One of the biggest fishing interests for our area during the summer is the ocean salmon season. We have already experienced the early season which began May 31 and ended June 13. The season proper has begun June 14 and will continue until Sept. 30. This season may close earlier if the quota of 68,380 hatchery coho or 27,600 Chinook salmon guideline is attained.
This fishery allows for Chinook with a minimum size of 16 inches to be retained. Other salmon species do not have a minimum size requirement.
The daily catch limit is a combined total of two fish of which only one may be a Chinook. All wild coho must be released. This water is known as Marine Area 2 and basically includes Westport and Ocean Shores.
• Marine Area 2-1, which is the area east of a line from Cape Shoalwater to Leadbetter Point, is now open to salmon fishing. The rules for this fishery are the same as those for Marine Area 2. This fishery concludes July 31.
• Marine Area 2-52, which is the area west of Buoy 13, is also open to salmon fishing with the same rules applying as exist for Marine Area 2. This season will end Aug. 10.
These ocean salmon opportunities get a lot of attention for anglers beyond our community. Actually, this fishery has been in place for years and would be considered an industry. Charter boats and private vessels provide brisk activity and underscore the economy for many Grays Harbor businesses.
Because of the magnitude of this fishery, it can eclipse the lesser fisheries of our area namely, lake and stream fishing. Lake fishing will continue through the summer with a few plants given to Lake Sylvia which hosts the state park. Our other lakes will yield lurking trout throughout the summer but not with the same numbers as was experienced earlier in the season.
Most of the attention in our area, in regard to fresh water fishing, will be focused on summer steelhead. These fish are largely found in the Wynooche and Humptulips rivers. We are still quite early in this season which began June 7. Anglers are still acclimating themselves to this fishery.
Serious fishers have already done their homework and are well equipped to connect with this fine game fish.
The technique and approach to hooking a summer steelhead vary greatly. Some anglers apply conventional means using bait or spinners. In recent times, the use of noodle poles, jigs and float devices have increased the ways of hooking a fish. This is not to mention the fly fishing approach which is completely unique in itself. Using wet and dry flies correctly is a science in of itself and takes some learning.
It is obvious that we are well into the 2014 fishing season on all fronts.
So, anglers can choose from a variety of fishing opportunities. Because of the diversity of fisheries the approach to each is vastly different. Everyone seems to have a technique that works best for them.
The remaining fishery for the year will be salmon fishing in fresh water. This will not start to happen in our area until September.