It was a stormy day, but the weather broke just in time for the Cape Meares Memorial Day potluck. Chris Spence had brought his Solo fire pit for folks who wanted to sit outside and eat at the picnic tables, while others gathered inside the Barbara Bennett Community Center. About 40 individuals came to our first community Memorial Day potluck since 2019. It was great to see old familiar faces, as well as some new ones. The tables were laden with good food, from salmon and turkey to kale and green bean salads to beans and scalloped potatoes to desserts: berry pies, cream pies, brownies and cookies. I heard people catching up on family news, vacation plans, fishing reports, and bird sightings (yes, the brown pelicans are back!). What a wonderful gathering! Thank you to Mary Gordon for taking the reins on this one. Next up will be the holiday potluck on the 4th of July.
I had a chance to visit with Kevin Burke about the road trip he and his wife, Kathy, took during the month of May. They visited national parks in Utah (Zion and Bryce), Colorado (Mesa Verde), and Tennessee (Smoky Mountain, on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee). They spent a week with their daughter and her three children in North Carolina, and fit in a visit with Kathy’s family in Iowa and a cousin in Minnesota. But finally, they looked at each other and said, “Let’s go home!” And off they went, back to Oregon, where gas prices had crept up to $5 a gallon in their absence. Time to stay put for a while.
It appeared there was only one fish in Memaloose pool that last morning in May, but it was certainly a feisty one. First Andrea Papadopoli got it on. It took her rod down hard, boiled behind the boat, but then got off. Immediately afterward, Capt. Pete’s rod went down with a big jerk—and then back up it sprang, completely devoid of its tackle! The big Pro-Troll flasher, the little spinner, the sinker—that feisty fish broke it all off. Things were morose in the pool for another hour, but then Andrea hooked a fish near that same place—surely it was the same feisty fish! This time she fought the fish to the boat, around the motor, and finally landed it—her first spring Chinook of 2022. It was a beauty, mint silver and flashing in the sun as she held it up. Congratulations to Andrea!
A public meeting held June 1 delivered sobering news to fisherfolk. Chinook salmon runs are lower than anticipated, so restrictions are being put in place for the fall. In the Tillamook Bay basin, only hatchery Chinook may be retained (no wild Chinook). Given that historic harvests are roughly10 wild to one hatchery Chinook, this is bad news. Poor ocean conditions starting in 2014 are affecting wild coastal fall Chinook. Conditions have since improved, but positive effects won’t be seen until future years. Proposed coho regulations are similar to last year’s. For more details, tune in to an ODFW webinar tonight at 6 p.m. at https://www.youtube.com/user/IEODFW.