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
Congratulations to PSA Chapter North
Kitsap on winning the 3rd
Annual PSA All Chapters Derby for 2013
at Port Townsend! This was a Blackmouth
Derby. Martin Antrim took 1st place with
his 10# 8oz fish, North Kitsap, John
Goldengay 10#5oz, 2nd place
North Kitsap, Jon Fulwiler 10#1oz, 3rd
Place, Renton. Bill Kyley 10#0oz, 4th
Place, North Kitsap. All weights were
gutted and gilled and had to be fin
clipped. We had an awesome potluck the
first night and the next night we had
Mikes 4 Star BBQ from Port Gamble, who
is also a PSA member. Both dinners were
excellent and many members got to meet
new friends from other chapters. Thanks
to all who attended and a huge thanks to
sponsors and Monique Baker who put it
all together. There was an additional $5
per ticket added that went to Fish NW
who keeps us fishing and on the water.
We lost a true friend on the WDFW
commission that was removed by the
Governor’s office. Gary Douvia, Vice
Chair, was removed at the time I am
writing this and we hope can retain the
others. His dealings with the wolves
cost him his position. We would like to
give a huge thank you to Gary for his
time and commitment to our resources and
understanding the economics, social
equity, and using true science to guide
We are in the process of buying fish
descenders to give away at Lapush and
Neah Bay as well as an identification
guide for rockfish so the fishing
community can accurately identify their
bycatch. This is a large problem that we
need to get under control. Telling the
fish checkers that Yelloweye or Canary
rockfish were caught and turned back
that were not those fish goes against
our seasonal allotment. So it is
important we are educated. We also need
to have everyone fishing for lingcod or
halibut to have a fish descender device
on board and using it. PFMC is now
looking into assigning a percentage of
fish that live instead of all reported
100% dead. You will be asked this at the
docks in Lapush and Neah Bay this year.
We need to be responsible in helping
accurately managing our fisheries and
using bad data doesn’t help. We need to
bring rockfish descenders into the Puget
Sound for the same reason. NOAA and
others are pushing to start Fishing
Closures and we need to get the rockfish
descending device in place to stop this
from happening. We need your help in
these matters. Rockfish are the canary
in the coalmine for our fisheries.
A bill was introduced, SB 5603, which
would create a coastal advisory
council. The bill was introduced by
Sens. Hatfield, Kohl-Wells, Shin and
Ranker. This 16 member Council would be
empowered and become involved in a broad
range of resource management issues
including fisheries, shellfish
aquaculture, coastal waters research,
marine & coastal hazards, ocean energy,
open ocean aquaculture and etc, etc.
Our representatives working together
were able to get fisheries removed from
the wording. This keeps our commission
back in power of our fisheries.
There are PSA chapters all over Western
Washington that you should be a member
of helping support our fisheries. We
support family fishing and many chapters
haves kids fishing events, derbies,
outings, and help with hatcheries and
raising salmon to release into the wild.
Please support your local PSA chapter.
We understand today’s problems and are
working together for a better tomorrow.