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Has Boldt Decision eroded resolve to save wild salmon?

FISHING — I'm not noticing much celebration of the 40th anniversary of the landmark court decision that awarded Indian tribes rights to half of the Pacific salmon returning to their traditional waters.

It's still a political hot potato.

Seattle Times columnist Ron Judd has written a thoughtful piece about the impacts the Boldt Decision has had on our collective resolve to make sure wild salmon continue to be a thriving icon of the Pacific Northwest.

It's worth everybody's time to think about this subject.

2014 poised to be year of the salmon in Washington

SALMON FISHING — The early forecasts are phenomenal.  If you're not making plans for salmon fishing this year, get your head examined.

Here's the latest report from Joe Hymer, salmon specialist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife:

In addition to nearly a million Columbia River coho swimming in the ocean, 1.6 million fall Chinook are expected to the Columbia River in 2014, the largest return since at least 1938!

Nearly 1 million of those Chinook are expected to be upriver brights of which 2/3 will be four-year-olds. 

This year’s forecasted run is over 25% larger than the 2013 actual return.  Last year’s actual return came in nearly twice as large as the preseason forecast.  

Latest spring chinook forecast looks promising

FISHING — The chart above was just released by Columbia River fisheries managers.  Get your tackle rigged.

2013 was a year of records for fish

FISHING — In my Dec. 29 package of stories looking back at 2013 from the outdoors perspective, fish and fishing were riddled through everything, even beyond the one story focused on fishing highlights.

It was a year to remember — one we'll be referring to again and again as we compare future numbers to records set in 2013.

The end of year fish counts weren't official when I filed my 2013 in review story on Dec. 29. But Andy Walgamott of Northwest Sportsman has this list of record numbers to remember in his just-posted look back at 2013 outdoors.


1,200,000-plus Estimated fall Chinook run size at the mouth of the river

952,944 Final passage at Bonneville Dam

253,575 Sept. 7-11 king count at the dam, a period which included the first, second, third, sixth and seventh largest single-day tallies back to 1938

63,870 Record daily fall Chinook count at Bonneville, set Sept. 9

30,306 Record daily fall Chinook count at McNary Dam, set Sept. 22

29,307 Aug. 1-Sept. 22 king catch in Columbia between Buoy 10 and Bonneville, 1,000 more than old record

23,332 Estimated upriver bright catch in the Hanford Reach, 10,000 more than old record

Not a lot of individual fish set records in 2013, but those that did were impressive, especially the lunker mackinaw landed by a former Spokanite and handled like a baby for official weighing on a hospital emergency room scale used for infants:



Lake Trout, 35.63 pounds, Phil Colyar, Lake Chelan. Lake whitefish, 6.81 pounds, Tony Martin, Lake Rufus Woods.

• Saltwater records: Dolphinfish (dorado), 16.27 pounds; Pacific Hake, 4.06 pounds; Opah, 28.18 pounds.


Tiger musky, 44 pounds 4 ounces, Edward Kalinowski, Little Payette Lake.

*Idaho’s largest rainbow was landed below Dworshak Dam, but the 28-pound, 9-ounce fish isn’t an official record. Nez Perce member Tui Moliga legally caught lunker under tribal rules. But N. Fork Clearwater was closed to nontribal harvest of rainbows over 20”, so it didn’t qualify for record status. 

2014 spring chinook forecast sees more fish

FISHING — The chart above, just released by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, is an early forecast for spring and summer chinook returning to the Columbia River next year.

The numbers suggest that almost twice as many spring chinook will return to the system to delight anglers in 2014 while the numbers of summer chinook bound for the upper Columbia could be slightly down.

The numbers will be updated several times over the coming months.

Time running out on Idaho fall chinook fishing

FISHING — Chinook salmon fishing will end in Idaho on the Snake and Clearwater rivers Thursday, Oct. 31 – except a short reach on the Snake River below Hells Canyon Dam, which closes November 17.

The season opened Sept. 1, on the Snake River between Lewiston and Hells Canyon Dam, in the lower Clearwater River downstream of the U.S. Highway 12 Memorial Bridge in Lewiston, and in the Salmon River from its mouth upstream to Eye of the Needle Rapids.

