KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS Floats for the City of Port Angeles’ boat launch on Ediz Hook sit on the ground near the launch on Friday after they were removed to prevent storm damage.

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS Floats for the City of Port Angeles’ boat launch on Ediz Hook sit on the ground near the launch on Friday after they were removed to prevent storm damage.

OUTDOORS: Port Angeles anglers staring at limited boat launch options ahead of April's halibut opener

Ediz Hook Boat Launch floats damaged by storms and waves, manufacturer out of business

A SERIES OF unfortunate events could result in some ugly scenes at Port Angeles-area boat launches during halibut and summer salmon season in April and July.

Anglers may have a chance to weigh in on the potential for added launch access by the Port of Port Angeles during the public comment portions of Tuesday’s regular commission meeting at 9 a.m. at the Port’s administration building, 338 E. First St.

Beset in recent winters by king tides and heavy surf activity from storms, the city of Port Angeles’ Ediz Hook boat launch may be forced to close for an extended period of time, potentially years, in order to receive repairs.

Previously, the launch was protected by a human-made sea wall dating to the 1920s which was considered a barrier to “natural shoreline processes” such as salmon and forage fish migration, eelgrass habitat and sediment transport (beach building). The sea wall also was collapsing due to disrepair and ultimately was removed as part of the Navy’s Transit Protection System pier installed in recent years.

Funding sought

Removing that bulkhead has had a rough impact on the floats — enough that city Parks & Recreation Director Corey Delikat addressed the launch in a recent letter posted on the city website and sent in response to public comments on the issue.

“The City recognizes the importance of the Ediz Hook Boat Launch as a cherished amenity for both residents and visitors, particularly for its role in facilitating recreational fishing activities. In light of recent concerns, we wish to provide an update to our community about the status of this facility,” Delikat’s letter opened.

“First and foremost, we want to share that no final decisions have been made regarding the permanent removal of the float docks from Ediz Hook.

“Recent events have led to the temporary removal of the float docks from the boat launch facility. In October 2023, the easternmost string of floats was temporarily taken out of service to prepare for the winter season. More recently, the westernmost string of floats was severely damaged during January’s winter storms.

“Unfortunately, the float manufacturer no longer provides the materials needed to repair our existing float dock system. Nevertheless, the city continues to seek solutions that address the damage.”

Puget Sound Anglers and Port Angeles Salmon Club member Robert Beausoleil wrote in with a plea for anglers to attend the Tuesday Port commission meeting.

“According to Corey Delikat, the cost of renovation will be approximately $800,000 which the [Parks & Recreation] Department does not have. Also tagged with renovation is a possible 3-year time table to access funding and permits,” Beausoleil wrote.

“Halibut season opens in April followed by king salmon season and then silvers. There is no possible way the west end Port of Port Angeles ramp facility can handle the overload.

“We are hoping the Parks department can find a way to open the Hook before the fishing season begins. We are contacting all interested fishermen of the event.”

Beausoleil said he also contacted Port of Port Angeles executive director Paul Jarkiewicz about the Port’s East End Dock which remains idle and was encouraged to receive feedback that the Port considers recreational fishing to be a high economic priority.

The city’s letter also said that an Ediz Hook Boat Launch improvement project has been planned into the city’s 2024-29 Capital Facilities Plan.

“This project, currently unfunded, includes the installation of a brand-new docking system and seawall at Ediz Hook.

“We want to emphasize that this is a multi-year effort requiring time and dependent on strategic collaboration and grant opportunities. Our staff have already begun efforts to engage stakeholders and explore potential partnerships.”

Traditionally there are two 20-minute public comment periods at the beginning and toward the end of regular port commission meetings. Members of the public are typically allowed up to 3 minutes to speak.

To join the meeting via Zoom, visit https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8940952692 with webinar ID: 894 0952 6929.

To listen on the phone, call 253-215-8782 and use the above webinar ID.

To submit questions and comments, email braedij@portofpa.com or call 360-461-9515 by 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Northern pike caught

Officials with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife say that an invasive species was “almost certainly” placed in local waters in violation of state law.

An invasive northern pike was fished out of a pond at Limekiln Preserve on San Juan Island in late February by teenager Evan Hiatt who passed photos of the pike to local officials and Fish and Wildlife.

“WDFW is working with the Land Bank, county, and partners to deploy a rapid response to assess how many pike are in the area, and to remove them as soon as possible before they can spread to other waterways,” the department said in a statement.

“The pike [on San Juan Island] was almost certainly introduced in violation of state laws concerning prohibited species which ban their transport, sale, or introduction into state waters. “Violators face a maximum penalty of one year in jail and $5,000 in fines.”

These fish are known for their sharp teeth and aggressive character. That means they threaten other fish species.

If someone catches a northern pike in Washington, they should take a photo and report it by calling 1-888-933-9247 or emailing ais@dfw.wa.gov.

Northern Pike were first found in Western Washington in Crocker Lake near Quilcene in 1998. A growing population of Northern Pike was discovered in the lake and Fish and Wildlife responded by deploying the garden pesticide rotenone to kill the invasive species.

________

Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at sports@peninsulanews.us.

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