I hope many of you have enjoyed the increase in the
amount of returning salmon we have had this year.
This stems from the vastly improved recent ocean
conditions. We have shown a chart that tracks the health of the ocean that
you can look at a series of good conditions over years that end up with big
fish and lots of them. We are into a few years of that phase right now (La
Nina). It needs to keep going with cooler, healthier waters.
What is needed is a way to track run size so that when it
comes in bigger than forecast, we can keep fishing. This year is a prime
example of that. All areas were reworked constantly to keep them open at
times to catch our quota. We took my boat down to Westport with friends. It
was an absolutely great fishing season. We love to run divers and
downriggers at the same time. Many people don’t know how effective divers
are in both the ocean and Puget Sound. We use the Dipsy diver as it has an
adjustable weight on the bottom so you can tune them away from the
downriggers. This year the biggest king came in on a diver.
we need from all of you now are for you to contact your
WDFW Commissioners. We have some new commissioners that are talking with
Wild Fish Conservancy staff or others. They are working towards cutting the
increased hatchery production we have been worked so hard on. WFC has
a lawsuit on against some of our Washington hatcheries. It is not good.
They are taking the info from that lawsuit, that
has had a motion to dismiss against it, and sent it to the WDFW Commission
to get them to act on it internally to shut down hatchery production.
needed you to let the WDFW Commissioners know that we do not agree with
this and explain that we have continually cut hatchery production since the
1980s and we have not seen the natural spawners
rebound but have continued to decrease. We need that increased production
to feed the orca whales. I cannot understand how anyone can make the
assumption that more food is bad for them when they are starving? How can
you make that argument? That is what the commissioners are being groomed
on. If we remove the hatchery fish, then what is to stop the overwhelming
amount of predators that we have never had before, wipe out the remaining
natural spawners? The end of the end. At the last
commission meeting there was an orchestrated set up to speak in unison
against the increased hatchery production. When this is done without
opposition it makes it look like this is what the public wants. We have to
strike back and start working with the commisisoners
like we have in the past.
Next up at the August 26 WDFW Commission meeting will be
the Willipa Policy. It is not published on the
agenda yet. By the time you get this is will possibly have been done. We
had the Willipa Policy moving in the right
direction before the last round of new commissioners came in. 1. There is
no natural run of Chinook in Willipa. It was
built by the commercial fishers as they brought the eggs in by wagon in the
early 1900s. 2. This fishery was man made and not natural. It’s a ditch.
Chinook don’t take to this kind of water, Coho and Chum do. Its just like the Mid Hood
Canal Chinook, wrong kind of water for Chinook to have a naturally
occurring run. Those upper waters were blocked by natural events many
years ago making that run go extinct. Tell the commissioners to stop trying
to make Willipa a natural run as it never was and
will die out if not kept alive by hatchery implementation, just like the
Mid Hood Canal Chinook did. 3. Why do we think we have to have
natural runs everywhere? If they weren’t there, then they do not want to be
there. Let them be managed just for fishing. Is that wrong? 4. There are no
ESA Concerns as its the
same fish all up and down our coast. This is very frustrating. Its time to stand up or lose forever. If there is no
public comment on these issues you can sign up for comment early in the
morning to comment under the public testimony at any WDFW Commission
meeting. You will only get 3 minutes. But please comment on one or
the other. Or both on both days as they are 2 day meetings.
Hunting and fishing are under extreme attack by
environmentalists. We need your help. Join your local PSA Chapter to help
us to support our fisheries. We are one of the only few entities that is
fighting for you to keep fishing.
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
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 sea.
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.
Halibut Fishery in Jeopardy
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.
Yelloweye Rockfish Facts:
Live to be 120 years old
Range extends from Mexico to Alaska
Found in deeper, rocky bottom areas
Reddish-orange in color with bright yelloweye
Commonly called "red snapper"
Often spend their entire lifetime on one rockpile
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
Help spread the word to others about the severity of
the yelloweye rockfish depleted population
and the possible consequences of not avoiding yelloweye
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