26 Save Our
Neaterlin of WDF&W and Michael Schmidt of
Long Live the Kings -Summary of study on smolt
survival Puget Sound
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President's Column -
By Ron Garner
A huge congratulations and thank you to the
Steelhead Trout Club of Washington for
intervening in the Wild Fish Conservancy
lawsuit against WDFW and the Tokul Creek
Hatchery! They have hired Perkins Coie Law
firm to keep WFC from stopping upgrades to
the Tokul Creek Hatchery.
This is a big win for the fishing public on
the Tokul Creek litigation filed by the Wild
Fish Conservancy (WFC). All WFC
charges have been dismissed with prejudice
and cannot be refiled in a mediation hearing
before the state Shorelines Hearing Board.
STCW has ensured survival of the hatchery.
On August 28, 2014, the steelhead trout of
Washington secured a major victory for
hatchery fish by intervening in a legal
challenge to the permits for improvements at
the Tokul Creek Hatchery. The Clubs
intervention helped ensure that the Tokul
Creek Hatchery will remain open and can
receive necessary improvements by WDFW. A
special thanks to Al Senyohl and club for
doing such a great job.
But there are still WFC lawsuits going against our
hatcheries. WFC believes that hatchery strays are part of
the reason that our wild fish are dying off. But steelhead
are in trouble coast wide. In fact, some of the most
pristine rivers in our region in Hood Canal have lost their
wild fish runs with ho hatchery intervention at all.
NOAA has to act on the Hatchery and Genetics Management Plan
to approve many of our hatchery fish to be released in our
hatcheries. The other lawsuits are putting the rest of the
Puget Sound Steelhead in Jeopardy as well as lining up to
stop all hatchery fish supplementation state wide.
More news is,
our Area 2A halibut catch share (California, Oregon, and
Washington) is asking to get changed by California.
California is proposing that our shares of fish get
readjusted to give them more fish. But the problem is that
California is going way over on their catches at times
because of lack of monitoring.
have watched our seasons go from months down to
mere days. Northern California has found a
halibut fishery and is not doing any in season
management. Their management system is to wait
till the end of the season and then do their
counts. They are going over their limit and
still refuse to manage. We put in hundreds if
not thousands of hours to keep us fishing by
trying to manage our halibut fishing. In fact,
sadly we now put in more time working and
managing this fishery than we do fishing it.
California does not deserve a raise in their
quota if they are not willing to manage it
properly. We highly disagree on any halibut loss
to any of our existing parties when California
is not willing to manage it properly. This is an
issue we are not taking lightly. We are opposing
this catch share change reward without
California doing in season management.
Come and learn how to fish from our skilled members at a
local chapter. We are the true conservationists in
Washington that work using common sense on our fisheries.
Join your local chapter today and be part of the solution.
We understand today’s problems and are working together for
a better tomorrow.
If enjoy Puget Sound and Snohomish River Coho fishing or enjoy helping enhance
recreational opportunities please read on!
I'm Kelli Mack from the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club. We took over a
private salmon hatchery back in 2009 and got it back into operational condition.
To date we have raised and released over 240,000 Coho into the Snohomish River
system and currently have 88,000 more on hand to release next spring.
The eyed-eggs we receive are surplus hatchery fish, which if not kept local,
would be sent away to distant fisheries. We keep these fish in their home river
system, enriching our catching opportunities.
Although it's functional the hatchery is in need upgrades to ensure the safety
of eggs, fry, and smolt as we nurture them along their life-cycle.
Please help by making a tax deductible contribution to the campaign Snohomish &
Puget Sound Coho Fishing Enhancement going on now on Indiegogo here: Coho
Hatchery Fundraiser Link
Coho fishing in 2013 was almost 8 times better than in 2010 according to a
comparison of creel checks at the Everett Public Ramp.
Did you know that some yelloweye rockfish
that are here today were Washington residents before it became a
state in 1889? They have been and continue to be an important
part of our heritage.
Halibut and bottomfish fishing have also
been a part of Washington’s culture for hundreds of years. Many
generations of fishermen have relied on halibut and bottomfish
for food and recreation.
A recent stock assessment indicates that
the yelloweye rockfish population has declined over 80% from its
initial level. As a result, immediate action must be taken if
the stocks of these long-lived fish are to be rebuilt.
To rebuild yelloweye rockfish populations,
the harvest opportunities for this species must be severely
curtailed. In recent years, the Pacific Fishery Management
Council has set yelloweye rockfish harvest levels for all
commercial, recreational, and tribal fisheries combined for
California, Oregon, and Washington of about 17 metric tons (mt).
This number includes yelloweye rockfish that are discarded at
The Washington recreational harvest target
is about 2.7 mt (fewer than 1,000 fish) in coastal waters. To
put this in perspective, in 2001, the Washington recreational
fishery harvested 15 mt.
Yelloweye rockfish, in general, are harvested during the
Washington recreational halibut fishery. If the yelloweye
rockfish catch is projected to exceed 2.7 mt, then Pacific ocean
waters adjacent to Washington outside 25 fathoms will be closed
to recreational bottomfish fishing (including halibut).
If yelloweye rockfish cannot be avoided when anglers are
targeting halibut, then we may have to close recreational
halibut fishing in the future to protect yelloweye rockfish.
Because the yelloweye rockfish stock may not be rebuilt for over
100 years, the problem of managing the yelloweye fishery will
continue through our lifetime; however, you have the ability to
help save the halibut fishery now and preserve the yelloweye
resource for the future.
Live to be 120 years old
Range extends from Mexico to Alaska
Found in deeper, rocky bottom areas
Slow growing,low productive species
Reddish-orange in color with bright yelloweye
Commonly called "red snapper"
Often spend their entire lifetime on one rockpile
How You Can Help
If you are participating in the recreational halibut or
bottomfish fishery, please avoid areas that are known to
have yelloweye rockfish.
If you do accidentally catch a yelloweye, please return
to the water s soon as possible.
Help spread the word to others about the severity of the
yelloweye rockfish depleted population and the possible
consequences of not avoiding yelloweye areas
If you do not know what areas may have yelloweye
rockfish, please consult a local resort, motel, or charter
office or other expert before fishing