Here we are… the lull between sockeye and silvers. Also known as humpy season…
We finished our commercial fishing season on the Akwe a week ago because the pinks were really taking over. Sunday, we were running about 50:50 pound-wise and since pinks are a little over half the size of sockeye, the week wasn’t starting off very good. By Monday and Tuesday, the pinks slowed dramatically and we were back to being nearly all sockeye. A few chum and two silvers were added to the mix, but no kings. Not quite a salmon grand slam.
So with the pinks coming in in big numbers (10’s of thousands going into the Italio), we called it a season. This past weekend, we did go out again for a couple days to close things out, pull the boat out of the water and put the nets away. Gorgeous sunny weather, so we went swimming and goofing off before we pulled the boat. And it looks like we should have fished another week… The humpies in the Akwe dried up and we were back to nearly all sockeye. Oh well. We had already put the gear away.
Back in town, Fish and Game raised the bag limit on sockeye to 6. Still seeing 1-2,000 sockeye passing through the weir every day and have exceeded 80,000 fish so far. Fish and Game expects to pull the weir on August 12th and at this rate, we may see 100,000 escapement by that time.
Pinks are coming in between 10,000 and 20,000 daily. Yikes! A cool change this year… Fish and Game are listing all species on the weir counts page, so we get to see they are already over 90,000 humpies past the weir. They officially have 94 silvers and a whopping 30 chum.
The real news though is that we have 826 large kings through. The past two days have seen 76 and 54 respectively! It is hard to justify continuing the closure of the Rodeo Hole now that they are nearly double the minimum escapement goal, so I’d expect them to lift the restriction closing the holes immediately below the weir in the next few days.
LOTS of silvers in the bay, with the charter boats able to get their limits for going on a month now… Still some kings out there too. So… we have ridiculous numbers of fish right now and very few people here to fish them. It’ll be pretty dead for the next three weeks, till the silver season begins in earnest and we get crowded again.