PSA has been on a
mission for the last 6 years on rebuilding hatchery production. We spent time with many different
agencies,both federal and state,tribes,WDFW Commission,andcoastalcommunitiesto fix our downward
death spiral where hatcheries were being blamed for the demise of the unclipped natural originchinookpopulation.
While many organizations wanted
to blame the tribes and commercials for wipingout the
fish,the silent killer was the
massive hatchery production
cuts that no one could
see. Endangered Species Act and Hatchery Science Review Group were driving
many of these cuts. They cut production and that was supposed to have
these runsspring backinto life.The
exact opposite happened.Hatcherieskept
is the meaning of insanity.Doing the same thing
over and over andexpectingdifferent results.
cutswere 63 millioncoho and chinook.Starving,dying Orcaswere sending us a message. We needed to make more fish.
Every year or twonow
coming shortly after thechinookspawn.
The rivers have been channelizedand
straightened tobeable to
access more of the land. Now the rivers
velocity has increasedand
washes out trees and logs, along withthe newsalmon
eggs. Theydon’tstand a chance. Yearly,they have totake
cranes on the Everett Trestle to break outthe log jambsin the river below. If these floodconditionscanwash
treesand pull logsout ofthe
banks, salmon redds or nestsdon’tstand a chance. 99%of
those eggs wash down the river.1%makes
it. Only 1%of that 1% makes it back.
Before we screwed
up the river systemsand channelized
the riversused to wander
back and forth and meander. When
the rivers flooded,thewaterwent over their banks. This did not increase the velocity of the
river. The eggsweresafe.
Hatcherieseggs and smolts
are safe as theyare attended to. If
they siltout, someone cleans the eggs.
is the healthiest part of the riverssystem due to this.Thisiswhy
we need hatcheries.
OurPuget Soundcoho and chinookhatcherycombined
was 105.3 Million fish2016 itwas 42Million
fish63.3 Million less fishcutper
year!Withall of us
working together we brought 2022backup to 65.8 millionfish
or anincreaseover the2016 by
23.9 Million more fish.
63.8% more fish.
We aregoing to
see a hugeamountof shakers in thewinterblackmouthfishingmonthsaheadand
off tillMarch or even April to
fish for blackmouth to keep those impacts way
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