Two Shipyards Compete for Kingston Ferry Contract

by Tim Flanagan on September 30, 2009

It’s rare for me to even consider skipping off work on a weekday.

Running Three Sheets is a very busy full-time job, anemia and there’s invariably something that needs to get done. The level of guilt triggered by playing hooky on a weekday is extreme.

But passing up an opportunity to get out on the water Friday would have been verging on insanity. Turning down a chance to travel on a magnificent 80-year-old yacht with its own chef, decease on an almost cloudless day warm enough for July, health would have suggested I needed to have my head examined.

So responsibility got relegated to the back burner, where it belonged. I happily accepted an offer from Diane VanDerbeek to sail with her on Olympus, her 80-year-old, 97-foot fantail yacht. I’d seen a little of Olympus previously at boat shows, but most of the vessel, including the lower level and staterooms, had been closed off to the public. I was curious to see more and talk with Diane about the boat’s colorful history.

Launched in 1929 and originally named Junaluska, the yacht was built for George Callendine Heck, a partner in a Wall Street investment firm, who used it to commute from his two Long Island estates to lower Manhattan. After a stint as a Navy patrol vessel during World War II (during which time its stunning brightwork was painted grey), the yacht was purchased by Washington Governor Monrad Wallgren, ostensibly as a state fisheries patrol vessel, and renamed Olympus.

In reality, Olympus was the governor’s personal yacht and was frequently used to entertain his good friend, President Harry Truman. After the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (my previous employer) revealed that the governor used more than $100,000 in Department of Fisheries funds to refurbish the yacht, Wallgren, not surprisingly, lost his 1948 bid for reelection.

Diane and her late husband John VanDerbeek bought Olympus in 1985. The yacht is now used for private trips and charters, and has accommodated celebrities such as Robin Williams, Hilary Swank and Candice Bergen. It’s a regular fixture during Seattle’s Opening Day festivities and each December, carries children and adults with disabilities on a cruise to see boats lit up for the holiday season.

Diane showed me around the boat, taking me through its four staterooms, whose walls hold antique photos and framed vintage bathing suits. We walked through the main salon, with its wing chairs and sectional sofa, and the dining room, where the table was laid out with one of a dozen sets of china aboard. Everywhere was gleaming wood, meticulously appointed furnishings.

Olympus' stately main salon

The stately main salon

The boat, which has won numerous awards, is clearly loved. That much is obvious not just from its bristol condition, but also by the fact that the VanDerbeeks had a custom boathouse built for it on Lake Union 10 years ago.

On Friday, Olympus was headed to Poulsbo for a Classic Yacht Association rendezvous. I met Diane at the boathouse and we departed in the early afternoon, along with a friend of Diane’s and four crew members, including the boat’s captain and its chef. Champagne was served as we headed toward the ship canal, the three of us sitting on deck chairs on the bow. Work? What work?

We waited for more than two hours to get through the locks, but no one was complaining. Seated around a table on the aft fantail, we were served a three-course lunch that started with a chowder made from lobster stock, heavy cream and oysters marinated in white wine and cognac, served with fresh, homemade bread and butter.

Next was a carefully conceived and arranged main course: herb salad on baby greens with blood oranges in a citrus vinaigrette, pheasant breast seared with white truffle oil and coated with rose peppercorns and herbes de provence, and scallops coated with a blend of white truffle oil (the meal’s featured ingredient), yuzu vinegar, parsley and coarse red salt resting atop a mix of crème fraiche, pico de gallo and avocado. It was almost too pretty to eat.

Lunch aboard Olympus, meticulously prepared by chef Richard Lawton

Lunch aboard Olympus, meticulously prepared by chef Richard Lawton

And then dessert—a cheesecake with walnut cookie crust, three types of dried cherries, a mix of Scharffen Berger-Ghiardelli chocolate and a caramel sauce. Lunch for me is usually a salad. Combined with the wine, the meal was enough to send me into a blissful food coma for the remainder of the afternoon. Instead, we relocated to the bow and settled into our deck chairs, taking in the scenery as the boat wound through breathtaking Agate Pass and chatting about everything from divorce to rowing.

One of the best things about launching Three Sheets Northwest is the people we’ve met: boaters who have told us their stories, invited us aboard, ate and drank and shared their love of being on the water with us. Traveling on Olympus, experiencing a few hours on a piece of living Northwest history, was a treat and a privilege.

