There’s nothing more exciting than pulling up a pot loaded with prawn-size spot shrimp during a season that begins May 5.
“I am more positive this year on our spot shrimp projections than the last couple of years,” said MarkO’Toole, a WDFW biologist who is retiring May 18 after an illustrious 36 years with the department, and many thanks for your valued input on shrimp and other fish policies!
“In general, last year was another good season with relatively high abundance,” he said. “The catch per boat ended up being higher for all areas.”
Look for good shrimping in Strait; San Juan Islands; east side of Whidbey Island; central, south-central and northern Puget Sound; and Hood Canal. Test fishing conducted this spring showed marginal abundance in southern Puget Sound.
Hit pause button on spring chores since trout fishing in statewide lowland lakes is now underway.
Justin Spinelli, a WDFW biologist says 460,000 trout went into Puget Sound region lakes on top of 500-plus statewide lakes planted with 16,840,269 trout – 2,171,307 of them are the standardized size averaging about 11 inches compared to 8-inches in past seasons.
If you prefer a large-sized halibut then head out on May 11. The Washington catch quota is 225,366 pounds down from 237,762 in 2017, and a bump up from 214,110 in 2016, 2015 and 2014.
Dates for Neah Bay, La Push, Westport and Strait/Puget Sound are May 11, 13, 25 and 27. Depending on catches other dates are June 7, 9, 16, 21, 23, 28 and 30. Ilwaco opens May 3 with fishing allowed Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Once you get your halibut fix add some black rockfish and lingcod to the cooler. Ilwaco, Westport, Neah Bay and La Push are open for both, and some Puget Sound areas are open for lingcod.
NW Salmon Derby Series hits pause button