It also looks like the front-end of a massive pink salmon run of 6.8 million fish has finally started to poke its nose into Puget Sound.

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The summer salmon fisheries from Puget Sound to the ocean remain the top choice, with very good catches.

“Coastwide, anglers are doing well for salmon, and it hasn’t let up since we opened in mid-June,” said Scott Barbour, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.

At Ilwaco, 715 anglers this past week caught 945 hatchery coho and 82 chinook for a 1.4 fish-per-rod average. Just up the coast at Westport, it remains good with 2,784 anglers taking home 972 chinook and 1,850 coho.

On the northern coast, chinook catches have been so good that state Fish and Wildlife decided to knock down the daily catch limit from two to one king daily starting this Friday.

“I spent five days at Neah Bay, and we ended up averaging 3½ kings per day,” said Tony Floor, director of fishing affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association. “I don’t care where you’re fishing, be it Alaska or any other marine area, that is pretty decent king fishing.

“On the weekend we saw a good number of anglers, but during the week it is very light angler pressure and like having Disneyland all to yourself. They are crushing the kings at Sharks Den (located about 20 miles south of Tatoosh and five miles off Cape Alava).”

At La Push, 270 anglers were checked with 329 chinook, 16 coho and 43 pinks; and at Neah Bay, 1,991 anglers caught 1,602 chinook, 424 coho and 1,141 pinks.

Tuna boats were hooking into fairly good numbers of fish anywhere from 20 to 50 miles offshore off Westport.

Moving further inland, the northern Puget Sound hatchery chinook fishery opened July 16 with very good catches, although it has slowed somewhat due to windy weather earlier this week.

“We’re about two-thirds of the way through our catch quota for (northern Puget Sound),” said Ryan Lothrop, the state Fish and Wildlife Puget Sound recreational salmon fishing manager.

Through Sunday, 1,580 chinook were caught in the northern Puget Sound, where there is a 2,483 catch quota.

“It is hard to project when we’ll reach the catch quota, and it is a moving target oftentimes,” Lothrop said. “We had some windy weather (Monday and Tuesday) so catch rates dropped off, and right now it looks like we’re in the valley of the curve on the fishing table.”

Chinook catches were fair to good at Possession Bar, Point No Point, Foulweather Bluff and Midchannel Bank off Port Townsend.

State Fish and Wildlife officials will evaluate catch rates on Thursday to possibly make a decision on how long the northern Puget Sound hatchery chinook fishery can remain open.

It also looks like the front end of a massive pink salmon run of 6.8 million fish has finally started to poke its nose into Puget Sound, as far south as Jefferson Head just northwest of Shilshole Bay.

“We got into a good number of resident coho and pinks (Tuesday), and fishing was very good,” said Nick Kester, captain of All-Star Charters in Shilshole Bay.

In the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the hatchery king catch continues to limp along, but pink and coho are waxing the count at places between Sekiu and Port Angeles.

Fishing Report
Location  Comment
Marine areas Lots of pinks and a fair number of kings caught in the San Juan Islands. Good for Dungeness crab in Hood Canal north of Seabeck, and many areas of central and northern Puget Sound and Camano Island area (check the regulation pamphlet to see which days of the week crabbing is allowed). Slow to fair for chinook in south-central Puget Sound around the Tacoma, Point Robinson, south of Southworth Ferry Landing, Brace Point, Dolphin Point and Colvos Passage areas. Not much happening for salmon off the Seacrest Pier in West Seattle, but a few caught off the Edmonds Pier. Sinclair Inlet is open for salmon fishing.
Biting: YesRating: ★★★  
Statewide rivers The updated Columbia River adult summer chinook projection is 120,000, the largest since at least 1960, and the sockeye figure of 507,500 is the third-largest on record. The preseason forecasts were 73,000 adult summer chinook and 394,000 sockeye. Good for chinook and steelhead at the mouth of the Cowlitz. Fair to good for steelhead in the Lewis and North Fork Lewis. Slow to fair for steelhead in the Kalama. Good for sockeye and chinook in Wanapum and Brewster pools of the Columbia. The summer drought conditions and heat have led to many statewide river, lake and stream closures. Before going fishing, anglers should check for any emergency closures at http://wdfw.wa.gov.
Biting: YesRating: ★★★  
Statewide lakes Baker Lake is fair to good for sockeye, with 16,569 fish having been transported to the lake, and a total of 22,038 have made it back to the Baker River fish trap through July 21. Fish are hanging in the cooler, deeper water of 30 to 50 feet. Merwin Reservoir was planted with 1,033 rainbow trout averaging more than 5½ pounds July 13. Morton Lake near Kent was recently planted and is fair to good. Good for perch in Lake Washington, but spotty for cutthroat along the floating bridges. Slow with just a few trout caught in Green, Gissburg, Pine, Cottage, Pass, Lone, Aberdeen, Flowing, Mineral, Rattlesnake, Duck and Meridian. East of the Cascades, try for trout in Roosevelt, Sprague and Conconully. Good for walleye, perch and bass in Potholes Reservoir. Good in Lake Chelan for lake trout and some kokanee. Good for bass in Banks Lake.
Biting: YesRating: ★★★