Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by XP, Jan 3, 2017.
Resident coho will probably like your pink flies.
I'm in my 50's and still haven't gotten any pink! Depending on when the said slimers arrive in force, I might be persuaded to head north with anyone in the SWW / greater PDX area. Tuna still take precedence though (gotta have priorities!)
Pink Season - 6 weight heaven!
Be sure to check this site or elsewhere before heading north for pinks this summer!
The history of pinks in Puget Sound is pretty interesting with escapement estimates for some basins going back to at least 1959. From that point through the later half of that century pinks were largely a north Sound run with dominate runs in the Skagit, Stillaguamish and Snohomish where the combined escapements often were in the 1/2 to nearly 1 million range. On the rivers to the south they were not nearly numerous; the Green and Nisqually had the occasional stray and the Puyallup and Dungeness typically had escapements in the 10,000 to 20,000 range.
Things changed dramatically in the new century starting in 2001 where there significant increases on the Stillaguamish and Snohomish and smaller increases on the Skagit and for the first time significant numbers showed up in the Green. By 2003 the escapements on the Green were often in the 1 million range. Larger numbers showed up on the Puyallup in 2005 (with escape since in the 1/2 to 1 million range). The Nisqually did not experience a significant increase in 2011 (with escapements in the 3/4 million). The pink explosion did not hit the Dungeness until 2013.
2015 was not a good year (at least by this century standards) for Puget Sound pinks as a whole. The aggregate escapements of the Skagit, Stillaguamish, Snohomish, Puyallup, and Nisqually was only 1.27 Million compared to 4.47 million in 2013. The 2015 escapement was further compromised by the small size of the spawners. The fecundity of those fish (based on information from the Hoodsport hatchery) was only 35% of the previous two cycles.
Hopefully the low escapements in 2015 were driven by the impacts from the warm blob of the coast and we see rebound of pink numbers typically in recent years and not a continued slide to pre-2001 levels.
As I said the Puget Sound situation is interesting with lots of uncertainty.
My personal observation has been that the '05 and '07 seasons were the "best" for the runs but since have dwindled due to weather conditions. I was primarily a beach fisherman for pinks and the weather has been so hot during the summer months that the beaches heat up on the outgoing tide. When the tide comes in, the water warms and the resultant heating reduces the oxygen. The fish stay out in the deeper, cooler water. Two years ago this happened and then in the early part of the run we had about three or four days of rain (unusual for August). The fish made their break almost immediately and the beach fishing was down. Guys in the rivers like the Puyallup had a banner year.
All that being said, I have no "scientific" evidence that proves that. However, I do fish for pinks and have eaten them many times. I would advise those to take care of the fish immediately and put them on ice. And by the way, for the haters, you don't eat the slime. The flavor is mild and the flesh is softer but if taken care of and cooked properly they can be quite tasty; not in the sockeye or king class but tasty, nevertheless. You catch and eat what is available.
That's pretty much what I saw out there in 2015 too. Fishing from a boat, we found the fish offshore in the rips rather than running down the beaches. It makes for less interesting fishing, as you can't really sit on a spot and wait to see the schools coming at you. Still caught fish, but I really prefer sight casting to them.
Also, they were mostly pretty small. As Curt says above, that is a reason to be concerned about this year's run.
WDFW has done a great job of predicting runs in the past so I totally believe your escapement guesses... er estimates.
Thank you for that fascinating and thorough synopsis on PS pink returns. I had no idea they had such locust-like variability. Both over time, and in watershed distribution.
Guess the key will be paying very close attention to fishing reports here, and being ready to go on short notice (like so many other kinds of fishing). This seems like a fishery I would really enjoy (sunshine, salt air, fun) so if we do get a decent run this year I want to give it a shot
Again, if any wants to join forces with me for a trip north, I'm game to split gas, campground expenses and such. Also not above throwing out a shameless plea for local advice/assistance. Especially if its in the form of an open seat. Since my boat situation is currently limited to a couple of aging, but functional toons.
Anyone find any pinks in MA9 today? Still too early?
2015 was a bad year as far as the weather conditions are concerned. It was one of the hottest and driest summers we've had in awhile with rivers getting closed due to low water levels. I'm really interested in how it will effect this years pink salmon return, and also could be an indicator as to how the coho for next year will be as well. I'm also waiting to see how the whole season setting process is going to unfold again. I hope we get to fish for them this year
I'm not holding my breath
Agreed, I'm not either. If all goes to crap again, I'll be out there fishing for cutthroat.
Well, for me 2015 was great! I fished a couple of mornings with my dad (he doesn't fish but I made him carry the cooler and teach him a little bit about beach etiquette--i.e. don't skip rocks near other fishermen--not that it mattered, one of mine came from under a skipping rock). First morning, in a couple of hours, got my limit (bled, gutted, iced within minutes), and we had bbq salmon for lunch. That's all I fished, but we're doing a family camp-out somewhere up there this summer, so we should be able to put a few more on ice. I'll get my son casting his superman rod, so hopefully he can get in on the stink.
2015 was an extremely low snow pack as well which contributed to the low/warm river conditions throughout the warm summer and fall.
Will be interesting to see if this does have a serious impact on the returns this season.
it will be interesting to see if any of you find pinks in Puget sound. i am sure you are aware that two years ago, the tribes brought in a purse seiner and wiped out all of the congregated pinks claiming they needed to save the spawning beds for sockeye. all this happened somewhere around the Kingston ferry terminal so lots and lots of people saw the devastation, all with WDFW permission.