The ocean sport hatchery chinook fishery off Westport continues to offer fair action with some good and bad days mixed in, but the non-tribal commercial troll fishery continues to wax the odds.
“The commercial troll fishery has caught almost 6,000 chinook in six weeks,” said Pat Pattillo, the state Fish and Wildlife salmon policy coordinator.
During the first three weeks of the troll fishery that began on May 1, about 20 boats actively fishing landed 8,700 chinook in the northern waters off La Push and Neah Bay (Marine Catch Areas 3 and 4).
The northern coastal commercial troll fishery was so good that is closed by the end of last month, and those boats then shifted to the southern coast off Westport (Area 2). Their total early season catch quota is 29,300.
“The commercial fishery didn’t skip a beat, and continued a catch rate of 4,000 a week,” Pattillo said. “There is still 2 ½ weeks left in the troll fishery so they’re likely going to catch everyone of those fish.”
Weather was lousy last week during some days, and since the sport salmon fishery opened June 8 at Westport and Ilwaco, anglers have seen some good and bad days.
“The fish are scattered and that is typical,” Pattillo said. “It is maybe the nature of the early season fishery to go on and off the bite. What we’ve seen so far is pretty positive to me.”
Ilwaco is open daily for sport hatchery chinook fishing through June 21, and Westport is open daily through June 22. There is a two-salmon daily limit with a 24-inch chinook minimum size limit.
La Push and Neah Bay are open daily for hatchery chinook fishing June 22-28. There is a two-salmon daily limit with a 24-inch chinook minimum size limit.
The early salmon fishing season may close earlier if the 8,000 chinook guideline is achieved.
The full summer salmon season at Ilwaco opens daily starting June 22. Westport opens June 23, and fishing is allowed Sundays to Thursdays only. La Push and Neah Bay opens daily starting June 29. The North Coast will also have a bonus daily catch limit for pinks. Anglers should check the regulation pamphlet for specific details and regulations.
(Photo by Mark Yuasa)