I hope all had a great Christmas and an awesome New Year. With 2016 behind us, I really hope we can have a better fishing 2017. It was a tough year on all of us and tackle shops took a hit. Some made it and some are closing as well as Buds Bait in Edmonds. The halibut season will be May 4/6/11 in Marine Areas 2-9. They will do a count after those days and then announce the areas with quota remaining for more openers. The inside halibut fishery MA 5-9 will no longer be a season but quota based. In other words, It will close when the state believes that its count has been caught.
Marine area 1 and 2 (Ilwaco and Westport) are most likely going to allow retention of Canary rockfish as part of your daily aggregate bottomfish limit as they are considered rebuilt now. Many of us had concerns and advised against the taking of Canary rockfish at this time. It does not take very many misidentified Yelloweye rockfish to be accidentally taken to trigger a coastal shut down. Please take one of our PSA and the WDFW rockfish identification fliers to make sure you are not taking a Yelloweye rockfish when bottomfishing these areas. Both are bright orange. Sometimes they can be really tough to identify. Both can have traits of the other fish. Look for the bright yellow eye on a Yelloweye. This is one of the best identifiers. Normally YE have rounded tail fins where the canary have sharp pointed fin ends. Sometimes YE even have black on the ends of some of the fins. But I have seen them both ways. But if you plan to take them in either of these two areas, please make sure that they are canaries. Use one of our free rockfish descending devices to take back down the ones you are not retaining.
Black rockfish or Seabass take has shown to be going over the allowable amount the last two years. We will be having a meeting about this the beginning of the year. We will let you know the outcome of this meeting.
Our fisheries have become so complicated that it's tough to fish. Seasons are too short for much fishing of about any type. We have started talking with NOAA asking them to bring back a mediator for North of Falcon salmon setting meetings. We cannot repeat the NOF 2016. Coho fishing for the tribes was off the charts while we sat and watched. The fish were bigger than they had been in many years. There is speculation that the fish stayed out one more year.
PSA is restarting the Monroe Sportsman Show. The Show will be April 7, 8, and 9 at the Evergreen Fairgrounds in Monroe. We will probably be one of the biggest nonprofit shows in the PNW. The money raised will go towards fighting for and helping expand our fisheries. We are planning on growing this show every year going forward as we need major funding to fight for our fisheries.
Our PSA Polly Fischer All Chapters Derby will be in Port Townsend on March 25 and 26 this year. Lat years winner was Troy McKelvey from PSA East Jefferson (Port Townsend). This year we will see who wins it for 2017. This is a fun event with many PSA chapters members meeting each other to become closer friends. Join a PSA chapter near you. Hope to see you 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