OLYMPIA – Beginning Nov. 1, anglers will get their first opportunity ever to fish for chum salmon downstream from the Minter Creek Hatchery on the Longbranch Peninsula near Purdy, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
Anticipating a large return of chum salmon to the hatchery over the next two months, the agency will allow anglers to catch four chum salmon per day below the hatchery from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31. All other species must be released.
The open area extends from the mouth of the creek upstream to markers located approximately 50 feet downstream of the Minter Creek Hatchery rack.
"This fishery will be a first for Minter Creek," said Chuck Baranski, WDFW fish biologist. "All indications are that considerably more chum salmon will return to the creek than we need to meet the hatchery escapement goal, and we want to give fishers every opportunity to catch those excess fish."
Last year, 18,000 chum returned to the creek – considerably more than the number needed by the hatchery and for natural escapement, Baranski said. While this year's return is not expected to be quite that high, Baranski said there should be plenty of fish to provide a good fishing opportunity.
"Recreational chum fisheries at the mouths of rivers in Hoodsport and elsewhere in south Puget Sound have proven to be quite popular," Baranski said. "My guess is that Minter Creek will be too."
Baranski said parking and access to the fishery will be available at the Minter Creek Hatchery and that additional fishery information will be recorded on the hatchery phone line, (253) 857-5077.
To reach Minter Creek Hatchery, take State Route 16 to State Route 302. Follow State Route 302 west approximately 4.3 miles, turn south onto 118th Ave. N.W. and follow it approximately one-half mile to Creviston Drive. Turn west onto Creviston and follow it approximately one-half mile to Minter Creek.