Anglers rounding up stray Atlantic salmon


OUTDOORS: Anglers rounding up stray Atlantic salmon

Sun Aug 27th, 2017 10:31am

SEKIU — Anglers on the North Olympic Peninsula are doing their part to catch stray Atlantic salmon, part of a horde of escapees out of a Cooke Aquaculture pen containing 305,000 fish near Cypress Island in the San Juan Islands.

There is no size or catch limit on Atlantic salmon. Anglers may only fish for Atlantic salmon in marine waters that are already open to fishing for Pacific salmon or freshwater areas open for trout fishing.

Anglers also must stop fishing for Atlantic salmon once they’ve caught their daily limit of Pacific salmon.

Adam Campbell of Clallam Bay caught a 10-pound Atlantic salmon while fishing for hatchery coho with Michael Maines of Clallam Bay off Sekiu on Thursday.

“We were right off The Breakwater Restaurant in about 55 feet of water and hit at only about 31 feet on the downrigger,” Campbell said of Thursday’s outing.

The duo was running a flasher while trolling and the fish bit on a cop car-colored Coyote Spoon.

“It was a pretty good fight,” Campbell said. “At first it stayed down like a king would, then it rose and flipped over like a coho would, and I saw it and said ‘that’s one of those weird ones.’”

The color of the fish’s flesh looked healthy, Campbell said.

“Reddish pink, actually a good color, a little darker than a pink salmon,” he said.

Campbell fileted the fish, wet-brined it with plenty of rock salt and put it in his smoker.

“It turned out pretty nice, we will see. I hear a lot of people say these are trash fish, but somebody is eating them, so we’ll find out.”

Campbell followed up Thursday’s catch with what looked to be an even bigger Atlantic specimen while fishing with his kids Saturday.

Mason’s Olson Resort in Sekiu also has reported anglers are catching Atlantic strays in the 10-to 13-pound range.

Others on social media are reporting catching the farmed fish from shore near Port Townsend.

The Seattle Times reported Saturday that the Makah Tribe caught 30 Atlantic salmon in nets on Friday.

Anglers are not required to log these fish on catch record cards, but to help track these catches the state Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking anglers to report their catches at tinyurl.com/PDN-AtlanticSalmon.


Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or mcarman@peninsuladailynews.com.