It is game on right now for an estimated 5.1 million pink salmon that are flooding into Puget Sound.
“The pinks are as thick as fleas, and there are clearly lots of them around and the enthusiasm among fishermen is there, so it is great,” said Gary Krein, owner of All Star Charters in Everett.
Take these numbers from the Everett ramp last Sunday: 309 boats with 721 anglers kept eight chinook, 32 coho and 1,720 pinks.
Good pink shoreline spots are Lincoln Park, Dash Point, Kayak Point, Point No Point, Deception Pass, Meadowdale, Picnic Point, Possession Point on east Whidbey Island, and from Fort Casey to Bush Point on west Whidbey Island.
Hooking the fish is as simple as lining up with other anglers along the shore and casting and retrieving pink Buzz Bomb lures.
If there is any indication on how long this will last, just take a look out in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, where the pinks and some coho are keeping folks busy.
“The pink fishing is still hanging on, and there are good numbers of them around,” said Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife sampler in the Strait.
“I’m seeing some pretty decent coho numbers right now. It looks like it will be a good coho run, although maybe not extraordinarily high.”
On the coast, the ocean salmon fishery off Ilwaco has been so good that it will close after Monday.
A Snake River fall chinook salmon harvest season will open Tuesday between Lewiston and Hells Canyon Dam.
That’s the same day Snake River steelhead harvest season opens.
Steelhead have been pouring over the Columbia’s Bonnevillle Dam at a record rate recently.
Fall chinook salmon headed into the Snake River aren’t nearly as plentiful, but Idaho fisheries managers predict the largest run in four decades, with more 28,000 fall chinook expected to cross Lower Granite Dam.
Most of them are headed for the Snake River above the mouth of the Clearwater River.
The daily limit is one adult or jack fall chinook, and three in possession.
Anglers may keep only fish with a clipped adipose fin, evidenced by a healed scar, and they may keep 40 salmon for the year, including spring, summer and fall chinook.
All salmon and steelhead with an intact adipose fin must be immediately released unharmed back to the water.
Washington also will open two sections of the lower Snake River to chinook salmon fishing on Tuesday.