The Snake River, from Cliff Mountain Rapids to Hells Canyon Dam, remains open until further notice or November 17.

The daily bag limit is six adult Chinook salmon, the possession limit is 18 adult Chinook and there is no fall season limit on adult Chinook. Only adipose-fin-clipped salmon may be kept.

Only adult Chinook must be recorded on the angler's salmon permit. There are no limits on jacks, but anglers must have a valid Idaho fishing license and salmon permit to fish for salmon.

This year, a record of around 55,000 adult fall hatchery-origin Chinook and about 21,500 jacks have crossed Lower Granite Dam, many of them returning to the Snake River above Lewiston. 

Fishing ends today on Yakima’s record fall chinook run

FISHING — It's been one heck of a ride for Yakima River fall chinook anglers.  Here's the latest report Washington Fish and Wildlife Department fisheries biologist Paul Hoffarth as the Lower Yakima River season is scheduled to close today, Oct. 22:

The fall salmon fishery in the lower Yakima River is coming to a close. The last day of fishing is Tuesday, October 22, 2013.  WDFW staff interviewed 260 anglers between October 14th and 20th.  Anglers reported harvesting 102 adult Chinook, 4 jacks, and 1 coho.  An estimated 821 adult fall Chinook, 29 jacks, and 4 coho were harvested this past week from 1,961 angler trips.

For the season, 7,903 anglers trips have been taken and 2,478 adult Chinook, 342 chinook jacks, and 87 coho have been harvested.  This year’s harvest breaks the record of 2,300 fall Chinook set in 2002 when over 13,000 fall Chinook returned to the Yakima River.

Chinook catch rates still high at Hanford; fish quality lower

FISHING — The latest fall chinook creel report from the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River says the fishing pressure continues to decline but anglers still working the record salmon run were averaging an excellent 2.7 fish per boat.

However, with the season heading toward the Oct. 31 closure, the quality of the salmon is degrading as they ripen for spawning.  

Paul Hoffarth, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist for the area said that, based on anecdotal information from anglers and creel surveyors, he'd say, "Roughly 20% are still edible, 20% are smokers, and 60% are more than ready to spawn."

Here's Hoffarth's summary of the survey data for last week.

The number of boats on the water in the Hanford Reach continues to decline as the season nears the end.  The Columbia River between the old Hanford townsite wooden powerline towers and Priest Rapids Dam will close to fishing for salmon on October 22.  The river from the Hwy 395 bridge in Kennewick/Pasco upstream to the old Hanford townsite will remain open to fishing for salmon through October 31. 

There were an estimated 3,981 angler trips for salmon this past week.  Anglers averaged 2.7 Chinook per boat and 12 hours for each Chinook caught from the bank.

Staff interviewed anglers from 387 boats (941 boat anglers) and 215 bank anglers fishing for Chinook reporting a harvest of 1,074 adult Chinook and 60 jacks.  Harvest for the week was estimated at 4,009 adult Chinook and 224 Chinook jacks. 

For the season, 23,332 adult Chinook and 2,588 jacks have been harvested.  The adult harvest breaks the previous record of 13,102 adults harvested set last year.  There have been 37,062 angler trips for the fishery through October 20. The in-season run update for natural origin adult Hanford Reach fall Chinook returning to the Hanford Reach is 132,692 (updated Oct 15).

Idaho anglers getting their shot at fall chinook

FISHING — Through today, anglers have caught 267 marked adults and 161 jacks fall Chinook and caught and released 1,142 unmarked fish in the lower Clearwater River, accordnig to an Idaho Fish and Game Departmetnt creel report.

They caught and kept 861 adults and 671 jacks in the Snake River, for a total of 1,532 fish. Hatchery-origin fish are marked with a clipped adipose fin.

This year, almost 54,812 adult fall hatchery-origin Chinook and about 21,366 jacks crossed Lower Granite Dam, many of them returned to the Snake River above Lewiston. 

Salmon poisoning: Dog’s fishing trip ends with trip to veterinarian

FISHING — John and Gail Palumbo of Spokane have taken their dogs with them on salmon fishing trips to the Columbia for years, the the odds for their dogs contracting "salmon poisoning" caught up to them this week.

