2005 Neah Bay/Ocean Update
with the first neah bay clave planned for 2005, we are going to have quite a different salmon season than in the past few years.
quota numbers are going to be between 10-13,000 coho compared to over 20,000 coho the past few years. because of the low coho quota numbers and the expected angler pressure, to extend the season into the prime coho month (august) neah bay will be closed to salmon fishing sundays and mondays. hopefully the expected large run of pink salmon and the lack of an additional pink on the salmon limit will help extend the coho numbers (every retained pink means one less coho retained). in all honesty, we are looking at a mid-august closure in area 4.
what this means for the clave is one less weekend day to fish in area 4 (sekiu still will have a full 3 months of fishing). you can run or trailer the boat east to area 5 for salmon.
i've been going to the salmon season setting meetings (north of falcon) for many years, and this is the first where we spend most of the time not concerned with wild stocks. we are worried about getting enough columbia river late hatchery coho back to the hatcheries to meet egg take goals. combine that with major concerns with the thompson/fraser coho and it doesn't take long to realize that this season will not last as long as previous seasons. luckily, the numbers of coho passing by neah bay are still considerable.... plus the huge run of pinks, and the fishing should be red hot while it lasts.
the final announcements of the 2005 salmon seasons will come out of the meetings this upcoming week in tacoma. then we'll get a better idea of a solid quota numbers.
with all the talk of the makah troll fishery for chinook, i never thought coho would be the major driver of our ocean fisheries this summer. the chinook guideline looks like last year's catch... but coho may keep us off the water.
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