A report and a question for you salt water oriented folks. A week or two ago I spent part of spring break with the family up on Whidbey Island. We stayed in a cabin on the South-East side along Saratoga Passage. One gorgeous morning we explored the tide flats with the kids - sinking in the sand, digging up clams, picking up tiny crabs out from under the rocks and from the small tide pools/puddles, and of course collecting pile worms and sand shrimp for fishing later that day. All the while I was scanning the beach - a good portion of which was covered with rocks, barnacles, and some eel grass - thinking about the opportunities for sea-run cutties.
The late afternoon high tide finally came about and I set the kids up on the bulk head casting bait under bobbers. I didn't have great expectations. Just was hoping to get them hooked up with a bull head or flounder. Didn't pull out my fly gear as I was moving from one kid to the next baiting hooks, pulling seaweed off lines, and helping them cast. After a bit, much to my 6-year old daughter's surprise her bobber took a dunk and started off towards the deep water. She shrieks, but manages to do a good job getting the fish under control. When I finally get to her she's making progress on the little one. I'm thinking flounder at this point but see a bright flash. I immediately change gears as now I'm thinking that she's hooked a reasonable size SRC and I want to help her land it with a little more finesse. Together, and with the help of her older brother, younger brother, and a few other kids standing nearby we land the fish which turned out to be a nice healthy 16 inch Coho!
So now the question... The Coho, to my surprise, was fin clipped. First of all, I wasn't expecting to pick up a resident Coho up there. I've caught cutties in the past but no Coho's. On top of that I was surprised to see the adipose fin missing. Could this have been one of the long lost South-Sound Coho's? Have any of you seen these fish that far up the sound? just wondering... also, if you do think it came from the south end program, I'd appreciate a refresh on the data collection contact.