The ocean salmon fishery is now in full swing, and catches have been very good especially off Ilwaco and Westport.
“The southern coast started off pretty well, and we saw probably close to a fish-and-a-half per person at Ilwaco, but bad weather and rough water was an issue all weekend,” said Wendy Beeghly, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “At Ilwaco it was about one chinook for every 8 to 10 coho. Some (ilwaco) boats made it across the bar early in the morning, and others who had to wait for it to reopen didn’t do as well.”
The Ilwaco boats were going north and south, but over the folks who ventured a little more south did better. The coho at Ilwaco averaged 3 to 4 pounds.
Just up the coast at Westport, weekend fishing on the opener was also very good for a mix of chinook and hatchery coho.
“Westport also saw some good fishing, and almost a fish-and-a-half per person last weekend,” Beeghly said. “It was about two coho for every chinook, and most of the boats I heard about went south off the mouth of Willapa. Westport (anglers) did really well (on Tuesday) for coho, and that bodes well for coho if they stick around.”
On the northern coast off La Push and Neah Bay, angler effort was low and success was slow. The catch per rod average at Neah Bay was about half-a-fish per rod, and most were chinook.
“Water condition have not been good for people, and it did look like it was starting to calm down this week,” Beeghly said. “There are definitely fish out there.”