Puget Sound Native Chinook Are Mostly Extinct According to Old NOAA Report

000018For years Chinook fishing in Puget Sound has been subject to the Endangered Species Act restrictions imposed on Puget Sound rivers and streams. Fisheries managers have long claimed that these rivers had runs of “Native” Chinook. Others believe any river system that has been influenced by hatchery stock no longer has a pure native stock of Chinook. Dave Croonquist recently discovered years worth of Washington State hatchery planting records that prove how WDFW planted Chinook from various hatcheries throughout the region. For example, Green River Chinook Hatchery has moved 40 million Chinook out of the Green River basin to other river systems throughout the years in an effort to boost Chinook populations. In another example, when the Lower Elwha Hatchery first opened then Governor Rosellini was invited to cut the ribbon during opening ceremonies. When fisheries managers realized the hatchery barely had any fish they imported fish from other hatcheries to make it look good for press.

NOAA has been doing research for years with the goal of saving and managing Chinook salmon. In July 2006 NOAA published the Independent Population of Chinook Salmon in Puget Sound study. The study is fascinating but proves what many have been saying for years, that native stocks of Chinook throughout Puget Sound have largely become extinct. Below are two images tables taken from the report. Some of the rivers listed are driving our sport fishing seasons or lack thereof because of fear of intercepting these native stocks. However, if no such native Chinook stock exists why are fisheries managers continuing to manage the Puget Sound sport fishing seasons based on faulty science?

chinook-1

chinook-2

noaa_3489_DS1-1

Link above is the NOAA 2006 Chinook report

history of chinook transfers-1

The link above is the PDF prepared by Puget Sound Anglers concerning the history of Chinook transfers from hatcheries and how it effects fisheries policies.

brannon afs hatchery study

The link above is the Brannon afs hatchery study.

Based on all of this information our fisheries managers should begin a new approach in Chinook fisheries management. Instead of continuing down the same old path of “Native” vs. “Hatchery” we need to embrace what has actually happened to Chinook salmon. When hatchery fish are introduced into a river or stream system a percentage of them will spawn naturally. These “natural spawn” Chinook don’t have adipose fins but they are still the progeny of hatchery stock. In fact, ALL hatchery stock Chinook at one time came from native Chinook stocks. A Chinook, is a Chinook is a Chinook.

Recognizing this fact will speed up our Chinook enhancement and recovery efforts which will in turn result in higher numbers of Chinook via the hatcheries and will help the starving orca whales that need our help now. Given the evidence listed above our fisheries managers, legislators, governor, sports anglers and general population should all embrace and support this line of thinking, I hope. In the meantime, I will now refer to natural spawned Chinook as “Undocumented” Chinook. Maybe if we approach the issue from a PC standpoint we can get past the arguing and increase Chinook hatchery production now.

John Beath

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Partridge Bank Salmon Fishing Map

partridge bank

DSCN1926Partridge Bank is a popular spot and easily accessed from Port Townsend, Keystone on Whidbey Island or John Wayne Marina in Sequim. The bank will produce fish throughout the area but my experience is limited to the areas in yellow. On an outgoing tide I troll the southwest area then turn to the north. During incoming tides I start on the southwest side and troll the 120-foot contour line to the east then turn north. The Southern end will attract bait and in turn blackmouth. The bait will also school along the shallower areas of the bank so don’t be afraid to troll in the 60 to 80 foot areas as well. Again, search for bait, find bait and you should find feeding blackmouth. Some tides will force bait and blackmouth into deeper water. When currents are strong, you might be forced into pulling gear and moving up current and then dropping gear to troll with the current. Be sure to get your gear working properly, especially when trolling with the current which means trolling fast enough for a flasher to rotate. If using bait you can troll slow and expect good results if you keep the bait close to bottom.

In addition to trollers you will find jiggers and moochers here. Jiggers search for bait and then drop their jigs. After hitting bottom, they work the jigs up and down occasionally tapping the sandy bottom. When the jig goes slack jerk it’s likely a fish. Moochers will do the same but will hit bottom with their sinker then reel off bottom, wait then reel up 20 to 40 feet and drop back to the bottom. Successful moochers work the water column and keep their baits spinning to attract bites.

Best Tides: high or low

Best depths: 60 to 140-feet.

Best methods: trolling within 5 to 10-feet of bottom.

Best trolling lures: mini FAT Squids, Squiddy Squids, Coho Killers, Kingfisher Spoons and Floochies.

Mooching & Jigging: both techniques work well here.