Writes Gail:

Want to thank you for the article on 9/29/13 about Salmon Poisoning in dogs. Fankly we had never heard of it. We go salmon fishing every year below the Priest Rapids dam. (I call it "Camping at the Rock.") We have been going there for years and taking our dogs with.

We have two new young dogs this year and it was a first for both of them to come along.
We read your article and tried to keep the dogs away from the carcasses left on the beach when we were ashore.

Long story short: one of our young dogs (9 mos.) is at the vet now with Salmon Poisoning. We did not put 2 and 2 together about his symptoms until he was quite ill and took him into the vet. After blood tests they confirmed it.
We thought this would never happen to us.  All the years going fishing here and taking dogs and everyone else taking dogs, no dogs had ever gotten sick nor even heard of this poisoning.

Hanford Reach salmon effort thins, catch stays high

FISHING — Chinook salmon anglers are finding a little more elbow room on the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River and anglers numbers declinced slightly last week, but the catch rates on the 2013 record run remain high.

Here's the report just received from Paul Hoffarth, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife area fisheries biologist:

The number of boats on the water in the Hanford Reach dropped a bit this past week compared to the two weeks prior.  There were an estimated 5,123 angler trips for the week.  Anglers averaged 2.2 Chinook per boat and 20 hours for each Chinook caught from the bank.

Staff interviewed anglers from 572 boats (1,309 boat anglers) and 227 bank anglers fishing for Chinook reporting a harvest of 1,221 adult Chinook and 102 jacks.  Harvest for the week was estimated at 4,357 adult Chinook and 357 Chinook jacks. 

For the season, 19,313 adult Chinook and 2,365 jacks have been harvested.  The adult harvest breaks the previous record of 13,102 adults harvested set last year.  There have been 33,081 angler trips for the fishery through October 13. The in-season run update for natural origin adult Hanford Reach fall Chinook returning to the Hanford Reach is 136,902 (updated Oct 7).

Yakima River fishing for chinooks hasn't been bad, either.  Says Hoffarth:

WDFW staff interviewed 185 anglers between October 7th and 13th.  Anglers reported harvesting 86 adult Chinook, 14 jacks, and 7 coho.  An estimated 662 adult fall Chinook, 148 jacks, and 76 coho were harvested this past week from 1,657 angler trips.  Anglers averaged 1 salmon for every 4.4 hours fished.

For the season, 5,942 anglers trips have been taken and 995 adult Chinook, 313 chinook jacks, and 83 coho have been harvested.

Update on fall chinook salmon record run

FISHING — Although steelhead fishing has opened in the Ringold area of the Columbia River's Hanford Reach, most angling pressure has been focused on the record run of chinook salmon packing into the area.

Anglers last week AVERAGED 2.5 chinooks per boat as they set sportfishing records for chinook caught in the free-flowing stretch between the Tri Cities and Priest Rapids Dam.  Awesome.

The chinooks also are setting records on the Snake River.

The total count at Bonneville Dam this year through Monday is 904,855 adult fall chinook, already far beyond the previous seasonal record count of 610,244 set in 2003. Bonneville is the first hydro project the fish encounter on their way upstream to the mid-Columbia and the Snake River. 
The count as of Monday at Lower Granite on the Snake River was 52,277, well past the previous record of 41,815 set in 2010. Fish continue to move over Lower Granite at the rate of 400-500 a day.
The Snake River fish pass over four Columbia River dams before turning into the Snake. Lower Granite is the last of four passable dams on the lower Snake before the fish head into the Lewiston-Clarkston area, the Clearwater and up the Snake farther to the Salmon River.
The counts at the lower Snake River’s Lower Granite Dam include wild Snake River fall chinook that are listed under the Endangered Species Act. 

Hanford Reach anglers catch record number of fall chinook

SALMON FISHING — The 2013 record run of chinook salmon that's stampeding up the Columbia River is making history, and so are anglers.

Sport fishermen caught a record number of chinook in the lower Columbia when the run was peaking there.

