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The first day of summer is just around the corner, and fishing action is hitting full steam ahead for both salt- and freshwater fish.

The ocean salmon season off the coast started off with a bang, and anglers were scoring near two-fish limits at 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.”

“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.”

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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.

Locally, south-central Puget Sound has been fair to good with some days slower than others as waves of chinook move through.

“It was pretty darn good (Tuesday) for kings with some guys coming back with their two-fish daily limits,” said Art Tatchell, manager of the Point Defiance Park Boathouse in Tacoma. “We’ll get some a decent day or two, and then it’ll drop off and pick back up again.”

Action slowed at the Clay Banks and Flats area off the western edge of Point Defiance, and the top-three spots are the old Girl Scout Camp in Colvos Passage, Gig Harbor shoreline and Point Evans just north of the Narrows Bridge. Most chinook are 8 to 12 pounds, and the biggest Tatchell has seen was 24 pounds. The hatchery-mark rate was about 50 percent. Anglers can keep only hatchery fish with a missing adipose fin.

The northern portion of central Puget Sound is open for salmon catch-and-release fishing, and fishing has been good for the few anglers venturing out.

“It has been good between Kingston and Jefferson Head, and we’ve had some days where we’ve hooked seven fish, and the biggest was about 12 pounds and most are 7 to 10 pounds,” said Keith Robbins, owner of A Spot Tail Salmon Guide in Seattle.

The Edmonds Pier is generating a catch two to three kings weekly, and an odd flurry of summer squid have also been caught in recent days.

The sockeye fishery in a section of the Skagit River from Highway 536 at Mount Vernon (Memorial Highway Bridge) up to mouth of Gilligan Creek is open through June 29 with a two sockeye daily limit.

“It was slow with anglers scoring a whole bunch of zeros,” said Brett Barkdull, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.

A state Fish and Wildlife check last weekend showed 361 anglers with seven sockeye. “That is not very good, and it has to get better,” Barkdull said.

The Skagit system sockeye forecast this summer is 35,377 (similar to about 35,000 two years ago), and up from about 21,000 last year.

Fishing Report
Location  Comment
Marine areas Southern Puget Sound south of the Narrows Bridge is open daily for Dungeness crab and has been fair to good, but slow for hatchery kings. The Tulalip Bay terminal salmon fishery is also open Fridays to noon Mondays, but closed this Saturday. The next low tide series in Puget Sound and Hood Canal begins Tuesday for gathering clams and oysters. North Sound low tides are: Tuesday, minus-1.1 feet at 9:39 a.m.; Wednesday, -1.5 at 10:18 a.m.; June 26, -1.6 at 10:54 a.m.; June 27, -1.6 at 11:30 a.m.; June 28, -1.4 at 12:05 p.m.; and June 29, -1.1 at 12:41 p.m. Before heading to a beach, call the marine biotoxin hotline at 800-562-5632 or online at Also check the state fisheries hotline at 866-880-5431 or State Fish and Wildlife also offers a good interactive shellfish map at
Biting: YesRating: ★★★  
Statewide rivers Fair in the Skykomish for summer steelhead, but slow for hatchery chinook. The Cascade and Skagit from Highway 530 Bridge at Rockport to Marblemount Bridge is slow for hatchery kings. Lower Columbia is good for shad below Bonneville Dam and in the Washougal area. Slow to fair in Lower Columbia for hatchery chinook and steelhead. Good in Cowlitz between the hatcheries for spring chinook, and a few summer-run steelhead. Fair for spring chinook in Icicle. Fair to good for walleye and bass in The Dalles and John Day pools of Columbia.
Biting: YesRating: ★★★  
Statewide lakes

Cooler weather has kept the trout active in local lakes with recent plants occurring at Green Lake in King County; American and Rapjohn in Pierce County; Blackmans and Gissburg Ponds in Snohomish County; Campbell and Padden in Skagit County; and Padden in Whatcom County. Other west side lakes planted are Black and Offutt in Thurston County; Mineral in Lewis; Sawyer, Rattlesnake, Walker, Beaver, Echo, Desire, Meridian, Wilderness and Cottage in King; Bradley, Tanwax and Kapowsin in Pierce; and Duck and Aberdeen in Grays Harbor. For the latest trout plants go to Good at Potholes Reservoir for walleye, bass and trout. Lake Chelan is good for lake trout and kokanee. Good for trout catch and release in Omak Lake. Fair for cutthroat trout in Lake Washington. Fair to good for kokanee at Stevens, American, Samish, Meridian and Roesiger.

Biting: YesRating: ★★★  

Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or

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