The forecast for today and into the weekend calls for temperatures in the high 50s. Last night felt like the first real fall evening, and Friday’s sunshine and warmth is already fading into memory. Summer, it seems, is over. There will be plenty of time over the upcoming months to hole up in my office, writing and working on Three Sheets.

Could I have gotten more work done last week? Sure. Would it have been a mistake to stay home Friday to get it done? Absolutely.

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Failure to appear for sentencing gets man a November trial
Port Clinton News Herald
PORT CLINTON — A man who reportedly beat an Oak Harbor man is scheduled to have a November jury
OTTAWA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE REPORTSPort Clinton News Herald


Man accused of assault to appear in court todayPort Clinton News Herald
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Coho, pink salmon catch remains hot in Puget Sound
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Pink fishing slowed down in the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Sekiu to Port Angeles, but the coho action is good. "The pink catch has gone down, but there are

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Wild Rivers Coast events for Sept. 30 and beyond
Curry Coastal Pilot
The Brookings Harbor Saturday Farmers' Market is open 9 am to 3 pm Saturdays on the Boardwalk at the Port of Brookings-Harbor. • The Outdoor Market is open
Bulletin Board Published Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009Curry Coastal Pilot



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Coho, pink salmon catch remains hot in Puget Sound
Seattle Times
Pink fishing slowed down in the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Sekiu to Port Angeles, but the coho action is good. "The pink catch has gone down, but there are

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TIME, case DATE, PLACE | Kitsap Happenings for the Week Sept. 18-24
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KINGSTON FARMERS MARKET: Is located at Mike Wallace Park at the Port of Kingston Marina from 9 am to 2 pm each Saturday through October.

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DATE, PLACE | Kitsap Happenings for the Week Sept. 18-24
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'WHALES IN OUR MIDST:' The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum features a new exhibit “Killer Whales in The Salish Sea” this month, covering the Native

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Gnarly afternoon.  You may be able to spot the transient Orca in the distance.
Passengers prepared to abandon if necessary

Three pumps at work

Crack Remedy deck hand Andrew D diagnoses the problem
Naturalist and current Zenith Maritime student
Lauren S. was aboard the other wildlife vessel.
Off loading passengers to another vessel.
This time of year, information pills
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TIME, DATE, PLACE | Kitsap Happenings for the Week Sept. 25-Oct. 1
North Kitsap Herald
KINGSTON FARMERS MARKET: Is located at Mike Wallace Park at the Port of Kingston Marina from 9 am to 2 pm each Saturday through October.

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From Ear to the Ground:

Figure 1. NOAA tsunami propagation map

Figure 1. NOAA tsunami propagation map

An 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck 125 miles south of Samoa and American Samoa on Tuesday, grip
September 29, buy at 10:48:11 am.  The earthquake probably occurred as a normal fault rupture, resulting in multiple tsunami waves, four of them about 15 to 20 feet high (Fig. 1).  The West Coast is vulnerable any time a tsunami is generated in the Pacific Ocean.  In this instance, the tsunami waves did reach the American coastline, strikingCalifornia, Oregon and Washington, however, the height of the waves was less than 2 feet (the highest observed height was 1.38 feet in Crescent City, California).  In Washington State, La Push reported a wave of 0.46 feet.

When a large earthquake is generated in the Pacific Ocean, NOAA’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) and West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center (WC/ATWC) monitor the situation, producing Tsunami Warning, Watches, Advisories, and Information Statements (seehttp://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/Products/msgdefs.htm for definitions). Messages for Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California come from WC/ATWC; PTWC issues messages for most of the rest of the Pacific Basin.  A Tsunami Warning is the highest tsunami alert, indicating that a destructive tsunami, if generated, could be only a few hours travel time from the area under a warning.  This is initially based on seismic information to give early warning, but is followed up by other sources of evidence, such as sea-level measurements at tide gauges or DART buoys (pressure recorders) and by numerical modeling.

The Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Earth Resources (DGER) has been working closely with the Washington Emergency Management Division to monitor the tsunami danger to Washington State.  As of this morning, a Tsunami Advisory has been cancelled.  Washington is vulnerable to tsunamis, including one generated right off our coast by a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake.  A tsunamigenic earthquake elsewhere in the Pacific also has the potential to send a destructive wave onto our coastline.  DGER actively studies and maps tsunami inundation zones (accessed through our interactive map site and tsunami evacuation brochures) along our coastline and makes sure tsunami evacuation routes are safe and effective in times of disaster.  DGER also publishes TsuInfo Alert, a bimonthly newsletter that links scientists, emergency responders, and community planners to the latest tsunami research.

Gnarly afternoon.  You may be able to spot the transient Orca in the distance.
Passengers prepared to abandon if necessary

Three pumps at work

Crack Remedy deck hand Andrew D diagnoses the problem
Naturalist and current Zenith Maritime student
Lauren S. was aboard the other wildlife vessel.
Off loading passengers to another vessel.
This time of year, order
my primary job is instruction [...]

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DATE, PLACE | Kitsap Happenings for the Week Sept. 25-Oct. 1
North Kitsap Herald
'WHALES IN OUR MIDST:' The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum features a new exhibit “Killer Whales in The Salish Sea” this month, covering the Native

and more »

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DATE, PLACE | Kitsap Happenings for the Week Sept. 18-24
North Kitsap Herald
KINGSTON FARMERS MARKET: Is located at Mike Wallace Park at the Port of Kingston Marina from 9 am to 2 pm each Saturday through October.

and more »

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TIME, DATE, PLACE | Kitsap Happenings for the Week Sept. 18-24
North Kitsap Herald
'WHALES IN OUR MIDST:' The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum features a new exhibit “Killer Whales in The Salish Sea” this month, covering the Native

and more »

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TIME, DATE, PLACE | Kitsap Happenings for the Week Sept. 25-Oct. 1
North Kitsap Herald
'WHALES IN OUR MIDST:' The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum features a new exhibit “Killer Whales in The Salish Sea” this month, covering the Native

and more »

Summer might be over, pill
but the fishing definitely isn’t.

Anglers are flocking to the upper Columbia River and its tributaries to catch hatchery-reared steelhead, patient and will soon be able to fish for blackmouth, rubella
chum and sturgeon in various areas. And five ocean beaches are tentatively scheduled to open in mid-October for the first razor-clam dig of the season.

The Washington Department of Fisheries and Wildlife offers the following breakdown of various fishing and razor clamming opportunities around the state.

North Puget Sound

Fishing for coho salmon has improved in Puget Sound, and saltwater anglers should continue to do well over the next couple weeks as the run pushes into the region’s rivers and streams.

“Coho fishing has been pretty good recently in North Sound,” said Steve Thiesfeld, a fish biologist with WDFW. “Anglers could have a couple more weeks of decent fishing before we start to see a transition in the marine areas from coho to blackmouth and chum salmon.”

Thiesfeld said anglers looking to hook ocean coho should try fishing Point No Point, Jefferson Head, Possession Bar and Shipwreck. Fishing regulations for those areas and other waters of marine areas 9 (Admiralty Inlet) and 10 (Seattle/Bremerton) change in October. Beginning Oct. 1, anglers fishing Marine Area 9 will have a daily limit of two salmon but must release all chinook. Those fishing Marine Area 10 will have a two-salmon daily limit but must release wild chinook.

Anglers looking to get an early start on the region’s blackmouth season might also want to head to Marine Area 10, Thiesfeld said. Another option for blackmouth anglers is Marine Area 7 (San Juan Islands), where starting Oct. 1, anglers can keep one chinook as part of a two-salmon daily limit.

Thiesfeld reminds anglers that as of Oct. 1, only portions of marine areas 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island and Skagit Bay) and 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner) will be open for salmon fishing. Salmon fishing in Marine Area 8-1 will be restricted to the Oak Harbor area, west of a line from Forbes Point to Blowers Bluff. Anglers fishing Oak Harbor have a daily limit of two coho only.

In Marine Area 8-2, salmon fishing will be limited to the south end of the area, south of a line from Randall Point to the south end of the Everett Naval Station dock. Anglers in that area have a two salmon daily limit, but must release chinook.

Meanwhile, crabbing is closed after Sept. 30 in Marine Area 7, the only area in the region currently open for crab. The region’s other marine areas are already closed for a catch assessment. See WDFW’s sport crabbing website for additional information.  

Several rivers are open for salmon, including the Snohomish, where there have been several reports of anglers hooking some bright coho salmon. Anglers fishing the Snohomish have a daily limit of two salmon, plus two additional pink salmon, but must release chinook.

