The every-other-year appearance of spawning pink salmon in Puget Sound streams is expected to include a substantial return to the Nooksack River.
Among the 6.2 million humpies forecast to home in on greater Puget Sound streams is an anticipated contingent of 154,075 adults, more than double the 2011 run size.
The earliest returning and smallest of Puget Sound stocks, the Nooksack's pinks will headed mainly to spawning beds in the basin's North and Middle forks. At close to three times the abundance mandated for natural spawning, this run's size may help managers stretch the season.
Freshwater anglers also can expect a good, though not stellar, run of coho coming back to the Skagit this fall if these salmon live up to state/tribal co-manager forecasts.
CLUBS RAISE FUNDS
Don't forget that the doors open at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at the Deming Logging Show Museum for the annual Northwest Washington Steelheaders banquet and fundraising auction.
Get there early if you want to buy a card and participate in the club's lottery that will award a Benelli shotgun as well as Savage, Springfield and Sako rifles. These sporting firearms will be on display at the banquet, with winners being able to claim them later at a cooperating firearms dealership at which time the transaction will be registered.
More than 170 donated items, from loads of firewood, power tools and handcrafted furniture to specialty foods, art and blueberries, are featured in this year's NWS bucket raffles and the event's live and silent bidding action.
Proceeds go to raising 45 percent of the hatchery winter steelhead released into the Nooksack as well as prizes for the annual Bellingham kids fishing derby held each May.
The North Sound Chapter of the Coast Conservation Association also is preparing for its fifth annual dinner/fundraiser set for Saturday, April 13, in Bellingham.
Originally coalescing along the Atlantic seaboard and Gulf Coast regions of the U.S., CCA Northwest since coming into being on the lower Columbia River about 30 years ago has championed derelict net removal, habitat restoration and wild fish conservation here.
For more details on expected returns of salmon to Washington waters this summer and fall plus more fishing and hunting news and word about the reopening of the North Cascades Highway, read Sunday's Outdoors Column.
Doug Huddle, the Bellingham Herald's outdoors correspondent, since 1983, has written a weekly fishing and hunting column that now appears Sundays. Read his blog and contact him at http://pblogs.belinghamherald.com/outdoors.