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ANOTHER BLOW TO WASHINGTON SALMON

posted by Mike on 12/18/2018

Chinook fry lost after power outage at Minter Creek Hatchery

OLYMPIA – As many as 6.2 million chinook salmon fry died last weekend when a windstorm cut power to the Minter Creek Hatchery in Pierce County and the facility's backup generator failed.

The fry were in incubators at the Minter Creek Hatchery operated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The pump that supplies water to those incubators stopped working when both the main power and backup generator failed.

WDFW staff tried to start the generator and attempted to provide water to the incubators using other methods, but those efforts were largely unsuccessful, said Eric Kinne, WDFW hatchery division manager.

"This is a devastating loss," Kinne said. "The department is conducting an analysis to determine the root cause of what went wrong so that we can improve procedures at Minter Creek and our other hatcheries to help ensure this doesn't happen again."

An inventory of the fish lost includes:

  • 4.2 million Deschutes fall chinook fry
  • 1.5 million Minter Creek fall chinook fry
  • 507,000 White River spring chinook fry

Kinne said the department was raising the White River spring chinook as part of the state's early efforts to provide more food for southern resident orcas, which are listed as endangered both federally and in Washington. The Deschutes and Minter Creek fall chinook were part of WDFW's ongoing hatchery operations that support state fisheries, not new production for orcas.

Other fish – including roughly 4.2 million chum salmon and 2 million coho salmon – being held at Minter Creek Hatchery survived the power outage.

WDFW is determining whether fish from other facilities can replace some of the fry lost at Minter Creek Hatchery, which is located in Gig Harbor. The chinook were scheduled for release in May or June 2019. Chinook typically return to their natal streams to spawn after three to five years in marine waters.

The department operates 80 hatcheries across Washington and raises approximately 68 million chinook annually.

MARINE AREA 9 (ADMIRALTY INLET) CLOSING TO RETENTION OF CHINOOK SALMON

posted by Mike on 07/20/2018

Hatchery chinook retention to close in Marine Area 9

Action: Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) will be closed to the retention of hatchery chinook salmon beginning Monday, July 23.

Effective date: 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 23, 2018.

Species affected: Hatchery chinook salmon.

Location: Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet), except the Edmonds Fishing Pier.

Reason for action: Preliminary estimates indicate that anglers have caught over half of the summer quota since the fishery opened July 16. The fishery will close to allow fishery managers to re-evaluate the catch after the weekend of fishing to determine how much available quota remains. Should there be sufficient catch available, WDFW will announce when the fishery will reopen to harvest the remaining quota.

Additional information: Anglers can continue to retain hatchery chinook in Marine Area 9 through the end of the day Sunday, July 22.

After Sunday, salmon fishing will remain open in Marine Area 9, where anglers can retain hatchery coho salmon as part of their two-salmon daily limit but must release chinook, chum, and wild coho. Hatchery chinook fishing remains open in all other marine areas of Puget Sound except Areas 8-1, 8-2, and Area 12 north of Ayock Point.

The Edmonds Fishing Pier will remain open to the retention of chinook as listed in the Washington Sports Fishing Rules pamphlet.

For specific regulations, anglers should consult the 2018-19 Washington Sports Fishing Rules pamphlet available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.

Anglers can check WDFW's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/reports_plants.html for the latest information on marine areas that are managed to a quota or guideline.

Information contact: David Stormer, Puget Sound recreational salmon fishery manager, (360) 902-0058 or Mark Baltzell, Puget Sound salmon manager, (360) 902-2807.

 

EDMONDS FISHING PIER SALMON FISHING

posted by Mike on 06/16/2018

There have been a number of king salmon landed off the Edmonds pier over the past couple of weeks. We are not even close to the peak season but there is a chance of finding one of the early returning fish at this time. We heard of a 17 pound Chinook landed earlier this week.

Most anglers are fsihing a variety of lead minnow lures in the 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 ounce range. Some of the most popular brands are Point Wilson Darts in both the candlefish and herring models, Luhr Jensen Crippled Herring, Mega Baits, Pucci Minnows and Dungeness Stingers. The best color schemes are those of plain white or pearl white, green and chartreuse and black backed. Glow in the Dark jigs early in the AM or PM are also a plus. Make sure to change you hooks to a single barbless style to conform to the regulations.

We have a great selection of salmon jigs in stock at the present time.

SUMMER CHINOOK FISHERY REOPENS ON LOWER COLUBIA RIVER

posted by Mike on 07/06/2017

Summer chinook fishery reopens on the lower Columbia River

OLYMPIA – The fishery for summer chinook salmon is scheduled to reopen tomorrow (July 7) and run through July 31 on the lower Columbia River.

A new, higher projection of this year's summer chinook return allowed fishery managers from Washington and Oregon to reopen the fishery below Bonneville Dam after closing the season early last week.

Based on the latest projection, 74,100 adult summer chinook will return to the Columbia this year – up from 63,100 anticipated at the start of the season. As a result, the catch guideline for the recreational fishery has increased by 1,290 fish, said Ron Roler, a Columbia River fishery manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

"The higher run forecast allows us to reopen the fishery through the end of the summer season, when the fall fishing season gets underway," Roler said. "That's been our goal all along, so long as the fishery meets established conservation standards."

The area of the Columbia River affected by the states' action extends from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upriver to Bonneville Dam. As before, anglers can catch up to two adult hatchery chinook, two adult sockeye, or one of each. One hatchery steelhead may also be retained as part of two-fish daily limit.