Now Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife creel surveys have confirmed that anglers alrealdy have set a record for the catch in the Hanford Reach, where they averaged a whopping 2.5 kings per boat last week.

And the season doesn't close until Oct. 22 in that stretch of river.

Here's the report just received from Paul Hoffarth, WDFW fisheries biologist in the Tri Cities.

Angler effort remained strong this past week with an estimated 7,714 angler trips for the week.  Anglers averaged 2.5 Chinook per boat.

Staff interviewed anglers from 477 boats (1,191 boat anglers) and 382 bank anglers fishing for Chinook reporting a harvest of 1,099 adult Chinook and 107 jacks.  Harvest for the week was estimated at 6,531 adult Chinook and 651 Chinook jacks. 

For the season, 14,967 adult Chinook and 2,014 jacks have been harvested.  The adult harvest breaks the previous record of 13,102 adults harvested set last year.  There have been 27,958 angler trips for the fishery through October 6.

The in-season run update for natural origin adult Hanford Reach fall Chinook returning to the Hanford Reach is 181,137 (updated Oct 1).

Landers verifies Columbia River’s record run of chinook salmon

FISHING — Four people, including me, reeled 13 chinook salmon to the boat today in the Hanford Reach and got eight of them INTO the boat.

That's a good indication that the record run of chinook salmon heading up the Columbia and Snake Rivers is the real deal.

We were fishing with Toby Wyatt and Jim Havener of Reel Time Fishing on Wyatt's 27-foot boat, which he built with his dad in Clarkston.

Fishing: Chinook, steelhead surge in Snake River

FISHING — Oh, what a difference a little rain and cooler water temperatures have made to erase the thermal barrier that had been keeping steelhead and chinook salmon from progressing up the Snake River.

Graphs show the surge of each species booming up over Lower Granite Dam in the past few days en route to the Snake, Clearwater and Salmon river fisheries in Idaho.

Fish on!

It’s official: Columbia chinook run largest in 75 years

SALMON FISHING — The 2013 fall chinook salmon run heading up the Columbia has been setting daily records for the past 10 days, and today it surpassed the overall record for the biggest run of salmon or steelhead to head upstream since counting began at Bonneville Dam in 1938.

By 1 p.m. today the fall chinook run had eclipsed the record of 610,700 fish counted in 2003, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists say.

And more chinook are still coming, headed for the Hanford Reach, upper Columbia, Snake, Clearwater and Salmon rivers.

On Tuesday, regional fish managers predicted the run could go as high as 835,000 adult chinook.

Record-breaking chinook run prompts season changes

SALMON FISHING — With more upriver fall chinook salmon returning to the Columbia River than any time in the past 75 years, Washington and Oregon fishery managers are expanding sport fishing options below Bonneville Dam beginning Friday, Sept. 13.

"This will be a fishing season to remember," said Guy Norman, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife southwest regional director. "This year’s run of upriver fall chinook is through the roof, and a positive sign that regional efforts to rebuild this salmon population are making a difference."

About 92,000 fall chinook have already crossed McNary Dam south of the Tri-Cities and 26,000 have been counted at Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River.

Read on for the details on the lower Columbia rule change announced this afternoon:

Fall chinook run smashing all records on Columbia

SALMON FISHING — It's not a run of fall chinook coming up the Columbia River this season, it's a stampede.

On Tuesday, regional fish managers upped their forecast for this year's fall chinook returns to 835,000 adult upriver brights reaching Bonneville Dam, which would smash the record of 610,436 set in 2003.

The count over Bonneville Dam Wednesday night totaled 573,567 with 42,506 fish coming up on Wednesday alone. That's the sixth highest single-day count since record-keeping started in 1938, and it's probably the DOWNSIDE of the run's peak.

This year's run set three single-day record numbers over Bonneville Dam in the past week, peaking with 63,870 on Monday.

"It’s a string that is mind-boggling, historic — Chin-pocalypse in the words of one angler who stands to reap the benefits, king-ageddon," exclaims Andy Walgamott of Northwest Sportsman magazine. "It’s not just the Columbia. There are signs that Puget Sound pink salmon were hugely underforecast, and the Oregon and California Coasts’ Chinook season was bonkers."

