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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

December 27, 2012 at 9:08 AM

2011 Resurrection Derby reveals one wayward chinook originated from a northeastern Washington hatchery

Salmon 2.jpg

It’s amazing how far a chinook salmon can travel.

Take for example the coded wire tags implanted into the snouts of chinook at the hatchery before they’re released into the marine areas of Puget Sound region.

Kevin Klein, a member of the Puget Sound Anglers Friday Harbor Chapter, was able to obtain coded wire tag results from state Fish and Wildlife’s Steve Axtell at the Marblemount Hatchery from fish caught in the 2011 Resurrection Salmon Derby held each year at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island in early December.

At the derby, all the fish caught are wanded and documented by state Fish and Wildlife fish checkers after weigh in. This provides vital information on these hatchery salmon, their origins and life cycle.

Overall half the chinook caught in the 2011 derby originated from Cascade River’s Marblemount Hatchery located on the Skagit River system.

One chinook came from the Cowichan in British Columbia, four from Puget Sound hatcheries, and one wayward chinook came all the from the Similkameen River, which is located hundreds of miles up the Columbia River near the Canadian border by Oroville.

That Similkameen chinook released as a little smolt in 2008 would’ve swam down the Columbia River, out into the Pacific Ocean and then into the San Juan Island region by 2011.

That is one mighty long trip to navigate.

Here is a breakdown on 2011 catch:

Dec. 2, 2011 there was 44 salmon sampled and 46 fish were weighed in, and Dec. 3, 2011 there was 50 salmon sampled and weighed with 13.8 percent of them having a coded wire tag. A total of 69 boats with 200 anglers participated in the 2011 derby.

On Dec. 2, one 30.4 inch chinook was male, brood year was 2008 and originated from the Marblemount Hatchery; one 24.4 inch chinook was male, brood year was 2009 and originated from the Cowichan Hatchery; one 24.6 inch chinook was male, brood year was 2008 and originated from the George Adams Hatchery on Purdy Creek; one 27.2 inch chinook was female, brood year was and origin was unknown; and one 29.2 inch chinook was female, brood year was 2008 and originated from the Marblemount Hatchery.

On Dec. 3, one 27.8 inch chinook was female, brood year was 2008 and originated from the Marblemount Hatchery; one 27.8 inch chinook was male, brood year was 2008 and originated from the Marblemount Hatchery; one 26.2 inch chinook was male, brood year was 2008 and originated from the Wallace River Hatchery on Skykomish River; one 31.2 inch chinook was female, brood year was 2008 and originated from the Samish Hatchery on Friday Creek; one 27.2 inch chinook was male, brood year was 2008 and originated from the Hoodsport Hatchery on Finch Creek in Hood Canal; one 22.6 inch chinook was male, brood year was 2008 and originated from the Similkameen Hatchery on the Methow-Okanogan River system; one 27.4 inch chinook was female, brood year was 2008 and originated from the Marblemount Hatchery; and one 26.5 inch chinook was female, brood year was 2009 and originated from the Marblemount Hatchery.

Klein says he should know more of the coded wire tag fish results from the most recent derby that occurred very soon.

(Photo courtesy of Kevin Klein, Friday Harbor PSA Chapter)

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