Elsewhere, Lake Sammamish is open for salmon fishing, with a daily limit of four salmon; up to two chinook may be retained. All sockeye must be released and fishing is closed within 100 yards of the mouth of Issaquah Creek.

Lake Washington also is open for salmon. Anglers are allowed four coho per day (minimum size 12 inches) from waters north of the Highway 520 Bridge and east of the Montlake Bridge.

Before heading out, anglers should check the rules and regulations for all freshwater and saltwater fisheries in WDFW’s Fishing in Washington pamphlet ( http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/regs/fishregs.htm ).

South Sound/Olympic Peninsula

With salmon moving from the coast to bays and rivers, anglers have some new options to consider in the region — or they might want to trade in their fishing rods for clam shovels. The first razor clam dig of the fall season is tentatively scheduled in mid-October, pending results of tests to determine if the clams are safe to eat.

If tests are favorable, WDFW will proceed with evening razor clam digs at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks, as well as Kalaloch Beach, which is scheduled to open for clam digging for the first time since spring 2007.

Tentative opening dates and evening low tides in October are:

  • Friday, Oct. 16 (5:50 p.m. -0.5 ft.) at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Copalis
  • Saturday, Oct. 17 (6:38 p.m. -0.8 ft.) at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch
  • Sunday, Oct. 18 (7:23 p.m. -1.1 ft.) at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch
  • Monday, Oct. 19 (8:06 p.m. -1.1 ft.) at Twin Harbors

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, recommends clam diggers take lights or lanterns for the nighttime digs and check weather and surf forecasts before heading out.

Digging is restricted to the hours between noon and midnight. Harvesters are allowed to take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 they dig, regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2009 annual shellfish/seaweed license or combination fishing license is valid. Another option is a razor clam-only license available in annual or three-day only versions. Descriptions of the various options are available here.

More digs are tentatively scheduled Nov. 4-7, Nov. 14-17, Dec. 2-5, Dec. 31-Jan.3. For more information, check for updates on the WDFW website or call the shellfish hotline at 866.880.5431.

Meanwhile, anglers looking for salmon fishing opportunities might consider heading to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, where a non-selective fishery for coho and chinook opens Oct. 1 in Marine Area 6 (Port Angeles). A non-selective chinook fishery also gets underway Oct. 1 in Marine Area 5 (Sekiu), where anglers have been able to retain wild coho since Sept. 19. In non-selective fisheries, anglers may retain fish whether or not they have a clipped adipose fin.

Having Marine Area 5 open in October is a new opportunity for anglers, Thiesfeld said. In past years, anglers had to wait until November for the chinook fishery to open.

“The coho season has been exceptional this year and hopefully anglers will have some fun catching blackmouth as well,” Thiesfeld said.

The daily limit in both marine areas is two salmon of any species, but only one fish may be a chinook. Thiesfeld reminds anglers that the salmon fishery in Marine Area 5 closes Oct. 15, while Marine Area 6 closes Oct. 31. Freshwater Bay, Port Angeles Harbor and Sequim Bay remain closed to salmon fishing, but anglers may fish for coho salmon in Dungeness Bay Oct. 1-31.

Also as of Oct. 1, anglers fishing in marine areas 11 and 13 (Vashon Island to South Puget Sound) will be allowed to retain wild chinook as part of their two-fish daily limit. However, all wild coho caught in Marine Area 13 must be released. Other fishing opportunities coming up in Puget Sound include chum and blackmouth retention in Hood Canal (Marine Area 12) beginning Oct. 16.

Closer to the coast, salmon anglers fishing Grays Harbor (Marine Area 2-2) and the lower Chehalis River have been doing quite well since the Sept. 16 opening, said Erica Crust, WDFW ocean port sampler. “These are popular areas and folks are catching some nice fish,” she said.

In Marine Area 2-2, which is open through Nov. 30, the daily limit is two fish, one of which may be a wild adult coho. All adult chinook and chum must be released.

Crust reminds anglers that the upper Chehalis River above Porter Bridge opens to salmon fishing Oct. 1. Through Oct. 15, anglers on the river may retain two adult salmon as part of their six-fish daily limit. One of those may be a wild adult coho, but all adult chinook and chum must be released.

