Fishing Report: Free Salmon Seminars to Get You Set to Take Home a King

Riffe Lake
Image by jimmywayne via Flickr

By Kimberly Mason / For The Chronicle
Cabela’s in Lacey is offering two free Salmon University fishing seminars this weekend.
“Kings to Pinks: Fishing Techniques” will be offered at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, and noon on Sunday, Aug. 21.
“Buoy 10 Salmon Fishing” seminar will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, 2 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information, call Cabela’s at (360) 252-3500.

Rivers and Streams
Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 44 spring chinook adults, 25 jacks, 33 mini-jacks, 631 summer-run steelhead, three sea-run cutthroat, one fall chinook adult and two sockeye salmon during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 51 spring chinook adults, 16 jacks and one fall chinook adult into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek, and they released 63 spring chinook mini-jacks into Riffe Lake at Mossyrock Park.
Also during the week they released three sea-run cutthroat into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and they released one summer-run steelhead and two sockeye salmon adults into the Cowlitz River at the Barrier Dam boat launch.
River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 4,720 cubic feet per second on Monday morning. Water visibility is 13 feet.
The Cowlitz River is still going pretty good, according to Marshall Borsom at Fish Country in Ethel, with most of its reports coming in from Blue Creek on down.
The pinks are rolling through in numbers at Dash Point and the Skokomish.
“They aren’t out in great numbers in the Puyallup yet,” said Charles McElroy, sporting goods clerk at the Sunbird Shopping Center. “But give it another week and it’ll be just smoking.”

Lakes and Ponds
Mayfield Lake is starting to pick up some better-sized trout now.
A musky tournament this weekend only produced two fish caught, nothing of good size. They had a few follows and lots of fish seen, but not a lot of takers, according to Borsom.
Riffe Lake is still producing silvers in good numbers at the dam end and the fishing bridge.
Swofford Pond had several nice catfish caught this week also.
Matt Freeland, of Mossyrock, (now known as the King of Swofford) pulled a 17-pound channel cat out of the water on Sunday that will go nicely with his 24-inch largemouth bass from last week. I look forward to hearing about the bucket-sized bluegill or the pony-sized perch he brings home next week.
Offut Lake is a mixed bag, McElroy said.
“The fish are scattered,” he said, “but if you put in the time you can get some really nice trout.”
All of the kokanee lakes are still fishing well.

On the Beach and Ocean
Anglers fishing off Westport and Illwaco are restricted — once again — to one chinook salmon as part of their daily limit of two salmon.
The state fisheries managers had increased the daily limit to two chinook last week, but a sudden surge in the recreational catch forced them to return the limit to the one-chinook rule in marine areas 1 and 2.
“The number of anglers fishing out of Westport this week increased dramatically and their success in catching chinook was better than any week in recent history,” Pattillo said. “While we’re reluctant to go back to one chinook a day, this change is necessary to keep this fishery open for a full season.”
The new chinook catch limit will apply only to marine areas 1 and 2. La Push (Marine Area 3) and Neah Bay (Marine Area 4) anglers can continue to catch and keep two chinook as part of their daily limit — which also allows them to keep one additional pink salmon per day in those areas.
Ocean salmon fisheries are currently scheduled to continue through Sept. 18 in marine areas 2, 3 and 4, and through Sept. 30 in Marine Area 1. Watch for any other changes on Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website at

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