.”

Westport had a total of 0.60 fish per person, and it was almost all chinook.

“Anglers are still fishing close to the harbor, but the (catch per unit effort) is dropping and they aren’t finding the fish like they did at the beginning. I assume Westport will have a few more good weeks on chinook during the season.”

Up north, La Push had 0.80 fish per person, and the catch was more coho than chinook by about a 2-to-1 ratio. At Neah Bay the catch was made up of a little more than half chinook, but they also saw a decent number of coho too.

“What we’re hearing is the (hatchery) mark rate for coho is down,” Beeghly said. “It makes a lot of sense since the coho stocks aren’t highly marked (with a missing adipose fin).”

Chinook are averaging about 8 to 12 pounds with a few bigger ones into the low 20 pound range. The coho are pretty small coastwide, but some nice ones were caught at Ilwaco.

(Photo courtesy of John Hansen with a nice catch of kings caught off Neah Bay)

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