The ocean salmon fisheries are now winding down with only Ilwaco open through this Sunday (Sept. 30).
“Ilwaco had one-third of a fish per person, and it was almost all coho,” said Wendy Beeghly, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “La Push (before it closed on Sept. 23) was not too bad with a fish per rod average, and most were coho along with a few chinook.”
The La Push late salmon bubble fishery opens this Saturday through Oct. 14.
The ocean off Westport and Neah Bay are now closed for salmon.
The Westport Boat Basin Salmon Derby is open through Oct. 31. The “derby within the derby” is Oct. 6-7. Details: www.experiencewestport.com.
The Grays Harbor salmon fishery remains another excellent choice with many anglers catching a nice mix of kings and coho off the channel markers near the mouth of the Johns River.
“The weekend was pretty good for the harbor,” said Wendy Beeghly, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “On good days it was a fish per person, and on the slower ones it was half-a-fish, which is still not bad.”
A check at the 28th Street boat ramp in Hoquiam showed a ratio of about 2-to-1 coho to chinook,and one sample day showed 75 chinook and 99 coho. The Johns River area still saw more chinook than coho in catches this week.
The downside is the tribal gill-netters had a two-day fishery Monday to Tuesday, and that could throw off the action.
“I really don’t think they could have cleaned up on all the salmon going into their nets, but it could have an effect on the sport fishery and to what degree we really don’t know,” said Tony Floor, director of fishing affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association.
The good news it the tribal nets don’t go back into the harbor until next week so expect the sport fishery to gain steam heading into this week.
(Photo courtesy of Frank Urabeck with a recent catch of kings in Grays Harbor.)