NASELLE - A grassroots effort to help restore the late fall run of coho salmon in the Naselle River will culminate Saturday, Aug. 4, at an auction in Naselle sponsored by the Willapa Anglers Club and the Pacific County Anglers organization. The silent auction will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday, followed by the oral auction at 6:30 p.m. Both will be held at the old Naselle Grange at 290 Knappton Road, next to the Post Office and just behind Okie's Market.
Auction sponsors hope to raise $5,000 to purchase enough feed for 100,000 coho salmon smolts at the state hatchery on the Naselle River. Late-run coho, prized by fishermen before the run dwindled several years ago, return from the ocean and enter the river in November and December. This hatchery-bred run of coho was discontinued by the state because of a lack of public funding.
Residents of Naselle, supported by anglers on the Long Beach Peninsula, are leading the effort to re-establish this valued sports fishery. The smolts will be released in the river next spring. Several thousand of them are expected to return as adult fish, starting in the late fall of 2008, providing an excellent fall fishery in the Naselle.
Dewey Adair of South Bend will be the auctioneer and Ron Nanney of Naselle is master of ceremonies. There will be a short introduction explaining the importance of the late-coho salmon run.
Items to be auctioned include a variety of fishing tackle, fly fishing equipment and specialty gear such as a new $680 Abel fly reel. Other items will include a guided summer steelhead trip on Oregon's Deschutes River and guided salmon trips on Willapa Bay, the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean. Another auction offering is a bird-watching and picnic trip on Willapa Bay.
Fishing books, CDs and local history books also will be available for bidding, as well as dramatic salmon and sturgeon art. Restaurant and hotel packages will be featured, as well as miscellaneous decorative items and jewelry.
Sponsors said the retail value of the combined auction items surpasses $5,000, which is the committed goal. Use of the building for the auction was donated by its owner, Bob Lebroughten.
Light refreshments, including an assortment of cakes, some baked by Naselle Valley residents, will be served, along with soft drinks and coffee.