August The Bonus Round For NW Anglers

This is still the West Coast, site of a much publicized salmon fishing failure, perpetually ailing runs and outlandishly off run forecasts, right?

Well, yes, but for the rest of this summer, we’re going to be up to our gills in so many salmon that state fishery managers are bumping some limits to twice, even three times usual levels.

Of course, the coho and silvers must still come in, but starting August 1, Washington’s Lower Columbia River tribs switch to six adult hatchery coho limits, and two marine areas in northern Puget Sound open for up to four pink salmon a day.

Screw the little blue cooler, you’ll need the 120-quart size the rest of this summer!

And you can count on Northwest Sportsman to help you fill that cooler too, with our big meaty pieces on Puget Sound pinks in the July and August issues and coho every month from June through October.

Bonus limits are already in play at Sekiu and Port Angeles, which saw 100-pink catches last week, and they begin this weekend in Areas 8-1 and 8-2. They will both see somewhere around 3.5 million humpies the next two months.

The mega-coho limits are in the fishing pamphlet, but to make it even more clear, WDFW fired off a press release just a bit ago.

Couched as an effort to aid wild-salmon recovery, six-fish limits are in play on eight tribs thanks to an expected return of 700,000 coho past Buoy 10 at the mouth of the Columbia River, the biggest forecast since 2001.

To help keep hatchery fish from shacking up with wild ones, you’ll be able to bonk up to six fin-clipped adult coho on the Cowlitz, Elochoman, Grays (including the West Fork), Kalama, Lewis (including the North Fork), Toutle (including the Green and North Fork) and Washougal rivers, plus the Klickitat. Last year, only the Cowlitz had a six-salmon daily limit.

Two Chinook can be part of the six-fish limit, but rules vary by river.

Other bonus fisheries include proposed September silver fisheries off the Oregon coast and on four wild-coho rivers.

If you’ll recall, that same stretch of coast was hard hit by last year’s salmon fishing disaster. But forget about that for now — and forget the botched Columbia spring Chinook run forecast, never mind lower king runs on the Oregon Coast or the woe that is Lake Washington sockeye.

Summer 2009 means big limits. Go on, pick up your bonus.

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