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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

August 17, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Northern and central Puget Sound hatchery chinook fishery to close early, but will remain open for coho

The northern and central Puget Sound hatchery chinook fishery has been going so well mainly in the Port Townsend area that state Fish and Wildlife has decided to close it beginning this Monday.

Fishing in both places (also referred to as Marine Catch Areas 9 and 10) will remain open for retention of coho only through Aug. 31, and then will revert back to seasons listed in the regulation pamphlet.

“The wild chinook encounters is our main concern,” said Pat Pattillo, the assistant to the state Fish and Wildlife director. “We know it is late in the game, and this whole thing kind of surprised us.”

Through last Sunday, the legal-sized (22 inches or longer) wild chinook encountered by sport anglers was 2,429 and 3,257 sub-legal chinook in Area 9 since the fishing season began on July 16.

Fisheries managers modeled a legal-size encounter of 1,050 in Area 9. That is 120 percent more than pre-season predictions of legal-size wild chinook and 115-percent of sub-legals.

“The fisheries continue to be good in Area 9, and the best CPUE (catch per unit effort) we’ve seen since 2007,” Pattillo said. “Effort is certainly up too.”

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