Saying goodbye to a friend. Dec 12 we lost a great friend. Long time fishing
advocate and great friend Ken Kumasawa lost his life, while with many of his
friends at our PSA State Board meeting. Ken had just given a bit of advice
on how to fight legislation then passed shortly after. Saturday Jan 16 we
all came together to see Ken off at his Celebration of Life. Ken was VP of
our PSA's newest chapter, Education, Fisheries, and Conservation. This
chapter was formed to work on fisheries issues that will help in keeping our
fisheries alive so our kids and grandkids can continue to fish.
Many of us giving up so much our lives fighting for our fisheries, that we
really never get to know the "other" side of life each of us has. Time goes
by so fast. Frank Urabeck spoke at Kens celebration that outlined the
fisheries side of Ken. Kens son and one of Ken's buddies that grew up with
him, spoke about Ken's personal life. Ken was an amazing and caring person.
Afterwards we all talked with each other about the sides that neither knew
about. Ken has been an inspiring person working with us and left behind a
great family. All of the work we have done to keep us on the water, has had
Ken there being a port of it all of the way. So when you work with someone,
you should get to know the other side of that person's life. It can be truly
amazing as Kens friends and family are.
I was thinking back when Neah Bay was closed down to bottomfishing. One of
the WDFW Commissioners and a key staff person of Wild Fish Conservancy were
successful in closing one the healthiest rockfish populations on the lower
48s west coast. Those of us that fish Neah Bay knew that the info provided
was not truthful. 13 PSA members and a couple of key CCA members showed up
at a Puget Sound Rockfish meeting. It was very uncomfortable for the WDFW
staff and all of us. We waited out the meeting and sat with WDFWs Craig
Burley. Most of the Puget Sound Rockfish team left at that time and Craig
stayed behind for hours to deal with us. He listened to our concerns and
wrote down all of our information as most of us were Neah Bay fishers. We
explained why this was wrong and backed it up with facts. When we were done,
Craig went over the sheet and we walked through every issue double checking
that it was correct. Craig took these facts back to the present director
Phil Anderson and the WDFW Commission. I received a call from Phil Anderson
to verify facts. We went over them and he went back to the commission
conference call. Later he called back and said the decision was overturned
and Neah Bay was to remain open. We did it! I thought about who was sitting
at the table in that last meeting to do the final push to stop this closure.
Ken Kumasawa was one of us.
Since that day we overturned the Neah Bay closure that happened again 2
years later. Next we went headfirst into working with NOAA and WDFW to make
sure that we protect our rockfish populations and keep fishing alive in
Puget Sound. While everyone over the years has been fighting for salmon,
they didn't realize that slow growing ESA rockfish are the key to shutting
down all fisheries. Our newest PSA-EFC was instrumental in stopping the
biggest fishing closure in Puget Sound history. So next time you are out on
the water, think about this. There are people behind the scenes constantly
fighting for your fishing rights and you are allowed to be out there through
our hard work. Ken was one of those people unselfishly keeping you out
We are in the same scenario now with our hatchery fish. Wildfish Conservancy
is suing WDFW to not release hatchery steelhead from 5 Puget Sound Rivers.
Now they have moved to sue the Mitchell Act Funded Columbia River
Hatcheries. There is nothing saying that these programs are bad, just that
the proper paperwork is not in place to release them. Strict short timelines
are set on the Columbia's 60 plus hatcheries. Hatcheries were built on the
Columbia River to mitigate for the dams that were installed. It is
preposterous to sue to this extent to stop something that was put there to
cover for lost fish production because of the dams. So I ask you, if they
are to be successful in shutting down the CR hatcheries, what are the tribes
going to do as we have a treaty with them to supply them fish. Most likely
they are going to tell the feds to remove the dams then. So where does that
leave us in Washington? Working by candle light.
Back to the Steelhead issue in the Puget Sound. Let's just say the WFC is
successful in terminating the 3rd year of hatchery broodstock and steelhead
completely collapse. There are no hatchery fish to take the hit from the
overpopulated Puget Sound predators. Then NOAA releases the HGMPs after the
fact and it shows that the Hatchery Fish are not as big of a problem to wild
fish as WFC suggests. They will have effectively wiped out a fishery before
it was determined that it was not problem matic. Isn't this guilty till
proven innocent? You decide as these are your fisheries to use or lose. Like
it or not our treaty with the tribes is a very real agreement and it is
going to get ugly if WFC wins. This opens the doors for some of the biggest
lawsuits by the tribes. This is the fact and the way it will play out.
Lets not let fishing become the way of logging in Washington. Only a memory.
Join your local PSA Chapter to support your fishing rights.
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