HOOK AND FUR
By Bob Brown
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced shrimp fishing would reopen in Puget Sound, but shrimp anglers need not get overly excited.
The fishery reopened May 22, but only for one day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Marine Areas 11 and a portion of Marine Area 10, which includes all Marine Area 10 waters outside of Elliott Bay. The Elliott Bay portion of Area 10 has a separate spot shrimp quota, and the quota has been reached in that area.
The department reported that during the recent shrimp openers (May 4-8), several Puget Sound fishing areas experienced a 30 percent increase in participation over the previous season, so at this point it is unlikely other central Puget Sound areas will reopen.
Clam diggers were given one more chance to dig razor clams this season during a three-day opening at Twin Harbors Friday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Clam digging will remain closed at all other ocean beaches, and digging at Twin Harbors had to end each day at noon.
Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said, “This last dig caps off a great season. Since last October, diggers have harvested more than five million razor clams, making this season the most productive in over twenty years.”
Cowlitz River meeting
Tacoma Power and WDFW will hold a public meeting May 29 in Centralia regarding Cowlitz River fisheries and hatchery programs. The meeting is scheduled from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Centralia College in Washington Hall Room 103, at Washington Avenue and Pear Street. Representatives from both agencies will discuss an update to the Fisheries and Hatchery Management Plan (FHMP) for the Cowlitz River and recommendations for next year’s hatchery production.
As a condition of its operating license, Tacoma Power submitted thee updated FHMP to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in November, 2011, outlining its plan to maximize wild fish production in the Cowlitz River while also working to maintain sustainable fishing opportunities. The updated plan is available on the FERC’s website at http://1.usa.gov/14tdhC2.
Halibut fishing over
Halibut fishing has closed in Marine Area 2 (Westport-Ocean Shores) and will be closed in Marine Areas 3 and 4 (La Push and Neah Bay) May 23 and 25. Ilwaco (Marine Area 1) continues to be is open Friday through Sunday until further notice.
Eastern Puget Sound (Marine Areas 6-10) will open to halibut fishing Thursday through Sunday, May 23-26 and Thursday and Friday, May 30-31. Marine Area 5 (western Puget Sound) will open to halibut fishing Thursday through Sunday; May 23-26, and Thursday through Saturday, May 30-31 and Saturday June 8.
The International Game Fish Association has awarded James R. Bramlett of Dora, Alabama a world record for a land-locked striped bass he caught in the Black Warrior River in February. Bramlett’s fish weighed 69 pounds, was 44.1 inches long and had a girth of 37.75 inches. Bramlett’s fish beat the old record by more than a pound.