The coastal hatchery king fishery opened Saturday with the top fishing happening off Ilwaco and Westport.
“The fish were around (last weekend) at both Ilwaco where anglers averaged 0.8 fish per rod, and Westport where they averaged 0.6 fish per rod,” said Wendy Beeghly, a state Fish and Wildlife coastal salmon biologist. “A number of folks limited at Ilwaco, and some got nothing.”
“The good news is the mark rate (hatchery chinook with a missing adipose fin) was 80 percent from dockside interviews,” Beeghly said. “I saw some of the guys fishing north (of Ilwaco near the Lighthouse). At Westport most of the smaller boats were fishing closer to shore (off Ocean Shores) since that’s where the fish were hanging out, but it was hard for the charters to fish in that close.”
Beeghly says not a single chinook was checked at La Push, and just a handful were caught at Neah Bay where angler effort was really slim.
Between Monday and Wednesday, the big ocean swells and rough wind chop have kept most boats in the marinas.
“The ocean conditions were atrocious and there was no effort at Westport due to the big well and a nice wind chop to go with it,” Beeghly said. “The swells were closely spaced together and each swell was nine feet at nine seconds aprt (on Tuesday). The long term weather forecast looks much better.”
All coastal ports are open daily through June 13 for hatchery-marked Chinook, and the full summer salmon fishery begins June 14.