Best jigs: Point Wilson candlefish jigs and Dungeness Stingers available at Dartjigs.com

Size of jigs: 2 1/4 to 6-ounces. Use the smallest weight jig possible to stay on bottom. When currents are strong you will need to use heavier jigs

Boat launches: Best access is from Port Townsend, Keystone and John Wayne Marina in Sequim.

Posted in Jigging for Salmon, Marine Area 6 Salmon Fishing Maps, Partridge Bank Salmon Fishing Map, Salmon Fishing, Salmon Fishing Maps, Salmon Fishing Tackle, Salmon Fishing Tips & Tricks, Sequim Salmon Fishing Map, Uncategorized, Washington Salmon Fishing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dungeness Bay Salmon Fishing Map

dog leg

Dungeness Bay is vast and has multiple contour lines that hold bait which in turn attracts blackmouth. The yellow lines above are a small example of trolling paths anglers can take in search of blackmouth. This area is also a meca for halibut fishing because of the amount of bait that moves in and out with tides. Very few anglers fish here and instead drive over the top of bait and hungry blackmouth while en route to more known areas like Eastern Bank. The few anglers that fish here have the vast area to themselves.

Either tide works here and enables anglers to explore and discover another great area close to Sequim. Like every other area the key is finding bait and working that bait. The “Dog Leg” shown above and outlined in yellow is an example of where to begin looking for bait before dropping your gear. If you don’t find bait move on and continue searching the area until you find some bait. Once found drop your gear and begin trolling. Mooching and jigging works well here too, especially when you find the bait.

It’s a bit harder to follow contour lines here so stay alert and adjust your downriggers often to keep your gear within 20 feet of bottom.

Best Tides: high or low

Best depths: 100 to 140-feet.

Best methods: trolling within 10 to 20-feet of bottom.

Best trolling lures: mini FAT Squids, Squiddy Squids, Coho Killers, Kingfisher Spoons and Floochies.

Mooching & Jigging: both techniques work well here.

Boat launches: Best access is from John Wayne Marina in Sequim.

Posted in Dungeness Bay Salmon Fishing Map, Marine Area 6 Salmon Fishing Maps, Salmon Fishing, Salmon Fishing Maps, Salmon Fishing Tips & Tricks, Sequim Salmon Fishing Map, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Dallas Bank Salmon Fishing Map

dallas bank

Few anglers troll Dallas Bank for blackmouth during winter months, but they should. While countless anglers drive past this productive area blackmouth are left behind, in an area rich with bait. During incoming tides the east side of the bank will likely produce the best results, but anglers might still find willing fish on the west side. During outgoing currents the best place will be the west side. Anglers can also fish the northern end of the bank on both tides.

Winter Blackmouth

Needlefish hoochies work well here

Look for bait and don’t be shy about looking in the shallow areas of the bank, especially at the northern end. When trolling here find the contour line you want to work, anywhere from 80 to 140 feet and keep your gear as close to bottom as possible, within 10 feet if possible. Currents here will force you to troll with currents on your beam so “crabbing” into the current will help to keep you on the contour line and correct depth.

Best Tides: high or low

Best depths: 80 to 140-feet.

Best methods: trolling within 5 to 10-feet of bottom. Bounce bottom occasionally to kick up the sediment.

Best trolling lures: mini FAT Squids, Squiddy Squids, Coho Killers, Kingfisher Spoons and Floochies.

Boat launches: Closest access is from John Wayne Marina in Sequim, but anglers can access the area from many other area launches including Port Townsend and Keystone on Whidbey Island.

Posted in Dallas Bank Salmon Fishing Map, Marine Area 6 Salmon Fishing Maps, Salmon Fishing, Salmon Fishing Maps, Salmon Fishing Tackle, Salmon Fishing Tips & Tricks, Sequim Salmon Fishing Map, Uncategorized, Washington Salmon Fishing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Winter Hole Salmon Fishing Map

winter hole

The Winter Hole not surprisingly is a great place to fish Winter blackmouth. This spot is an outgoing current location. Anglers troll, jig and mooch. The dark blue circle on the chart is the center of the area. When they named this the Winter Hole perhaps they named the deep hole to the East. On an outgoing tide the bait schools up in the deep and then stacks up along the steep ledge and then washes over the ledge onto the shallow areas to the West.

jig

White Jigs Work Best http://www.darjigs.com

Jiggers do exceptionally well here and often catch more fish per angler than trollers or moochers. If you jig turn on your GPS track and search for bait in the 180 to 200 foot depth. The outgoing current will push you into the ledge area quickly so be ready to crank your reel to keep your jig off the bottom. I hate jigging uphill but it does work here. Once on the other side of the ledge jigging is much easier in terms of maintaining depth control. During strong tidal flows you will need to back troll to maintain line angle and depth control. For optimum success keep your jig within three feet of bottom. These fish are rooting baitfish off the bottom and staying as deep as possible. You can find an excellent selection of jigs at Dartjigs.com

At the end of a drift reel up and start over. Your track mark will help you figure out the current direction, which changes throughout the tide. Be courteous here and don’t wake other boats as you roar past the crowd heading toward the start of the drift. Some anglers here just don’t care and get close enough to wake you so be watchful and hang on when “That Guy” goes by to close again.

