After just a handful of days into the hatchery chinook salmon fishing on northern Puget Sound it appears that half the catch quota was gobbled up, and more catch damage was done over the weekend.
“We ran some numbers, we are not looking pretty for Area 9 (referred to as northern Puget Sound),” said Ryan Lothrop, the state Fish and Wildlife Puget Sound recreational salmon manager. “We are getting together (Tuesday afternoon) to see what, when, and if and how we want to proceed with what is left in the catch quota.”
“It will be a challenge to see if we can get through the weekend,” he said. “We are chewing on the numbers right now and trying to figure out if we need to make a rule change.”
Lothrop says right now central Puget Sound is looking good with plenty of room in the quota, but if anything should happen to Area 9 then it could shift additional pressure down south.
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Through July 21, 1,621 hatchery-marked chinook were taken in a quota of 3,056. That doesn’t include this past weekend’s catches which were likely fairly good due to the ideal weather and what looked like more boats on the water.
While most of the pressure has been occurring in an area from Midchannel Bank off Port Townsend south to Possession Bar, more kings were starting to show up in central Puget Sound spots like Kingston, Jefferson Head, Yeomalt Point to Point Monroe, Edmonds to Richmond Beach area and West Point south of Shilshole Bay.
The impact on catches in central Puget Sound haven’t been as significant with 124 hatchery-marked chinook caught through July 21 with a catch quota of 1,395.