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Calendar for February

4 South Sound General Meeting  

9 Gig Harbor General Meeting Annual Crab and Award Dinner

9 East Jefferson General Meeting

10 Renton General Meeting

10 North Kitsap General Meeting

11 Lake Washington Virginia Seacrest Memorial Seafood Seminar

11 Sno-King General Meeting

16 Fidalgo - San Juan Islands General  Meeting

17 South King County General Meeting 

17 Whidbey Island General Meeting

18 North Olympic Peninsula General Meeting

18 Everett General Meeting Membership Renewal Night
Pizza/ Beverages

18 Eastside General Meeting KINGS  SILVERS  STEELHEAD by Capt. Todd Girtz

18 Bellingham General Meeting

24 Save Our Fish

 Ocean Anglers General Meeting  No Meeting

 

 

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President's Column -

By Ron Garner

February State Board Presidents Message

Saying goodbye to a friend. Dec 12 we lost a great friend. Long time fishing 
advocate and great friend Ken Kumasawa lost his life, while with many of his 
friends at our PSA State Board meeting. Ken had just given a bit of advice 
on how to fight legislation then passed shortly after. Saturday Jan 16 we 
all came together to see Ken off at his Celebration of Life. Ken was VP of 
our PSA's newest chapter, Education, Fisheries, and Conservation. This 
chapter was formed to work on fisheries issues that will help in keeping our 
fisheries alive so our kids and grandkids can continue to fish.

Many of us giving up so much our lives fighting for our fisheries, that we 
really never get to know the "other" side of life each of us has. Time goes 
by so fast. Frank Urabeck spoke at Kens celebration that outlined the 
fisheries side of Ken. Kens son and one of Ken's buddies that grew up with 
him, spoke about Ken's personal life. Ken was an amazing and caring person. 
Afterwards we all talked with each other about the sides that neither knew 
about. Ken has been an inspiring person working with us and left behind a 
great family. All of the work we have done to keep us on the water, has had 
Ken there being a port of it all of the way. So when you work with someone, 
you should get to know the other side of that person's life. It can be truly 
amazing as Kens friends and family are.

I was thinking back when Neah Bay was closed down to bottomfishing. One of 
the WDFW Commissioners and a key staff person of Wild Fish Conservancy were 
successful in closing one the healthiest rockfish populations on the lower 
48s west coast. Those of us that fish Neah Bay knew that the info provided 
was not truthful. 13 PSA members and a couple of key CCA members showed up 
at a Puget Sound Rockfish meeting.  It was very uncomfortable for the WDFW 
staff and all of us. We waited out the meeting and sat with WDFWs Craig 
Burley. Most of the Puget Sound Rockfish team left at that time and Craig 
stayed behind for hours to deal with us. He listened to our concerns and 
wrote down all of our information as most of us were Neah Bay fishers.  We 
explained why this was wrong and backed it up with facts. When we were done, 
Craig went over the sheet and we walked through every issue double checking 
that it was correct. Craig took these facts back to the present director 
Phil Anderson and the WDFW Commission. I received a call from Phil Anderson 
to verify facts. We went over them and he went back to the commission 
conference call. Later he called back and said the decision was overturned 
and Neah Bay was to remain open. We did it! I thought about who was sitting 
at the table in that last meeting to do the final push to stop this closure. 
Ken Kumasawa was one of us.

Since that day we overturned the Neah Bay closure that happened again 2 
years later. Next we went headfirst into working with NOAA and WDFW to make 
sure that we protect our rockfish populations and keep fishing alive in 
Puget Sound. While everyone over the years has been fighting for salmon, 
they didn't realize that slow growing ESA rockfish are the key to shutting 
down all fisheries. Our newest PSA-EFC was instrumental in stopping the 
biggest fishing closure in Puget Sound history. So next time you are out on 
the water, think about this. There are people behind the scenes constantly 
fighting for your fishing rights and you are allowed to be out there through 
our hard work.  Ken was one of those people unselfishly keeping you out 
there.

We are in the same scenario now with our hatchery fish. Wildfish Conservancy 
is suing WDFW to not release hatchery steelhead from 5 Puget Sound Rivers. 
Now they have moved to sue the Mitchell Act Funded Columbia River 
Hatcheries. There is nothing saying that these programs are bad, just that 
the proper paperwork is not in place to release them. Strict short timelines 
are set on the Columbia's 60 plus hatcheries. Hatcheries were built on the 
Columbia River to mitigate for the dams that were installed. It is 
preposterous to sue to this extent to stop something that was put there to 
cover for lost fish production because of the dams. So I ask you, if they 
are to be successful in shutting down the CR hatcheries, what are the tribes 
going to do as we have a treaty with them to supply them fish. Most likely 
they are going to tell the feds to remove the dams then. So where does that 
leave us in Washington? Working by candle light.
Back to the Steelhead issue in the Puget Sound. Let's just say the WFC is 
successful in terminating the 3rd year of hatchery broodstock and steelhead 
completely collapse. There are no hatchery fish to take the hit from the 
overpopulated Puget Sound predators. Then NOAA releases the HGMPs after the 
fact and it shows that the Hatchery Fish are not as big of a problem to wild 
fish as WFC suggests. They will have effectively wiped out a fishery before 
it was determined that it was not problem matic. Isn't this guilty till 
proven innocent? You decide as these are your fisheries to use or lose. Like 
it or not our treaty with the tribes is a very real agreement and it is 
going to get ugly if WFC wins. This opens the doors for some of the biggest 
lawsuits by the tribes. This is the fact and the way it will play out.

Lets not let fishing become the way of logging in Washington. Only a memory. 
Join your local PSA Chapter to support your fishing rights.

 www.pugetsoundanglers.org

If enjoy Puget Sound and Snohomish River Coho fishing or enjoy helping enhance 
recreational opportunities please read on!

I'm Kelli Mack from the Everett Steelhead and Salmon Club. We took over a 
private salmon hatchery back in 2009 and got it back into operational condition. 
To date we have raised and released over 240,000 Coho into the Snohomish River 
system and currently have 88,000 more on hand to release next spring.

The eyed-eggs we receive are surplus hatchery fish, which if not kept local, 
would be sent away to distant fisheries. We keep these fish in their home river 
system, enriching our catching opportunities.

Although it's functional the hatchery is in need upgrades to ensure the safety 
of eggs, fry, and smolt as we nurture them along their life-cycle.

Please help by making a tax deductible contribution to the campaign Snohomish & 
Puget Sound Coho Fishing Enhancement going on now on Indiegogo here: Coho 
Hatchery Fundraiser Link

Coho fishing in 2013 was almost 8 times better than in 2010 according to a 
comparison of creel checks at the Everett Public Ramp.

 

Protecting Washington’s Yelloweye Rockfish

Rockfish Identification Flyer    

Video - Rockfish are back!!

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.

Fishery Management

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
  • 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

Great rockfish recompression video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiZFghwVOyI

 

 

 RFA Washington

 

PSA State Board Meeting

Saturday

March 5th 2016

Start Time is 9:00am

EDMONDS SENIOR CENTER

220 RAILROAD AVENUE EDMONDS, WA

(1 BLOCK SOUTH OF THE FERRY)

Future meetings

June 11th, 2016

October 15th, 2016

December 10th, 2016

 

 

 

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