Barbless hooks are required, and anglers must release any summer chinook with an intact adipose fin.

Washington state fishing rules are posted on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/

Run Down on 2013 Salmon Projections

posted by Mike on 03/03/2013

Abundant runs of Columbia River chinook,
Puget Sound pink and coho salmon projected

OLYMPIA – Fishing prospects look bright this year for chinook in Washington’s ocean waters and the Columbia River, according to preseason salmon forecasts released today at a public meeting in Olympia.

Opportunities for anglers also look good in Puget Sound, where coho and pink salmon runs are expected to be strong this year.

Forecasts for chinook, coho, sockeye, pink and chum salmon mark the starting point for developing 2013 salmon-fishing seasons in Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington coastal areas. The forecasts were developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and treaty Indian tribes.

Fishery managers have scheduled a series of public meetings over the next few weeks to discuss potential fishing opportunities before finalizing seasons in early-April. A meeting schedule, salmon forecasts and information about the salmon season-setting process are available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/.

Salmon fisheries developed through this extensive process will once again be driven by the need to rebuild depressed wild salmon populations while protecting healthy stocks, said Phil Anderson, WDFW director.

“This year’s preseason forecasts point to a number of opportunities for us to design some exciting fishing opportunities in waters across the state, while staying true to our conservation principles,” Anderson said. “We look forward to working with our constituents in designing salmon fisheries.”

As in past years, salmon-fishing prospects in 2013 vary by area:

Columbia River: Nearly 678,000 fall chinook are expected to return to the Columbia River this season. About 80 percent of those fish are “bright” stocks, most of which are destined for areas above Bonneville Dam, including the Hanford Reach and Snake River.

Brights are really the foundation of the recreational fishery, “and with the numbers we are expecting there is good reason to be optimistic about this season,” said Ron Roler, Columbia River policy coordinator for WDFW.

Columbia River fisheries also are expected to benefit from a significant increase in coho numbers. The abundance of Columbia River coho is forecast to be about 501,000 fish. That would be better than the five-year average and total nearly three times as many fish as last year’s actual abundance.

Washington’s ocean waters: Chinook salmon returning to the lower Columbia River will also contribute to fisheries off the coast, said Doug Milward, ocean salmon fishery manager for WDFW.

About 126,000 lower river hatchery chinook are expected back this season, about 15,000 less fish than last year’s return. Those salmon, known as “tules,” are the backbone of the recreational ocean chinook fishery.

“The numbers of lower river chinook are slightly down from last year, but it’s still a pretty good return,” Milward said. “Add to that the expected increase in lower Columbia River coho numbers, and we should see great fishing opportunities in the ocean this summer.”

Coastal bays and rivers: For the second-straight year, fishery managers are expecting a strong return of wild coho salmon to many of Washington’s coastal streams, including the Queets and Quillayute rivers, as well as those flowing into Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay, said Ron Warren, regional fisheries manager for WDFW.

“Coho fishing started off slow in those areas last year – likely due to the lack of rain – but picked up later in the season,” Warren said. “If this year’s coho runs come in at forecast and the weather cooperates, I expect fishing to be good throughout the entire season.”

Puget Sound: Another strong run of coho salmon will boost fisheries in Puget Sound, where millions of pink salmon also are expected to return this year.

About 880,000 coho are forecast to return to Puget Sound streams, about 150,000 more fish than last year’s forecast. “Fishing for coho was really good last season, and we expect much of the same this summer,” said Ryan Lothrop, Puget Sound recreational salmon fishery manager for WDFW.

In addition, more than 6 million pink salmon are expected back to the Sound this year. Most pink salmon return to Washington’s waters only in odd-numbered years.

“It’s a pink year, which is a great time to introduce a friend or family member – especially children – to salmon fishing,” said Lothrop. “Fishing this summer should be similar to 2011, when anglers were catching limits of pink salmon throughout the Sound and its rivers.”

Summer/fall chinook salmon returns to Puget Sound are expected to total about 264,000 fish, similar to the last few years. Most chinook fisheries in Puget Sound, where the bulk of the return is hatchery chinook, will be similar to last year, Lothrop said.

Meanwhile, a Lake Washington sockeye fishery is unlikely this year. The sockeye forecast is about 97,000, well below the minimum return of 350,000 sockeye needed to consider opening a recreational fishery in the lake. However, fishery managers will once again consider sockeye fisheries in Baker Lake and the Skagit River, Lothrop said.

One fishing rule on the agenda this year is a proposal to lower the minimum size limit from 22 inches to 20 inches for chinook salmon in Puget Sound sport fisheries. For years, anglers have requested that WDFW consider making that change in the Sound’s marine waters, said Pat Pattillo, salmon policy coordinator for WDFW.

“Now that the majority of our recreational chinook fisheries focus on abundant hatchery salmon, we decided it was time to discuss the size limit,” said Pattillo.

State, tribal and federal fishery managers will meet March 6-11 in Tacoma with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) to develop options for this year’s commercial and recreational ocean chinook and coho salmon fisheries. The PFMC establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.

Additional public meetings have been scheduled in March to discuss regional fishery issues. Input from these regional discussions will be considered as the season-setting process moves into the “North of Falcon” and PFMC meetings, which will determine the final 2013 salmon seasons.

The PFMC is expected to adopt final ocean fishing seasons and harvest levels at its April 6-11 meeting in Portland. The 2013 salmon fisheries package for Washington’s inside waters will be completed by the state and tribal co-managers during the PFMC’s April meeting.

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