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Ecology and salmon related articles

Slow Start for Spring Fishing on Rivers

by Mark Yuasa
Seattle Times, March 14, 2012

The Strait of Juan de Fuca remains the best bet for winter chinook at Sekiu and the Port Angeles area.

Spotty for spring chinook in Lower Columbia, but other fishing options around in southwest region While neither hot nor hopeless, there is a ray of light for salmon, steelhead, lingcod, shellfish and trout enthusiasts.

"There are some spring chinook being caught from the mouth of the Lewis River up to the (Portland Airport) on the Lower Columbia," said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.

"Places like Cathlamet have been decent at times, but that could change as the Willamette River is up to 80,000 (cubic feet per second) and becomes more turbid," Hymer said. "That would condense fishing to the Vancouver area, and there was also a few more fish caught in the Camas-Washougal area."

The Wind River and Drano Lake open Friday for spring chinook, but don't expect much. Only a dozen fish have been counted at Bonneville Dam.

The lingcod and black rockfish fishery off the coast at La Push, Westport and Ilwaco opens Saturday, and charter boats expect another excellent spring season.

In shellfish news, the Point Whitney Tidelands in Hood Canal is open for clamming until March 31, and Point Whitney Lagoon is open April 1-30.

Coastal razor clam digs are tentatively scheduled for March 24 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks; and March 25 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks. Final approval will be known by early next week.

The clam and oyster season at Fort Flagler State Park, including a section of the spit west of the park boundary on Rat Island in Jefferson County, opens May 15 to Sept. 30. Surveys indicate the clam population has increased to allow extra harvest time.

The Strait of Juan de Fuca remains the best bet for winter chinook at Sekiu and the Port Angeles area.

"On Monday, we had some of the best fishing I've seen in my life at Sekiu with clouds of candlefish and packs of chinook feeding on them," said Tony Floor, director of fishing affairs for Northwest Marine Trade Association who fished with Congressman Norm Dicks.

"We caught 18 fish for our group in two days, and four were 12 to 15 pounds and the rest in the 7- to 8-pound range," said Floor, who said the congressman caught the biggest chinook.

On Friday, Floor fished the eastern Strait off Salmon Bank where his group hooked nine chinook and kept three hatchery fish, plus his fishing partner landed a 22-pounder the day before.

Other good Strait bets include Freshwater Bay, Discovery Bay and the Winter Hole area off Port Angeles.

Mark Yuasa
Slow Start for Spring Fishing on Rivers
Seattle Times, March 14, 2012

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