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
all that helped support WDFW Commission Chair Miranda Wecker
on her Senate Confirmation Hearing. She has a tough job
making sure that our states natural resources conservation
needs are met then the appropriate amount can be harvested.
One of her main issues was using and expanding selective
fishing and methods. There was some opposition to her from
some of the commercial fishers but not during the hearing.
She answered questions well and gave her perspective on
other nonfish issues such as the wolves and elk. She is s
true leader and someone we can be proud of.
Voter Voice showed huge support for her. We ran it a short
time and so did CCA. Senate Natural Resource Chair Kirk
Pearson was a class act and gave her the allotted time she
needed to prove she is worthy of Senate confirmation. This
means that she cannot be fired by the Governor’s office. She
has unselfishly given her time since 2005 as a commissioner.
They are not paid for their services and only get their
expenses reimbursed. They put in more free gratus hours than
most paid employees. Thank you Miranda and all
commissioners! We look forward to being able to announce
your confirmation when it happens. You deserve it.
It took a
while to get her reappointed with Governor Inslees office,
but it happened and now up for confirmation. The next
governor will want to pick their own commissioners and those
confirmed cannot be replaced until their term expires. All
others are vulnerable. This is why it’s important that she
We are in
for one heck of an ocean fishery. 1.6 Million Chinook
returning to the Columbia River. Not to mention 1 million
Coho and 400,000 sockeye. This will be one heck of a season
if the forecasts are right. Biggest CR run since 1938. Be
there for this one!
at the Puyallup Sprotsman show and Seattle Boat show went
well. We had the Fish Descender device program back on
display. We are going places with this device and rockfish
identifaction education program.
will be our “PSA All Chapters Derby” in Port Townsend. This
is where our individual chapters are going to fish for
Chinook competitively to win the PSA Plaque. This is a great
event for the chapters to get together and meet new fishing
We are the true
conservationists in Washington that work with 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.