The 2015 salmon season is now over. Spring fishing was fair to good with the fish being smaller this year. In the 19 years of the marina it is the first year we did not have a Chinook over 40 pounds. Some years we would have as many as 60 fish over 40 pounds! It seems each year there are less big ones although we did have many over 30 pounds. Halibut fishing was very good this season both at the Swiftsure Bank and inshore. It continued to be very good till our closing but weather and sea conditions were less than ideal.
Coho were the big disappointment. Many anglers (myself included) wait all year for the big San Juan fish to arrive. The Coho caught offshore were very small, 3 to 6 pounds for the most part. By Thanksgiving the huge local fish are usually filling the estuaries, this year no one has even seen one jump! Upstream to Fairy Lake is holding lots of nice fish for the freshwater fishermen.
This year was a struggle in many ways. We had to deal with a large wildfire that lasted over two weeks, road closures, bridge closures and hot dry weather that affected the salmon fishing and still seems to be. We all got through it and in the long run still had a good year.
As many of you know, the annual Coho Derby "Winner Take All" was won this year by Bruce Miller with a Coho weighing in at 14 pounds and 2 ounces. This is his lucky year as he won first place in the Labor Day Derby this year on Sept 5th and 6th and then managed to win the Coho Derby also. Have to say that it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy and family. The Labor Day derby raised $8377.00 for the San Juan Hatchery and with ongoing misc donations throughout the year bringing in $1850.00 and the Coho derby raising $5797.50 for a total of monies raised the the hatchery of $16,024.50 for this year! We are all so pleased with the numbers and hope it helps the hatchery stay sustainable. A big thank you goes out to all the businesses and people who supported the derbys in various ways, it all helps and it all adds up. Here is to meeting and beating that amount for next year! Also a big thank you again goes out to the people who helped pound the streets looking, asking and picking up donations for the derby. It is a thankless job and we couldn't do it without their help. These people are Sharon Winters, Vic Gee, Brian Kitagawa and Jack Hughes.
This past weekend was a busy one with putting away the docks and doing the annual clean up and dealing with storage and other things. A very big thank you goes out to Reid Warren, Todd Garrett, Wayne Coleman, Dave Mills and Odd Johansen who used his "supervisor skills." The weather didn't always cooperate so it was nasty work part of the time with torrential rain. As we always close on the Thanksgiving weekend there are some of us who spend our holiday up there and so we organized a big dinner with the few of us who are left behind. Eight of us had a Thanksgiving feast in the marina office! A great time was had by all who were there and it was a fun way to end the year.
Important: As the marina is now closed it is imperative that anyone who has a boat or unit still at the marina that they call and make arrangements asap for their removal or winter storage rates will apply. All boats must be out of the water as soon as possible. Port Renfrew Marina assumes no responsibility for any boats left unattended in the water. Weather conditions make leaving it in the water a very poor choice. As the marina is now closed you MUST call ahead to arrange access to remove your boat as the gate is kept locked. To arrange a time for this you will need to call Desi Hatchard at 250 483-1486 to let him know when you can come so he can be there to open the gate for you.
Reminder: For all our customers with accounts outstanding we ask you make arrangements to send payment asap so we can settle up things for the season. Winter storage is to be paid at the beginning of the season. Also a reminder that for customers who have made arrangements for winter storage for their units that you are allowed only one weekend a month to stay at the marina to come and check on things, this means everyone. Staying at the marina more often than that is not allowed for security and liability reasons. Again to come up you need to check in with Desi so he can be there to open the gate.
We at Port Renfrew Marina want to take this time to thank all our customers for their loyalty and love for the marina and sincerely hope all enjoyed their stay there this past season and wish all of you a safe winter and look forward to seeing you next year. Port Renfrew Marina will reopen on May 1st 2016.
Bud & Rex