UPDATED 10:10 A.M., JAN. 4, 2011 WITH REVISED NUMBERS THAT SHOW THE ALBACORE CATCH WAS EVEN HIGHER THAN FIRST REPORTED.
Preliminary data obtained by Northwest Sportsman shows that 2010 may have been the best year yet for recreational albacore fishing off Washington’s coast.
A total of 31,508 tuna were landed last year, according to the state Department of Fish & Wildlife.
That’s at least 6,400-plus albies above previous high marks seen in 2007 (25,083) and 2006 (just under 25,000).
The figures, which are still being worked on though aren’t expected to change much, show that private boats brought in 12,358 while those aboard charters accounted for 19,150.
Both are apparent records back through at least 2007 and likely beyond.
Part of last year’s bump may be due to the two albacore derbies held on the coast, one out of Ilwaco, the other out of Westport.
Washington’s 2010 albie catch was still nowhere close to Oregon’s. Last week, we learned that the Beaver State’s fleet brought an estimated 37,743 tuna back to Newport, Coos Bay, Garibaldi and other ports there, according to preliminary stats from ODFW’s Eric Schindler.
That puts 2010 behind only 2007 (58,922) and 2009 (42,055).
Final numbers for Washington come out in early February.
The state’s primary albacore ports are Westport and Ilwaco, though some tuna are brought back to La Push and Neah Bay.