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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

September 4, 2013 at 3:38 PM

No end in sight just yet for huge pink salmon return

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The fun times for pink salmon keep on rolling, and it looks like the migrating coho are bringing up the rear from the Strait of Juan de Fuca clear into Puget Sound.

“We hooked four coho in a little more than one hour (on Wednesday), and kept one 8 pound hatchery fish, plus we released one 30 pound king and a half dozen humpies (a term used for pinks as the males form a distinct hump on their back at spawning time),” said Chris Mohr, owner of Van Riper’s Resort in Sekiu.

“The coho are just starting to show up, and it usually turns on around Sept. 10,” Mohr said. “The humpies are still everywhere, and the (Puget Sound) run is almost two weeks later than usual.”

The commercial purse seine test fishing catches of pinks remains stable in a location commonly referred to as “Area 20” off the southeast side of Vancouver Island.

The Pacific Salmon Commission has now updated the run-size estimate of Fraser River pinks to a whopping 24-million compared to a preseason forecast of more than 8.9-million.

Catches have shown that almost half of the pinks were of Fraser River origin, and the panel approved a run-size estimate of 10-million for the Fraser River pink return compared to a preseason forecast of more than 8.9-million. No inseason updates are made for Puget Sound pink stocks but the forecast calls for more than 6.2-million.

Here is the Area 20 “San Juan purse seine” catches: Aug. 11, 3,257; Aug. 12, 1,047; Aug. 13, 3,456; Aug. 14, 2,172; Aug. 15, 2,582; Aug. 16, 3,410; Aug. 17, 1,278; Aug. 18, 1,283; Aug. 19, 1,902 pinks; Aug. 20, 3,377; Aug. 21, 3,222; Aug. 22, 4,766; Aug. 23, 5,122; Aug. 24, 10,248; Aug. 25, 14,110; Aug. 26, 4,880; Aug. 27, 17,653; Aug. 28, 9,135; Aug. 29, 6,240; Aug. 30, 1,387; Aug. 31, 3,459; Sept. 1, 1371; Sept. 2, 309; and Sept. 3, 3,805. Total catch is 141,644 pinks.

The entire commercial troll, purse seine and gill-net catch-to-date by Canada and United States non-tribal and tribal (excluding Alaska) through Aug. 31 is 676,100 pinks.

To view the PSC test fisheries release, go to http://www.psc.org/info_testfishing.htm.

No inseason updates are made for Puget Sound pink stocks, but the forecast calls for more than 6.2-million.

Catches of pinks and a few coho is decent in front of Edmonds Marina; Mukilteo south to Shipwreck-Possession Point boundary; Meadow Point to West Point near Shilshole Bay; Browns Bay; Jefferson Head; Possession Bar; and Alki Point south to Tacoma. Elliott Bay is open daily for pinks, and fishing has picked up in the east waterway and the “combat pier fishery” near the Spokane Street Bridge.

Pier and beach anglers were finding good action for pinks at Lincoln Park off West Seattle, Golden Gardens, Seacrest Pier, Dash Point Pier, Browns Point, Deception Pass, Point No Point, Des Moines, Redondo and west side of Whidbey Island.

 

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