Those planning a trip to the coast this month with thoughts of finding a spot aboard one of Westport’s many charter boats may want to call ahead of time.
The Westport Charterboat Association reports it has been a busy season, with most of the boats in its fleet at or near capacity.
“Business started out kind of slow, but it’s been busy lately,” association representative Darlene Camp said. “The charter fleet is doing a variety of things right now and they are all pretty full.”
According to Camp, most of the charter boats are at approximately 95-100 percent capacity.
Camp adds that it’s not just the fishing boats that are filling up with eager customers anxious to get out and enjoy a day out on the ocean, but boats that offer other services as well.
“One of our charters is for bird watching. They said (the season) started out slow but now reservations are coming in like crazy,” she said. “And their business is mostly from out-of-state customers.”
With anglers reeling in halibut, Chinook salmon, bottom fish and albacore tuna off the coast, the fishing, according to Camp, has been a big draw for the area.
“We’ve seen lots of albacore tuna fishing, that is doing well and salmon fishing has been good. (Anglers) can keep two kings now and people like that,” she said. “
The salmon season runs through Sept. 30 while the association will still be booking trips for albacore and deep sea bottom fish through the first couple of weeks in October.
Anglers planning to secure a spot aboard one of the many charter boats are encouraged to call ahead for a reservation.
For more information, visit the Westport Charterboat Association website at charterwestport.com/.
Westport to open for salmon fishing seven days per week, Chinook limit increasing
Action: Opens salmon fishery seven days per week; anglers may retain up to two Chinook as part of their two-salmon daily limit.
Effective date: Sept. 4 through Sept. 30.
Species affected: Salmon.
Location: Marine Area 2.
Reason for action: Sufficient quota remains for Chinook and coho in Marine Area 2 to allow fishing seven days per week and to allow retention of more than one Chinook salmon in the daily limit.
Additional information: Chinook minimum size 22 inches, coho min. size 16 inches. Daily limit of two salmon, release wild coho.
The Grays Harbor control zone remains closed.
Marine Areas 1 and 4 remain closed.
Marine Area 3 remains open daily through Sept. 30, daily limit of two salmon, release chum and wild coho.
Information contact: WDFW Region 6 office, 360-249-4628
Additional all-depth halibut days added in Marine Areas 1 and 2
Action: Opened the all-depth halibut fishery in Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco/Chinook) and Marine Area 2 (Westport) on Friday, Sept. 4. In addition, opens Marine Area 1 (Ilwaco/Chinook) on Friday, Sept. 11. These openings are in addition to days already proposed to be open.
Effective date: Sept. 4.
Species affected: Pacific Halibut.
Location: Marine Areas 1 and 2.
Reason for action: Prior to the start of the recreational halibut season, additional days were identified that could be opened if recreational halibut catch was tracking slower than expected in Marine Areas 1 (Ilwaco/Chinook) and 2 (Westport). Those days were Aug. 28, Sept. 4 and Sept. 11. This change will open both areas on Sept. 4 to give recreational anglers time to plan for the extra fishing day. In addition, Marine Area 1, where catch is tracking slower than in Marine Area 2, will also open on Friday, Sept. 11. There is enough quota remaining in these two subareas (Marine Areas 1 and 2) to add these additional fishing days.
Information contact: Heather Hall, Intergovernmental Policy Coordinator, 360-902-2487.