Other area rivers opening Oct. 1 include the Elk, Hoquiam, Humptulips, Johns, Satsop, Wishkah and Wynoochee rivers in Grays Harbor County, Kennedy Creek in Thurston County and the Nemah River in Pacific County.

Regulations are also changing on the Skokomish River in Mason County as of Oct. 1. Anglers may keep up to four adult salmon as part of a six-fish daily limit, but must release all chinook through Oct. 15. All chum must be released.

Anglers fishing in the Quillayute system — which includes the Bogachiel, Sol Duc, Calawah and Dickey rivers — can keep two adult salmon, plus two additional adult hatchery coho as part of the six-fish daily limit.

Southwest Washington

Large numbers of coho salmon are moving up the lower Columbia River into area tributaries and chinook are still biting in some rivers. But starting Oct. 1, anglers have another option to consider: sturgeon fishing in the mainstem Columbia River from the Wauna powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam.

“This is a great fishing opportunity for fall, especially for anglers who don’t have boats,” said Brad James, a WDFW fish biologist. “Bank anglers have done very well, historically, fishing for sturgeon just below Bonneville Dam.”

Anglers may retain legal-size sturgeon Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only until the area quota is met. White sturgeon must measure 38 to 54 inches from their nose to the fork in their tail to meet the legal size limit. James said about 5,000 fish are still available for harvest in the mainstem Columbia River under the quota for the area.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the fishery starts out strong,” James said. “Sturgeon have moved out of the estuary and have been chasing juvenile shad that are outmigrating past the dam.”

Thousands of late-run coho salmon have also been moving up the mainstem Columbia River and should provide good fishing in the tributaries throughout the month of October, said WDFD fish biologist Wolf Dammers. Fishing for hatchery coho was slow in most rivers through September, although anglers averaged a legal fish for every three rods on the North Fork Lewis during one recent creel check.

“What we need now is some heavy rain to get the coho moving up tributaries throughout the region,” Dammers said.

The best bets for hatchery coho in the coming weeks are the Cowlitz, Lewis, Kalama, Elochoman, Grays and the Klickitat rivers, he said. During the last week of September, anglers were catching both hatchery coho and some bright chinook salmon on the Cowlitz River below Interstate 5. Dammers said some foot-long cutthroat are also biting near the trout hatchery.

Anglers may retain up to six hatchery-reared adult coho on all lower Columbia tributaries with hatchery programs, including the Cowlitz, Deep, Elochoman, Grays (including West Fork), Kalama, Klickitat, Lewis (including North Fork), Toutle (including Green and North Fork) and Washougal rivers. Except on the Klickitat River, only those fish with a clipped adipose fin and healed scar may be retained.

Starting Oct. 1, new rules will take effect on several of those rivers to protect spawning chinook salmon, as follows:

All chinook salmon must be released on the Lewis River, including the North Fork. Additionally, fishing from any floating device will be prohibited on the North Fork Lewis from Johnson Creek to Colvin Creek. On the North Fork, fishing will close from Colvin Creek upstream to protect naturally spawning fish.

All chinook must be released on the North Fork Toutle River from the Kidd Valley Bridge near Highway 504 upstream.

Adult chinook — but not hatchery jacks — must be released on the Green, Washougal (from Little Washougal River upstream) and the White Salmon River (from half a mile above the Hwy. 14 Bridge upstream). Marked, hatchery fall chinook — both adults and jacks — may still be retained on the Grays, Elochoman and Kalama rivers.

In addition, Drano Lake is scheduled to be closed to all fishing from 6 p.m. Tuesdays through 6 p.m. Wednesdays throughout the month of October.

Miss those days of August when anglers reeled in a record number of hatchery steelhead from the lower Columbia River? Some fish from that run have been taking their time moving upriver and “laying in” near the mouth of the White Salmon River, Dammers said. “Anglers have been doing pretty well fishing for summer steelhead there in the last quarter of a mile of the Big White Salmon,” he said.

Eastern Washington

Glen Mendel, WDFW southeast district fish biologist, said fishing for fall chinook salmon remains slow on the two portions of the Snake River that are open through Oct. 15. “Hopefully catch rates will increase with colder weather ahead, when water temperatures decrease and fish are more active,” Mendel said.

