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Thousands of coho grow at Possession

"Twenty thousand more angling opportunities entered South Whidbey waters earlier this month.The young coho salmon were placed in the Possession Point Bait Co. pond by the Cooper family and the Whidbey Island Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers, with fish supplied by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's Wallace Hatchery.The fin-clipped coho are a popular attraction to anglers when they reach maturity. The small fish will be fattened in the Coopers' pond until May, when they will be released into Puget Sound. They will return to the area in two years, weighing several pounds each.Last year the west side was closed to fishing until late in the summer, but a last-minute exception was made to allow a bubble fishery at Possession so anglers could catch those hatchery fish. The effort to create that special fishery was made by former State. Rep. Dave Anderson, with help from the Tulalip Tribes' John McCoy.Russ Ramsey of Puget Sound Anglers said his group is planning earlier this year in the hope that such a hurried opening won't be required in 2001. He and several other club members will attend the North of Falcon meeting to be held Feb. 22 in Olympia. The North of Falcon process sets fishing seasons, and the Anglers hope their presence will assure a summer fishing season at Possession and, perhaps, other Whidbey Island locations.Anyone interested in helping influence the season setting process is welcome to call Russ Ramsey at 341-1783. "

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