Outdoors

Fishing Resorts Have High Hopes For Humpies

It’s August 1995, and that means Washington anglers are in the pink.

Odd-numbered years spell the every-other-year return of pink salmon to Puget Sound.

Pinks also are known as humpies, because of the hump that forms on their backs as they migrate from the ocean and into freshwater spawning areas.

The nine million humpies forecast to be moving through the Strait of Juan de Fuca might have flushed through with little fanfare a decade ago.

But they’re a big deal this year.

Because of numerous ocean closures to protect struggling coho and chinook runs, the pink salmon could be the lifeblood for economically depressed fishing resorts, not to mention piscatorially deprived salmon anglers.

Pink salmon run 4-15 pounds. Some anglers say they don’t match coho and chinooks for taste.

Others say they’re just fine, thank you.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department has even produced a special “Fishing for Pink Salmon” instruction and identification brochure available from West Side license dealers.

The pamphlet describes techniques for taking humpies in saltwater, as well as freshwater tactics that can be used as about 3 million of the pinks hit the Skagit, Stillaguamish, Snohomish and Nooksack river systems.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo



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