Trollers work the area and do circles around and through the high spot. As the tide progresses the blackmouth will spread throughout the shallow area. Keeping gear close to bottom is key here and requires someone to maintain depth control on the downriggers at all times.

Moochers do well at the Winter Hole and often can be seen fishing from the old style Olympic 16 to 18-foot moocher style open boat with tiller handles. Small baits work best because the bait is typically small this time of year. A single or double hook 12 to 15-pound fluorocarbon leader with 1/0 or 2/0 hooks works best. Crescent sinker weight size will depend on current strength. Bring a selection of sizes ranging from 2 to 6 ounces. Work the cut-plug or whole herring from the surface to the bottom. When you hit bottom reel a couple turns, pause then reel up 20-feet and drop back to the bottom. Repeat process and every few minutes reel all the way to the surface. Work the bottom as well as the water column.

Best depths: 60 to 140-feet

Best methods: jigging, mooching and trolling within 5 to 10-feet of bottom.

Best trolling lures: Coho Killers, mini FAT Squids, Squiddy Squids, Kingfisher Spoons and Floochies.

Best jigs: white Point Wilson Darts or Dungeness Stingers in 2 to 6 oz sizes

Boat launches: Best access is from Ediz Hook launch or Port of Port Angles launch.

Posted in Jigging for Salmon, Marine Area 6 Salmon Fishing Maps, Port Angeles Salmon Fishing, Salmon Fishing, Salmon Fishing Maps, Salmon Fishing Tackle, Salmon Fishing Tips & Tricks, Washington Salmon Fishing, Winter Hole Salmon Fishing Map | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dungeness Spit Salmon Fishing Map

dungeness spit

Dungeness Spit offers a long troll with little to no competition. As far as I know only a few anglers fish this area. If more anglers fished here more blackmouth would be caught. This is a great place to troll on an outgoing tide from the buoy area all the way to Green Point. Or if starting at Green Point you can troll with the current all the way to the end of the spit. Trolling here is not my first choice of locations but could be a great choice when other areas lack fish or have too many anglers.

Look for bait and keep your baits or lures close to the bottom, within 10 feet for maximum effectiveness. If you don’t see any bait or salmon marks on your sonar unit after a full length troll move to another location. If you do see bait or salmon marks work the area and troll the 90 to 120 foot contour line.

Best Tides: high or low

Best depths: 90 to 120-feet.

Best methods: trolling within 5 to 10-feet of bottom.

Best trolling lures: mini FAT Squids, Squiddy Squids, Coho Killers, Kingfisher Spoons and Floochies.

Boat launches: Best access is from John Wayne Marina,  Ediz Hook launch or  Port of Port Angles launch.

Posted in Dungeness Spit Salmon Fishing Map, Marine Area 6 Salmon Fishing Maps, Port Angeles Salmon Fishing, Salmon Fishing, Salmon Fishing Maps, Salmon Fishing Tackle, Salmon Fishing Tips & Tricks, Sequim Salmon Fishing Map, Uncategorized, Washington Salmon Fishing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

SB 5617 A New Effort to Ban Non-Tribal Gill Nets in Washington State Waters

777777There’s a new effort to ban non-tribal gill nets in Washington’s waters. Over the years there’s been several efforts made to ban gill nets but so far they have all failed. Now, with Southern Resident Orca Whale populations in jeopardy there’s a renewed effort and lots more support.

SB 5617 – 2019-20 already has 24 Washington State Senators sponsoring this bill which should give it the push needed to get it passed through the Washington State Senate. If it passes the senate it should pass the house and get signed by Governor Inslee.

SB 5617, Banning the use of nontribal gill nets Sponsors: Salomon, Braun, Van De Wege, Rolfes, Wilson, L., Rivers, Fortunato, Palumbo, Keiser, Das, Frockt, Randall, Warnick, Hunt, Honeyford, Brown, Cleveland, Saldaña, Nguyen, Darneille, Conway, Pedersen, Wilson, C., Liias

WhalesFamily

Take Action Today, Save Fish and Save Orcas

If your Senator is not listed above please send an email to your Senator asking that they sign on to SB 5617. If your Senator is one of the sponsors please send a quick email thanking them for sponsoring this important bill. You can find your senator here.

