Sun and Halibut at Toleak Beach

Once again we were blessed with some outstanding weather and we had the bonus of watching the opening of Pacific Halibut and all the serious anglers heading out beyond James Island.

pacific halibut

Summer always brings crowds out to La Push. But we were a bit surprised when we pulled into the campground the first weekend in May. It seemed the boats, and they were nice boats, outnumbered the campers by a fair margin. A clue as to why should have been the many references to “Halibut…” this or that. 

After we got camp set up we walked over to the Quileute Marina to get a better view of them. Having spent a few years on deck of a commercial fishing vessel I always enjoy checking out the other guys’ boats and rigs. There were a few boats that seemed a bit ‘shaky’ but most were in the enviable range!

It was late and I couldn’t find anyone to ask about what the catch was, but back at basecamp a bit of Googling lead to the fact that it was the Pacific Halibut opener this weekend. Apparently, this was going to be a bumper year for them, as the quota was increased for the 2019 season. Recreational halibut seasons announced today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are based on a statewide quota of 277,100 pounds, up by an average of 19 percent over the past three years.

They certainly seemed to have lucked out with the weather; calm and sunny.

Once again we were blessed with some outstanding weather and we had the bonus of watching the opening of Pacific Halibut and all the serious anglers heading out beyond James Island.

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toleak beach

Of course, that same weather was lucky us as well. We had taken a beating over the winter with the constant storms so a little sun and calm winds were much appreciated. Coming down off of Scott’s Bluff to see such a tranquil beach was a treat.

Despite the fishermen out on the coast, we had the beach to ourselves. Nothing out of the ordinary as we conducted our survey over our mile of the beach (except the sun as previously mentioned).

The best part of this survey? Being able to take off our boots and socks and sunbathe while we picnicked after the survey! While I soaked up the sun I was reminded of the old beer commercial, “It just doesn’t get any better than this!”

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Science

First Attempted Survey at Toleak Beach

As I was crawling through the rain slick log jam, I thought, “This can’t be the rain I’m feeling, it can’t be raining that hard, the surf must be dumping on the logs”! Well, it was both. And that was in direct competition with all the noise. This time the battle was between the wind in the tree tops and the dumping surf. Was I on Toleak Beach or an alien world.?

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