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Shelton Mason County Journal
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Mason County Journal
January 2, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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January 2, 2014

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cE00'tor's Notebook i i almon seelson is all but over in Washington. Even the massive numbers of chum or clog salmon have wrapped up. Most rivers are also now closed for salmon fishing. Thoughts of waterfowl season and winter steelhead were dancing through my mind just befor the Christmas holiday when a present that I had forgotten about arrived in my n Lailbox. The envelo was addressed to me from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. I 1 zmw what it was right away. Memories from that day on the Sat- sop River rushe d through my mind before I opened the letter. Coho salmov was the target species that day in September. For some reason the coho run w; is a bit late and many anglers were getting skunked, even after hours spent fist ing the river. Mitch Myers and I were determined to put a few fish in the boat that day, but we knew the fising forecast. The night before we prepared for our fishing attack by curing shrimp and eggs. Spinners like Blue Fox's Vibrax were readied and hooks were shaipened. Morning came and as we slipped the 16-foot jet.sled into the waters, a real chill was in the air. Other anglers were also at the boat launch i l* near Montesano. They also commented on the brisk morning i* air. I:e I" With no time to waste, we knew right where we wanted to !. start the day. Pushing the boat to get to our spot, some other ]e fishermen gave us strange looks. Because our fishing spot l!e I. was a bit out of the way. Many anglers even told us it wasn't !o a good spot. We knew better. i. . Anchor dropped, Mitch made his first cast through the deep water behind a log jam. The spinner didn't make it half By Kelly : way across when a chrome coho hit the lure. A quick hook-set was attempted and missed as Mitch whiffed on the first strike Kiordan of the day. I poked fun at the missed opportunity and began casting. A half hour later, I had a strike and nailed the hook-set. The coho leaped and fought like a champ. Minutes later, the fish gave in to the net. First fish of the day down. A quick look at the adopose fin showed it was not fin clipped. The rule on the river allowed for a non-fin clipped coho to be retained. Into the fish box it went. No sooner had i marked the fish on my punch card when Mitch barked that he had hooked up, this was an even larger coho. It jumped and made a few line- peeling runs before I scooped it into the net. This salmon had no adopose fin so it went into the fish box. The day wrapped up and we returned to the boat launch where a WDFW fishchecker named Brian Barry was working. His job is to record fish that were caught and retSned as well as fish caught and released. Barry also had a metal detector which he used to check the head area of the salmon to see ether a micro chip was imbedded in the fish. First he checked the fin-clipped oho and no alerts of a chip. Then, strangely enough, the non-fin- clipped coho te., ted positive for the chip. Back to the 'eason for this story. That piece of mail that WDFW sent me was because one oft he fish we caught that day had a wire tag in it. Hatcheries do this to keep a recorql of where the fish were raised and how many return to the fiver systems and ha tcheries they were born at. The letter sl owed information on the male coho that I had caught. It was born and raised at  4ngham Creek Hatchery near Brady in Greys Harbor County in 2010. The inforaation on where it was raised was no real surprise because that hatchery is on a tributary of the river I was fishing. I was still excited to see some of my license money at work. The WDFW's fish tagging program is a great way for anglers to realize that hatcheries like the one on Bingham Ceek provide sport and commercial anglers a renewable opportu- nity in the fishipg world. RIGHT: Brian Barry takes.a sample of a coho salmon caught on the Satsp River. LEFT. A letter from Washington Depart- ment of Fis and Wildlife shows information recorded from the salmon In the left. Page C-2 - Masotl County Journal - Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014 i i i I outdoors NorthWest Editorial Kelly Riordan ... Editor Adam Rudnick ... Managing Editor Wes Malmberg ... Columnist Chris Meyer ... Columnist Kelly Barnum ... Columnist Advertising Lloyd Mullen ... Advertising Representative Kathy Brooks ... Advertising Representative Dave Pierik ... Advertising Representative For questions, comments or advertising, please Call 1-360-426-4412. Email to kellyr@masoncounty.com Circulation 8,000 T Mason County