The two stretches open for fall chinook are from the Highway 12 Bridge (near the mouth of the Snake River) upstream to the no-fishing zone below Ice Harbor Dam, and from the Highway 261 Bridge crossing on the Snake River (about one-half mile upstream from Lyons Ferry Hatchery) upstream to the no-fishing zone below Little Goose Dam.

Snake River steelhead fishing continues to pick up and Mendel notes that discussions are underway to possibly expand the daily catch limit. Steelheaders can stay tuned for such fishing rule changes here or sign up here to receive notices.

Many trout fisheries in the northeast district’s Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties remain open through October and could provide nice catches for fall outings.

Ellen Lake, north of Inchelium with a Colville National Forest campground, could be productive since it was rehabilitated last year. Gillette Lake, northeast of Colville with a Colville National Forest campground, has both rainbow and tiger trout. Browns Lake, northeast of Cusick with a Kaniksu National Forest campground, is usually best for fall cutthroat, although it’s fly-fishing only and no motor boats are allowed.

Additional information on Washington fishing options is available here.

In southwest Spokane County, Clear Lake remains open through October and usually produces good catches of brown trout, crappie and largemouth bass in late fall. Amber Lake, with cutthroat and rainbow trout , is open through November, but the last two months are catch-and-release with selective gear rules.

Catch and size limits have been lifted temporarily for some trout fisheries scheduled for rotenone treatments this month to improve future fishing. Lincoln County’s Fishtrap Lake and Spokane County’s Hog Canyon Lake and Creek have no size or catch limits through Oct. 11, but they will close to fishing Oct. 12 until further notice. Spokane County’s West Medical Lake has no size or catch limits through Oct. 25 and will close to fishing Oct. 26 until further notice.

South Central Washington

Salmon fishing in the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River near the Tri-Cities has been very productive, reports Paul Hoffarth, WDFW district fish biologist from Pasco.

“Harvest is well ahead of last year and will likely get better as water temperatures cool,” Hoffarth said. “So far this season, 2,508 adult fall chinook and 874 jacks have been harvested — 20 percent above last year at this time. Angler effort, measured in angler trips, has increased 7 percent from the 2008 fishery.”

An estimated 1,872 fall chinook (1,389 adults and 483 jacks) were harvested in the Hanford Reach the week ending Sept. 27. Anglers averaged 1.2 chinook per boat.

The Hanford Reach, from the Hwy. 395 Bridge in the Tri-Cities upstream to Priest Rapids Dam, also opened Sept. 22 for the retention of hatchery steelhead. The daily limit is three hatchery steelhead. An estimated 287 steelhead were recently caught, of which 193 were harvested. Bank anglers averaged 11 hours per steelhead.

WDFW staff interviewed 94 boats (199 anglers) with 15 steelhead at Ringold. Steelhead catch rates for boat anglers were low because the majority of the boat anglers interviewed at Ringold were targeting chinook. In the upper Reach, from the wooden powerline towers to Priest Rapids, 10 boats (20 anglers) specifically targeting steelhead were sampled. They reported 20 steelhead caught (10 hatchery and 10 wild) — slightly better than one steelhead for each five hours of fishing.

Hoffarth also noted the Yakima River is open for salmon fishing below Prosser Dam but has been fairly slow to date. “The number of anglers fishing for salmon in the Yakima River remains slow and steady, but catch remains extremely low,” he said. “Only eight adult chinook were harvested this past week and 20 overall for the fishery. Yakima River fishing tends to improve in October.”

Both the Yakima River and the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River will close for salmon fishing Oct. 22. In addition, the Hanford Reach from the wooden power line towers at the old Hanford town site to Priest Rapids Dam will close for steelhead fishing Oct. 22. The Columbia River downstream of the wooden power line towers will remain open for steelhead fishing after Oct. 22, but the daily catch limit for hatchery steelhead will be reduced to two fish.

Jonathan Kohr, WDFW fish biologist, reports good smallmouth bass fishing in the Columbia River above the Vernita Bridge. “Throw any bottom type of plastic — worms, grubs, tube jigs — and you’ll catch them,” Kohr said. “They’re scrappy and fun to catch and (they’re) good eating. Dip them in batter and make fish tacos.”

Kohr notes that removing smallmouth from the river helps save salmon. He also cautioned boat anglers to be careful of shallow rocks or bars because water levels have been extremely low.

