The summer fisheries are blooming with choices statewide, and salmon action is garnering most of the attention.
The Lower Columbia River from Bonneville Dam clear down to the mouth near Buoy-10 is starting to peak for salmon and steelhead.
“Things are starting to ramp up pretty quickly,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “It is pretty good fishing both in the ocean (near Ilwaco) and Buoy-10, and the rivers are all producing quite a few fish and lots of chinook.
Hymer says a co-worker in the Vancouver fisheries office caught a 43-pound king at Buoy-10, and Oregon fisheries saw about half-a-fish per rod check.
Sport catches of pinks and hatchery coho in the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Sekiu to Port Angeles have come alive in recent days.
“The pink and coho numbers picked up,” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife fish checker in the Strait. “The hatchery chinook catch averaged less than a fish per boat.”
The coastal salmon fisheries remain one of the better bets this week.
“In Westport we had a 1.2 fish-catch average (0.5 was chinook and 0.7 hatchery coho) this past week, and that is pretty good fishing,” said Wendy Beeghly, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “At Ilwaco, we saw just barely over a fish per person, and about a ratio of 2-to-1 coho to chinook.”
At La Push, the catch was about 1.7 per rod with pinks, and 1.5 without, and a little more than half the catch was chinook. In Neah Bay, it was 1.3 with pinks and 1.9 without. The albacore tuna action remains mostly spotty coastwide with a big variance in success, although Westport charter boats fared the best.
“We saw catches anywhere from one fish per person to eight, and it doesn’t seem like any one place is good,” Beeghly said. “It looks like most were heading between 35 and 50 miles offshore.”