Here’s a link to the bill:

http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2019-20/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Bills/5617.pdf

A quick read of the bill shows a buy-out process to be completed by Dec. 31, 2022 and effective Jan. 1, 2023 a prohibition on using gill nets as a means of taking salmon in state waters.

This Senate Bill is an excellent start. Many more measures will need to be put into place, such as dealing with the over population of seals and sea lions.

 

Posted in Salmon Fishing, Senate Bill SB 5617, Uncategorized, Washington Salmon Fishing, Washington State Salmon Politics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Point Salmon Fishing Map

green point

Green Point sits between Port Angeles and Sequim and offers decent fishing without crowds. Often times you will see commercial geoduck boats closer to shore harvesting the big clams with pressure hoses. I firmly believe their activity attracts bait and blackmouth to the area because of the bottom disturbance.

Chaik2Fishing close to bottom is best here and fairly easy to troll the contour line. Anglers fish both tides here.  If the current is strong pick up your gear at the end of the troll and go back to the start of the troll and troll with the current. Be sure to troll fast enough to get your lures to work. I’d rather troll on the fast side than troll to slow with lures. When using bait, however, you can troll super slow with the current.

Best Tides: high or low

Best depths: 90 to 140-feet.

Best methods: trolling within 5 to 10-feet of bottom. Bounce bottom occasionally to kick up the sediment.

Best trolling lures: mini FAT Squids, Squiddy Squids, Coho Killers, Kingfisher Spoons and Floochies.

Boat launches: Best access is from Ediz Hook launch,  Port of Port Angles launch or John Wayne Marina.

Posted in Green Point Salmon Fishing Map, Marine Area 6 Salmon Fishing Maps, Port Angeles Salmon Fishing, Salmon Fishing, Salmon Fishing Maps, Salmon Fishing Tackle, Salmon Fishing Tips & Tricks, Sequim Salmon Fishing Map, Uncategorized, Washington Salmon Fishing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Coyote Bank Salmon Fishing Map

coyote bank

Coyote Bank gets red hot for Winter blackmouth at times but has a few drawbacks. Coyote Bank sits 11 nautical miles from the tip of Ediz Hook in the middle of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Getting there can be rough at times so always watch the weather, better safe than sorry.

Trolling close to the bottom here just does not pay off because of the high amounts of rockfish and baby lingcod. Instead, I typically keep lures and bait 30 to 40 feet off bottom. When trolling the top of the bank be ready to speed up to avoid the large schools of rockfish. The best troll to avoid rockfish and lingcod is on the sloped side of the bank. Also be aware of your location at all times as the Canadian border runs at an angle through the bank.

Best Tides: high or low

Best depths: 120 to 160-feet.

Best methods: trolling within 30 to 40-feet of bottom.

Best trolling lures: mini FAT Squids, Squiddy Squids, Coho Killers, Kingfisher Spoons and Floochies.

Boat launches: Best access is from Ediz Hook launch,  Port of Port Angles launch or John Wayne Marina.

Posted in Coyote Bank Salmon Map, Marine Area 6 Salmon Fishing Maps, Port Angeles Salmon Fishing, Salmon Fishing, Salmon Fishing Maps, Salmon Fishing Tackle, Salmon Fishing Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized, Washington Salmon Fishing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ediz Hook Salmon Fishing Map

ediz hook

Ediz Hook can be extremely good for winter blackmouth or Summer Chinook. As you can see by the yellow troll line anglers can round the corner from “The Hook” and begin trolling Ediz Hook. During summer months big kings often move shallow into 25 to 45-feet. Typically the blackmouth stay in the 80 to 140-foot contour. This area can hide unseen commercial crab pot buoys so beware and be ready to turn quickly as these buoys are often barely above water.

Blackmouth Spoons

Kingfisher spoons work great here.

Ediz Hook fishes well on an outgoing or incoming tide. The best area, in my opinion starts at the U.S. Coast Guard station and continues West along the spit all the way to the old mill. Like all other areas search for bait and you will find hungry blackmouth. While I like to keep my gear close to bottom, this is an area that has lots of big rocks, lost crab pots and other debris that can ruin your day. With that warning out of the way try to keep your gear close, but not to close, usually within 20 feet off bottom and make sure someone is watching and calling out depths to the angler maintaining depth control.

Best depths: 90 to 140-feet

Best methods: trolling within 10 to 20-feet of bottom.

Best trolling lures: Coho Killers, mini FAT Squids, Squiddy Squids, Kingfisher Spoons and Floochies.

Boat launches: Best access is from Ediz Hook launch or Port of Port Angles launch.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment