Each week we round-up the top fishing news from the Northwest and beyond. Do you have a news tip? E-mail us at news /at/ salmonuniversity.com.
Ocean Salmon Fishery to Focus on Chinook
Anglers can reel in salmon off the Washington coast beginning July 1, when the ocean sport fishery gets underway daily in all four marine areas. Only Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) will be open for coho retention. Marine Area 1 is scheduled to close Aug. 31 while marine areas 2 (Westport), 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) are scheduled to close Aug. 21.
This year’s sport fishing opportunities are mostly focused on chinook salmon, which are forecast to return at a rate slightly above the 10-year average, said Wendy Beeghley, an ocean salmon manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Anglers can fish for chinook in all four marine areas.
Additional information on fishing regulations can be found in Washington’s Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, available on WDFW’s website.
West Marine Northwest Salmon Derby Series Moves Ahead
The West Marine Northwest Salmon Derby Series will resume with the July 8-10 Bellingham Salmon Derby, according to the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA). Two earlier derbies had to be canceled due to the impasse between the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and tribal fisheries leaders.
“This is wonderful news for the recreational fishing community – anglers and businesses alike,” said George Harris, president of the NMTA. “The derby series traditionally lures 7,000 to 8,000 anglers every year and gives them an opportunity to get out on the water, hone their skills, participate in the sport they love and compete for bragging rights. The Puget Sound salmon sport fishery is also an important economic engine in Washington, generating more than 500,000 angler trips and $100 million in economic value annually.”
The six upcoming West Marine Northwest Salmon Derby Series events are:
- NEW for 2016: The Big One Salmon Derby, Lake Coeur d’Alene: July 27 – 31, Awards August 6
- South King County PSA Salmon Derby: August 6
- Gig Harbor PSA Salmon Derby: August 13
- Columbia River Fall Salmon Derby: August 20
- Willapa Bay Salmon Derby: September 3
The West Marine Northwest Salmon Derby Series was started in 2004 by the NMTA to promote sport salmon fishing in the region. The NMTA partners with fishing derbies throughout the region to increase recreational fishing participation and opportunities. It had six derbies the first year, eventually growing to 14. (For 2016 it will be 12.)
Boat U.S. Calls on Boaters to Comment on EPA Fuel Standards
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking for comments on a proposal to increase the amount of ethanol that must be blended into the nation’s gas supply for 2017. According to Boat U.S., if adopted, these proposed levels will require the use of a record amount of ethanol, forcing higher-level fuel blends (including E15 or 15-percent ethanol) into more gas stations. However, most marine engines are built to only work with up to 10-percent ethanol and it’s prohibited to use gas containing more than 10-percent ethanol in all marine engines.
Boat U.S. is calling on recreational boaters to contact the EPA and urge it to lower the ethanol mandates to ensure an adequate supply of fuelfor watercraft. The organization has provided a form on its website to allow easy outreach to the agency.