To many things going on at once. North of Falcon is getting started. It appears to have a better flow than last year. Not sure how this is going to turn out but the negotiations don't seem as toxic this year and there is no option talk of Zero Salmon Fishing! Hopefully we can restore some opportunity this year.
One thing that has happened is that we have cut back hatchery production to the point of being disastrous. I just received updated hatchery release numbers. Butch Smith of Ilwaco Charters gathered some numbers showing hatchery releases from 1989 to 2016. They are astounding on how much they have been cut back. Ron Warren of WDFW updated the production numbers as them might have been missing some. Puget Sound Releases -State, Federal, COOP totals. Chinook 1989-71,467,449 2016-33,409,274. Coho 1989-34,458,259 2016-8,608,765. Couple these declines of hatchery output with an out of control pinniped and cormorant predation problem, and our salmon don't have much of a chance. The harbor seal population capacity of the sound was stated in the 1990s to be mid 7000s. We now have over 20,000. With this excess amount of seals hurts our bait fish populations, which is their main diet, cause them to move on to other things such as salmon, lingcod, etc. When salmon plummet you start seeing the San Juan Orcas being harmed by these seals be affecting their major food source.
We need to work together to start to change our future by bringing back higher hatchery production rates. We need to repair some hatcheries as they have not been properly maintained and/or shut down.
Going back to the Orcas that we all love so much, do you feel that government agencies are not looking in the right place to fix our orca problem such as implementing a much larger amount of Chinook Salmon from the hatcheries to feed them? Lack of food was found to be the problem the last time this came up by NOAA. We have all been out there to see orcas swim right up to your boat and check you out, but yet others say that we are casuing them not to feed. I have been in the middle of an orca feeding frenzy where they were using our boat to chase fish against. Does quite fit the theory of them not feeding when we are around fishing. In fact, they have not seen an existence without boats. They have lived in unison with us since they were born. Please go to this page and comment by April 13 on this attack to shut down waters to us again for Orca protection. We have beat this twice already. Please comment. https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0152
Join a PSA Chapter near you as we are working hard on your behalf to keep us on the water.
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