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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

July 14, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Popular hatchery king fishery opens Tuesday in northern and central Puget Sound

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The much anticipated hatchery selective chinook fishery gets underway Tuesday (July 16) in central and northern Puget Sound.

This is the sixth summer in a row where anglers could fish from the northern tip of Vashon Island north to Admiralty Inlet off Port Townsend.

“It is definitely a popular fishery,” said Pat Pattillo, the state Fish and Wildlife salmon policy coordinator. “Last summer the number of angler trips were good, but the catch was down.”

“The angler trips from year to year move in a slightly different way,” Pattillo said. “When the success is way up it draws more people, and there might be a difference with a pink year versus a non-pink year, but we’ll see.”

Last summer the fishery started on July 16 and ended Aug. 19, and was originally supposed to continue through Aug. 31.

The season was closed early based on a joint decision between the state Fish and Wildlife and the tribes, due to in-season total chinook encounters estimates surpassed the preseason guideline.

“Last year I still feel we did a great job in monitoring the fishery, and it was very difficult to see when it is surging and it can surge quickly within a week,” Pattillo said.

In northern Puget Sound last year the total preliminary catch and effort estimates showed 11,904 boats with 24,886 anglers caught 7,073 hatchery chinook (plus 16 wild fish illegally kept), and released 6,207 hatchery and 7,071 wild chinook for a total encounter of 20,366.

The catch per unit effort was 0.323 last year; 0.099 in 2011; 0.197 in 2010; 0.145 in 2009; 0.242 in 2008; and 0.272 in 2007.

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Fish from northern Puget Sound with coded wire tags was 86, and three came from British Columbia; 81 from Puget Sound; one from Columbia River; and one as far away as central California.

In central Puget Sound last year the total preliminary catch and effort estimates showed 8,888 boats with 17,823 anglers caught 3,064 hatchery chinook (plus 35 wild fish illegally kept), and released 6,786 hatchery and 2,327 wild chinook for a total encounter of 12,212.

The catch per unit effort was 0.124 last year; 0.084 in 2011; 0.114 in 2010; 0.076 in 2009; 0.057 in 2008; and 0.180 in 2007.

Fish from central Puget Sound with coded wire tags was 70, and four came from British Columbia; and 66 from Puget Sound.

The hatchery chinook fishery is open in central and northern Puget Sound from Tuesday, July 16 through Aug. 31 with a two-salmon (combined) daily limit, plus two additional pinks. Release wild chinook and chum. Anglers should check the regulation pamphlet for specifics, and special closures in certain areas during the summer season.

 

 

 

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