Whoa — Big Pink Catch At Sekiu

WDFW has just posted their weekly creel sampling for Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca and one particular number stands out.

Make that three, actually.

Five-six-six.

As in, 566.

That’s how many pinks were tallied at just one of the docks in Sekiu yesterday.

While that is small potatoes for how many are hauled into Everett’s 10th St. ramp When The Run Is On — 2,256 alone on Aug. 29, 2009 — some very rudimentary quick-and-dirty data mining shows only one day comes anywhere close to that all the way back to the year of our pinkness 2001. On Aug. 11, 2007, 513 came into Olson’s.

All totaled on Sunday 772 of the odd-year salmon got a lift back to one of Olson’s two ramps as well as Van Riper’s, both in Sekiu.

“That was the number — I double checked them,” says Larry Bennett, WDFW’s creel checker based in Port Angeles.

He notes that Chinook catches there have been “pretty decent” as well.

Adds Steve Thiesfeld, Puget Sound recreational salmon manager, “Half a (Chinook) per boat — not bad. Beats one out of ten in Puget Sound.”

So why the high pink catch?

“It could have been anything,” says Thiesfeld, speculating, “Maybe the weather was nice and (anglers) stayed out longer.”

He says that in past years, sport and commercial data “clearly” shows pods of fish moving through the area on certain days, but if anything, the weekend should have been down based on test fishing by the Pacific Salmon Commission on the Vancouver Island side of the Straits across from CQ.

Right now, anglers on the U.S. side can keep two hatchery Chinook and two pinks (or four pinks total) and that may be keeping the pink catch down. However, king retention ends Aug. 15, and with that, Bennett forecasts higher humpy sackage.

I’m not quite ready to declare WDFW’s projection of a 6-million-humpy return null and void, but, ummm … better get yourself a copy of the August issue of Northwest Sportsman to get your fair share. It’s on newsstands now!

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