Outdoors blog

Pink salmon flooding into Puget Sound

A pink – or humpback – salmon caught by Vladimir Veliovski of Pacific, Wash., flops on the beach Aug. 4 before Veliovski can get his hands on it. About 50 fishermen were catching pinks from shore and pier at Dash Point Park. Tacoma News Tribune (Tacoma News Tribune / The Spokesman-Review)
A pink – or humpback – salmon caught by Vladimir Veliovski of Pacific, Wash., flops on the beach Aug. 4 before Veliovski can get his hands on it. About 50 fishermen were catching pinks from shore and pier at Dash Point Park. Tacoma News Tribune (Tacoma News Tribune / The Spokesman-Review)

SALMON FISHING -- Puget Sound anglers are in the pink, hooking up with the building surge of six million pink salmon forecast to flood Puget Sound during the next two months.

The catch of pink salmon hit an all-time high last week at Sekiu in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, according to Washington Fish and Wildlife Department creel surveyors.

And now the fish are pushing into Puget Sound and close to cities.  Northwest Sportsman's online magazine reports plenty of pinks are available for today's opening in the Lower Puyallup area

“The overall expectations are for a pretty darn good fishery, and I’ve seen some reports there are already pinks in Area 11 (south central Puget Sound),” Steve Thiesfeld, the state Fish and Wildlife Puget Sound salmon manager, told the Seattle Times.

While this summer’s forecast is 3 million fewer pinks than the 2009 record return — pinks only return in odd-numbered years — Thiesfeld says it will be an abundant run.

Another fisheries biologist fishing off Bush Point on the west side of Whidbey Island says the humpies (a term the male fish receive for a distinct hump that grows on their back at spawning time) were “rolling all over the place” this week.

The huge number means that in almost all marine areas of Puget Sound, except southern Puget Sound, anglers will be able to keep up to four pinks daily.

Shorebound anglers can also get into the action as pinks tend to congregate closely to beaches.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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