The largest percentage of the upriver chinooks crossing Bonneville Dam is headed for the Hanford Reach of the Columbia as well as to the Snake, Clearwater and Salmon rivers in Idaho.

I'll make the easy forecast and predict that thousands of anglers will be there to greet them this season.

Steelhead forecasts

Columbia-Snake fish managers adjusted the forecast for A-run steelhead to 205,000 fish, including 86,000 wild steelhead.  That's an increase from the previous week's forecast, but still below the preseason forecast of 291,000.  The A-run fish provide the fisheries for Snake River tributaries including the Grande Ronde as well as the Upper Columbia and tributaries.

The size of the B-run steelhead bound mostly for Idaho's Clearwater River has not been updated, yet, but it continues to track behind expectations.

Surge of fall chinook smashes daily record over Bonneville Dam

UPDATED at 11:35 a.m.

SALMON FISHING — In case you haven't been paying attention, a huge run of fall chinook is heading up the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

If you need more evidence, here it is:  63,870 adult fall chinook were counted at Bonneville Dam Monday, smashing the record of 48,710 set just last Saturday.  

The record before that was 45,884 fish on Sept. 11, 2003. 

"As far as I can tell going back through the annual counts since 1938, the 63,870 adult chinook counted yesterday at Bonneville Dam may be a RECORD DAILY COUNT FOR ALL SALMONIDS, not just fall chinook," said Joe Hymper, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist in Vancouver. 

"The 475,000 adult fall chinook counted at Bonneville Dam to date is the 3rd highest on record for the entire run (August through December).  Only 2003 (610,000) and 2004 (584,000) are larger."  

Watch today’s parade of fish.

They'll be showing up on the hooks of anglers in the Handford Reach of the Columbia and the Clearwater River in Idaho soon.

Chinook run stalls at Lower Granite

FISHING — An unusually lengthy warm season in the interior Columbia Basin, combined with low water volumes, has apparently given, first sockeye salmon and then fall chinook salmon, reason to pause before they jump an eighth and final hydro hurdle — the lower Snake River’s Lower Granite Dam— on their spawning journey.

Read a detailed update on the sistuation from the Columbia Basin Bulletin.

In a nutshell, if you don't hold the dam at fault, it's the weather's fault.

Fall chinook stampeding up Columbia system

SALMON FISHING — The huge run of fall chinook forecast for the Columbia and Snake rivers got a booming start last week.

In a three-day stretch last week, nearly 85,000 fall chinook moved up over Bonneville, with almost 34,000 of those coming up river on Friday tapering to a rush of 27,000 on Monday.

Steelhead and coho also are in the mix, boosting the counts of quality fishing potential even higher.

Fishing writer Rob Phillips says anglers already have been nailing these fish at the mouth of the Klickitat and the mouth of the Deschutes rivers.

The bulk of the fishery is headed for the Hanford Reach of the Columbia, but Phillips details other hot spots up through the Tri-Cities in the upper Columbia in his Yakima Herald—Republic column.

Hot Buoy 10 salmon season gets reprieve

SALMON FISHING — Fish managers have just announced a compromise rule that will prevent the wildly successful Buoy 10 chinook fishery from being shut down prematurely.  Here's the news from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Columbia River anglers fishing Buoy 10

must release wild chinook starting Friday

OLYMPIA – Starting Friday (Aug. 23), anglers fishing at the Buoy 10 fishery near the mouth of the Columbia River will be required to release any wild chinook salmon they intercept, but are currently cleared to catch hatchery chinook through Sept. 1.

Those provisions of a new rule adopted today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon are designed to minimize impacts on wild stocks, while allowing the popular fishing season to continue as previously planned.

Fishery managers from both states have scheduled another meeting Aug. 27 to review the catch and consider any necessary changes to the fishery.

Catch rates for chinook salmon have soared since the fishery opened Aug.1, prompting fishery managers to consider an early closure, said Ron Roler, Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

In the past week, anglers fishing the Buoy 10 area in the lower 16 miles of the Columbia River have been catching up to 1,600 chinook per day, Roler said.

