Two salmon fishing derbies this month saw record setting catches.

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Two salmon fishing derbies this month saw record setting catches.

The Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby held Saturday through Monday had 351 hatchery chinook weighed in, which was one of the highest in the history of the event, and beat the record in 2011 of 248 fish.

“They had a lot of fish checked in for the derby, and saw a big turnout of anglers,” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife checker in Strait of Juan de Fuca. “It was pretty good fishing, but nothing huge in terms of fish size.”

“The bigger fish taken in the derby came out of Protection Island area near Sequim,” Bennett said. “A good number were hatchery marked chinook (only fish with a missing adipose fin may be kept).”

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The derby had a turnout of 820 anglers, the largest in 10 years and easily topped the 650 who attended last year. The average size of chinook was 7.52 pounds.

First place went to Jerry Thomas of Mount Vernon with a 15.9 pound chinook. He won $10,000.

The Roche Harbor Salmon Classic Invitational on San Juan Island Feb. 8-9 also saw a record total of 196 fish for 339 anglers (239 anglers last year caught 93).

Sekiu in the western Strait is open for salmon, but no reports came from the area this week. In the San Juan Islands, target chinook at Waldron Island, Thatcher Pass, Fidalgo Head, Lopez Pass, Rosario Strait, Salmon Bank, north side of Orcas Island, Spring Pass and President Channel.

In other marine areas fishing has been fair to good at Misery Point in Hood Canal, but slower at Point No Point, Double Bluff off Whidbey Island, Possession Bar and in the Tacoma area.

Fishing report
Location Comment
Coast razor clams Next digs are Saturday and Sunday at Long Beach and Twin Harbors. Digging is allowed after noon. Other afternoon digs are March 7-8 and March 11 at Twin Harbors; and March 9-10 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks. Morning digs will occur March 28 and March 31 at Twin Harbors; March 29-30 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks. More digs are planned in April and May.
Digging: Yes

Rating: 4 stars

Statewide rivers The first spring chinook was reported at the Bonneville Dam fish counter on Feb. 13, and one was caught in the Lower Columbia around the Vancouver area this past week. Fair for steelhead in The Dalles and John Day pools. The Wenatchee River is good for steelhead, and also open for whitefish. The Icicle is open for steelhead. Many Western Washington rivers are closed to protect wild steelhead. Anglers should check the regulation pamphlet for details. Slow for steelhead in the Cowlitz, Washougal, Wynoochee, Skookumchuck, Bogachiel, Hoh and Sol Duc. Fair for sturgeon in The Dalles and John Day pools.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 2 stars

Statewide lakes Fair ice fishing for trout at Roses Lake near Manson and Fish Lake near Leavenworth for perch and trout. Lake Chelan is good for lake trout. Rufus Woods Reservoir is fair for trout. Fair to good for trout at Lake Goodwin and Blackman’s Lake. Fair for cutthroat in Lake Washington off I-90 and in south end along Rainier Avenue and Lake Sammamish.
Biting: Yes

Rating: 3 stars