Northcentral Washington

Hatchery steelhead fishing opened Sept. 29 on the upper Columbia River, and on the Wenatchee, Icicle, Entiat, Methow and Okanogan rivers, thanks to a strong run of both wild and hatchery-produced steelhead.

WDFW Okanogan district fish biologist Bob Jateff of Twisp reminds anglers that this year’s special fishery includes mandatory retention — anglers must keep any adipose-fin-clipped hatchery origin steelhead of at least 20 inches until the daily catch limit of four fish is reached. After they have retained four fish, anglers must stop fishing for hatchery steelhead.

Any wild steelhead caught — those with an intact adipose fin — must be immediately released unharmed without being removed from the water. Anglers also must release any steelhead with one or more round holes punched in the tail fin.

“This fishery helps remove hatchery-origin steelhead and increases the proportion of wild natural-origin steelhead returning to spawning areas,” Jateff said.

The Icicle River will be open through Nov. 15 from the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam. Anglers fishing the Icicle also will be allowed to retain three coho (minimum size 12 inches) per day, but must release coho equipped with an anchor tag.

Fisheries on the other rivers are scheduled to remain open through March 31, 2010 unless the allowable incidental impact to wild steelhead is reached before then. They include:

  • Mainstem Columbia River – from Rock Island Dam to 400 feet below Chief Joseph Dam. Night closure and selective gear rules apply, except fishing from a motorized vessel and bait are allowed.
  • Wenatchee River – from the mouth to a sign about 800 feet below the most downstream side of Tumwater Dam. Night closure and selective gear rules apply.
  • Entiat River – upstream from the Alternate Highway 97 Bridge near the mouth of the Entiat River to 800 feet downstream of the Entiat National Fish Hatchery outfall. Night closure and selective gear rules apply, except fishing from a motorized vessel is allowed.
  • Methow River – from the Highway 97 Bridge in Pateros upstream to the second powerline crossing, and from the first Highway 153 Bridge north of Pateros to the confluence with the Chewuch River in Winthrop. The second powerline crossing upstream to the first Highway 153 Bridge is closed to fishing. Night closure and selective gear rules apply, except fishing from a motorized vessel is allowed.
  • Okanogan River – from the mouth upstream except closed waters from the Lake Osoyoos Control Dam (Zosel Dam) downstream to the first Highway 97 Bridge below Oroville. Night closure and selective gear rules apply, except fishing from a motorized vessel is allowed.

Jateff also noted that Okanogan County lakes are fishing well now, including Big and Little Twin near Winthrop, Blue on the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area, and Chopaka near Loomis.

“Good numbers of rainbow trout from 12 to 16 inches can be found in all these lakes,” he said. “Remember that Chopaka is fly-fishing only, and the other three lakes are selective gear only.”

Catch and size limits have been lifted temporarily for Okanogan County’s Buck Lake, scheduled for rotenone treatment this month to improve future fishing. No size or catch limits are in effect through Oct. 25 and then Buck Lake will be closed to fishing from Oct. 26 until further notice.

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Coho, pink salmon catch remains hot in Puget Sound
Seattle Times
Pink fishing slowed down in the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Sekiu to Port Angeles, but the coho action is good. "The pink catch has gone down, but there are

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Ed Friedrich has the story in the Kitsap Sun:

KINGSTON — Two Puget Sound shipyards are vying to build a passenger-only ferry for the Port of Kingston.

Representatives from All American Marine of Bellingham and Kvichak Marine Industries of Seattle attended a mandatory pre-proposal conference Tuesday morning at the port’s office.

The port requested bids on Sept. 4 for an aluminum catamaran capable of carrying 150 people between Kingston and downtown Seattle. The trip, dermatologist
at 25 knots, would take about 35 minutes. Bids are due on Oct. 16. Port commissioners expect to issue a notice to proceed on about Dec. 2 and have the boat on the water within a year.

Art Parker from Kvichak, and All American’s Joe Hudspeth, Gene Quanz and Del McAlpine clarified proposal expectations with Marty Robbins, who is managing the ferry project for the port. During the two-hour meeting, they discussed such things as crewing, bonding, acceptance trials, progress payments, freeboard at the docks and fueling.

“As pre-proposal conferences go, this is the best one I’ve ever done,” Robbins said. “No one ever wants to talk. Everyone wants to keep their cards close to their vests.”

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