“Our primary concern is wild chinook bound for tributaries of the lower Columbia River to spawn,” he said. “But fishery managers from both states agreed we could provide adequate protection for those fish without closing the chinook fishery ahead of schedule.”

Under the rule approved today, anglers may retain only those chinook salmon marked as hatchery fish with a clipped adipose fin or a missing left ventral fin.

Barbless hooks are currently required to fish for salmon on the Columbia River, making it easier for anglers to release wild fish unharmed, Roler said.

Anglers fishing the Buoy 10 area have a two-fish daily limit, only one of which may be a chinook salmon. Hatchery coho and hatchery steelhead may be retained to make up the two-fish daily limit.

See more information on current fishing regulations in Washington.

An estimated 678,000 fall chinook salmon are predicted to enter the Columbia River, well above the 10-year average. Fishing for hatchery and wild chinook is currently open from the mouth of the river upstream to Priest Rapids Dam in central Washington.

Buoy 10 king salmon fishing season too hot to last?

UPDATE at 5 p.m.:  Hot Buoy 10 fishery gets reprieve.

SALMON FISHING — With anglers catching up to 1,600 chinook salmon a day at Buoy 10, the fishery at the mouth of the Columbia is nearing it's quota for kings earlier than normal.

Al Thomas of the Vancouver Columbian reports the season could be closed as early as Thursday.

But fish managers are meeting this afternoon to see if they can work out a plan to extend the fishery through the weekend.

Pink salmon create crowds of anglers along Puget Sound shoreline

FISHING — The huge run of pink salmon moving into Puget Sound is creating what former S-R reporter Adam Lynn calls "Salmon fishing madness in West Seattle."  

Lynn, now a reporter for the Tacoma News-Tribune, is a regular contributor to the madness in these odd-numbered years when pinks pour into Puget Sound streams to spawn.

Snake River fall chinook season opens Sept. 1

SALMON FISHING – Starting Sept. 1, anglers will be able to catch and keep hatchery fall chinook salmon on the Snake River in Washington, the Fish and Wildlife Department has announced.

State fishery managers are predicting another strong return of upriver bright chinook salmon to the Snake River this year and have expanded the daily catch limit to include three adult hatchery chinook, plus six hatchery jack chinook under 24 inches in length.

Anglers may also catch and keep up to three hatchery steelhead, but must stop fishing for the day for both hatchery chinook and steelhead once they have taken their three-fish steelhead limit. The retention season for hatchery steelhead on the Snake River opened on Jun. 16 this year.

Barbless hooks are required, and any salmon or steelhead not marked as a hatchery fish by a clipped adipose fin must be released, along with any chinook salmon under 12 inches.

The fishery will be open seven days a week and will extend from beneath the southbound lanes of the Highway 12 Bridge near Pasco upriver to the Oregon state line, approximately 7 miles upstream of the mouth of the Grande Ronde River.

“This fishing opportunity for hatchery chinook salmon is a bonus for anglers during the traditionally productive Snake River steelhead fishery,” said John Whalen, regional fish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Whalen said the retention fishery for chinook is expected to extend through Oct. 31, although it could close earlier based on ongoing assessments of the run size and catch totals.

Retention of hatchery chinook won’t increase impacts to fish protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, so long as anglers release wild chinook as required, Whalen said. Of the 434,600 upriver bright chinook salmon projected to enter the Columbia River this year, 31,600 are wild fall chinook bound for the Snake River.

For that reason, Whalen reminds anglers to identify their catch before they remove it from the water. State law prohibits removing chinook salmon or steelhead from the water unless they are retained as part of the daily catch limit.

Check the Fishing in Washington rule pamphlet and watch for updates on the WDFW website.

Lake Wenatchee sockeye fishing to close

FISHING — Sockeye salmon fishing at Lake Wenatchee will close Sunday after sunset, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department has just announced.   Here are the details:

Closure goes into effect:  Aug. 18, 2013, one hour after official sunset.

Reason for action: Officials estimate that sockeye available for harvest (those in excess of the natural spawning escapement goal of 23,000 fish) will have been caught and removed from the lake by the end of Sunday.

