So the latest word on the ocean hatchery chinook salmon fishery off Westport and Ilwaco shows a mixed bag of results with action being good one day and lousy the next.
“In Westport we ended the weekend with a 0.26 fish per person average,” said Wendy Beeghly, a state Fish and Wildlife coastal biologist. “It was terribly slow (due to bad weather and bar crossing conditions) last Saturday, but got up to half-a-fish per rod by Sunday. The fish seemed to have dispersed again (by Monday and Tuesday).”
“The rumor was that anglers did find them up north off the casino past Ocean Shores and off the casino in 60 feet of water, but I had a buddy who went there and got nothing and he didn’t see the charters around them catch a thing,” Beeghly said. “I know the (commercial) trollers have been doing well in Area 2 by running up to the Area 2-3 line (near the mouth of the Queets River). They’re around and just not in any big numbers yet. I also know some of the trollers were fishing off Willapa Bay and got fish, and then the bad weather kind of dispersed the fish. So now they were having problems finding them too.”
At Ilwaco there was almost no effort at all, and they did have a check of 11 fish for 35 anglers.
The northern coastal ports of La Push and Neah Bay open Saturday, June 22. Before the commercial troll fishery closed off the North Coast some fishermen were catching up to 100 fish per day, and it seems the bulk of fish are still up there. The good news is that salmon fisheries in British Columbia waters like off the west side of Vancouver Island from Nootka Sound north to Langara were very good, which means eventually they’ll be headed this way.
(Photo courtesy of the charter boat Slammer with Deep Sea Charters in Westport)