Lake Wenatchee sockeye fishing almost too fast

SALMON FISHING — A note from one of my blog readers indicates the sockeye fishing has been great at Lake Wenatchee.

Thank you for your article on the Lake Wenatchee Sockeye Opener last week.

I took my 87 year old uncle out on Saturday, and we limited by 6:45am.

It was so good, I took my sister and her two kids out on Sunday, and we limited by 7:45am.

The funny thing was, we live in the Everett area, so we drove almost 2 hours to get there, fished for 2 hours, then drove 2 hours to get home.

It was a blast!!!

I am having a very hard time finding sockeye counts at Tumwater dam.  Can you please tell me how I can find these counts?

I know fishing dwindles with the counts, and I don’t want to make the long drive and not catch fish.

I would appreciate any information you can share, websites, phone numbers, anything.  Thanks so much.

— Tad Kasuya

Although the information is not updated as often as anglers would like in season, counts for sockeye heading up the Wenatchee River to Lake Wenatchee are available here, courtesy of WDFW and Chelan PUD’s Tumwater Dam fishway.

Top 10 shoreline fishing spots for pink salmon

SALMON FISHING — With a whopping 6.2 million pink salmon flooding into the Puget Sound saltwater this month en route to river spawning areas, anglers can catch their four-fish limits from a boat or from shore.

Seattle Times fishing writer Mark Yuasa compiled his list of top 10 shoreline fishing spots for pink salmon:

1. Lincoln Park in West Seattle (best is starting in mid-August)

2. Browns Point Lighthouse Park in Tacoma (mid-to-late August)

3. Dash Point Pier (mid-to-late August)

4. Picnic Point in Edmonds (early August to September)

5. Deception Pass shoreline (now through September)

6. Bush Point and Fort Casey off west side of Whidbey Island (now through September)

7. Point Wilson north of Port Townsend (end of this month through August)

8. Bait Box Hole off the south east side of Whidbey Island (early August through September)

9. Redondo Pier (mid-to-late August)

10. Pier 86 Terminal Pier and Spokane Street Bridge in Elliott Bay (mid-August through September)

Alaska fishing guides tie knot in salmon stream

FISHING — Whether you're talking to the bride or the groom, in this case, it's appropriate to say, "Nice catch."

Alaska fishing guides Kadie Walsh and Dake Schmidt exchanged vows Saturday in the middle of Kodiak Island's Buskin River.

The fishing-themed ceremony included rings carried in the mouths of king salmon, a wedding party carrying fly fishing rods, and the married couple catching a pair of pink salmon together. 

A wedding during the humpy run:  perfect timing!

Click "continue reading," and see the captions with a great selection of photos by James Brooks of the Kodiak Daily Mirror for more details, none of which answer the compelling question:

When you have a wedding in a place like like this, how do you top it for a honeymoon? 

Westport anglers allowed 2 chinook starting Sunday

SALMON FISHING — Starting Sunday, Aug. 4, anglers fishing in ocean waters off Westport can keep up to two chinook salmon as part of their two-salmon daily limit.

With that change, anglers will be allowed to keep two chinook per day in ocean waters off Westport (Marine Area 2), LaPush (Marine Area 3) and Neah Bay (Marine Area 4). Those fishing Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco) will continue to be limited to one chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit.

All ocean areas are open to salmon fishing seven days a week. Wild coho must be released in all four areas.

Pat Pattillo, salmon policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said the department previously limited anglers off Westport to one chinook as part of a two-salmon daily limit to ensure that the fisheries would remain open for the entire season.

"Fishing for chinook out of Westport has been really good recently, and we’re keeping a close watch on the pace of the catch.  It appears now that enough of the quota for the Westport area remains to allow anglers two chinook per day," Pattillo said.

Ocean salmon fisheries are currently scheduled to continue through Sept. 30 in marine areas 1 and 2, and through Sept. 22 in marine areas 3 and 4.

Pattillo said fishery managers will continue to monitor the ocean salmon fishery throughout the season and will announce any other changes on WDFW’s website.

Additional information on the ocean fishery, including minimum size limits and area catch guidelines, is available in the WDFW Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.