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Calendar for June

 South Sound General Meeting  

 East Jefferson General Meeting

 Gig Harbor General Meeting Annual crab feed

 Renton General Meeting

 North Kitsap General Meeting

 Sno-King General Meeting

 Fidalgo - San Juan Islands General  Meeting

 South King County General Meeting 

 Everett General Meeting

 Bellingham General Meeting

 North Olympic Peninsula General Meeting

 Save Our Fish

 Eastside General Meeting  

Ocean Anglers General Meeting  

 

 

 

 

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Presidents Message for September

PSA has been the largest and sometimes one of the only fishery savers in the State. We have many accomplishments that we have not been afraid to cross those lines and establish relationships to learn the truth of what happens in our fisheries and why. Nothing is ever black and white as it appears.

 

At times the waters get murky because the average person doesn’t understand why we are doing what we are doing. So many times it is a work in progress and cannot be announced as it would have serious ramifications to our issues. Many have trusted us to get things done and others just don’t know.

 

Issues that most have no idea that PSA drove the train to keep you fishing. These were intense battles that took a lot of time, building information and cases against:

 

  1. Overturned the WDFW Commission decision years ago to shut down bottomfishing in Neah Bay. Skewed science was used by one commissioner and a Wild Fish Group. PSA proved this wrong to the commission and got it reopened before the season. Most did not know it ever was closed. We worked with others that we would have never met. One banker in Aberdeen was a crucial part of bring the Makahs in with us to disprove their intentions calling out mistruths by that certain WDFW Commissioner. PSA had implemented a Rockfish Descender Program that was saving Yelloweye and Canary Rockfish, as well as other bycatch rockfish, that were a large part of influencing the closures.
  2. Two years later the same closure happened again. WDFW Commission voted the same to close Neah Bay Bottomfishing. We had to take it on and overturn it. That same commissioner and Wild Fish Group were behind it. Once more, PSA disproved it.
  3. That same commissioner went into the saltwater rules and started working on closing down many fisheries. Puget Sound bottomfish were at stake too. Cabezon was targeted as one as well as the giant octopus. As a result of his actions, our Senator Pearson, that chaired Senate Natural Resources removed him due to his actions. The good senator had to convince the Governor to do so, against his will. I got a lot of opposition for supporting this from the other sports groups about removing him as Senator Pearson was my Senator. They said he votes “our way.” I said our way? The guy has made my life a holy hell for years with unjustified fishery closures! He is the reason I became president of PSA State. To stop his junk science fishing closures.
  4. PS Yelloweye and Canary fishing closures came to Puget Sound via NOAA. The ESA listing was going to shut down 50% of all structure to all fishing from the Victoria Sill or Port Angeles east. That includes East Strait of Juan de Fuca, Admiralty Inlet, San Juans, Hood Canal, North, Central, and South Puget Sound. That means your chinook fisheries were going to be shut down. At least 50% were. Think if they closed Possession Bar to all fishing or half of the San Juans? Structure is where our Chinook reside. PSA jumped on this right from the start and started building relationships with NOAA and other officials to help guide this program. Other groups said they were not going to get involved and helped them close the Puget Sound. We knew these closures were coming and if we did not become part of it we would lose. If you are not at the table you are on the table! PSA started an Education, Fisheries, and Conservation Chapter to deal with this. We secured grants and were able to purchase those Seaqualizer Rockfish Descenders to give away to sportfishers helping save Puget Sound rockfish and fishing. For you to buy those they were $60 each. NOAA, Pacific States Fishery Marine Fisheries Commission, and WDFW were the main grant funders.
  5. Fishing Closures due to the Orcas. PSA has been working with ocean sport groups, commercials, and reached out to our tribes to protect fishing. We knew that fishing was the low hanging fruit and we were going to be targeted for the orca. I put my hat in the ring to be on the Orca Task Force to prove that we were not the problem. The Orca was proving us right. We have been telling everyone for years that curtailing hatchery production was not the fix. Since 1992 up to 2016 (even further cutes after 2016), we cut Chinook and Hatchery production by 160 Million fish per year. This was supposed to fix our Salmon problems. Instead it got much worse.
  6. On the Orca Task Force, I (Representative for Puget Sound Anglers) was the only Task Force member in the end stopping the San Juan Island Chinook fishing closure. This would have been for nontribal only. I used a letter from the Puget Sound Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association with the Puget Sound Anglers State Board position would not give into to Senator Rankers SJ Island Closure. Had I given in, that closure would have been instituted immediately. I went to our Orca Task Force Tribal members and asked them for their help. Between those Tribal members, PSA, and WDFW, we avoided the year-round closures.

PSA has been influential in many, many fishery decisions that have kept you on the water. This year we have very poor returns that we are living out now. People want to blame NOF for poor fishing seasons this year. The biggest problem is no fish to split up. The Stilly and Snohomish system were some of the poorest returns on record. About 15 years ago, we were having 14-15,000 returning pairs of Chinook on the Snohomish System. This year it was between 650-800 pairs depending on whose figures you used. This is for the Snohomish, Skykomish, and Snoqualmie rivers-TOTAL! Environmental Conditions are changing. Of course it is true. The Puget Sound was carved by a glacier. It started receding 15,000 years ago. This has been a continual melt all over the world. Hatcheries are not the problem but the savior and we have to use them to the fullest extent. We were successful at the Orca Task Force in securing 26.7 Million more salmon on behalf of the Orcas and us. We are moving on to the Pinniped and bird issue eating our salmon and steelhead. The Columbia River needs more hatchery production too. Per NOAA’s Jeremy Jording in a round table meeting, explained that on the Columbia River, Hook and Line angling is not sufficient enough to catch the required amount of hatchery fish to keep from shutting down hatchery production. This is called pHOS. Proportion (or percentage) of hatchery fish on the spawning grounds. This decides how many fish can be released from hatcheries. We can make as many fish as we want as long as we can catch them. Commercial fishing is the tool in the tool box that we use to catch those fish. Too many are not willing to open up their minds to rebuild our fisheries and would rather watch us all quit fishing than to allow commercials to be part of the solution. We trade salmon all of the time n the ocean to keep our sport fisheries open. The Boldt Decision keeps on coming up about us catching 50% of the fish. Because of ESA and the way we have rearranged the fisheries in the Puget Sound we cannot catch our required fish. ESA and HSRG has changed that management. Under todays world the only way to catch our 50% would be to open up commercial fishing in terminal areas. Non tribal gill netting on Chinook and Coho has been removed from the Puget sound except for a small Bellingham Bay Chinook fishery where there are no ESA concerns. PSA has worked with three northern tribes for over 4 years. The Tulalip, Lummi, and Upper Skagit to fix our fisheries. We built a coalition as we all want the same thing as everyone else. More fish for all. Using the Boldt Decision on ESA is like playing chess with a checker playbook. Time to relook at fixing our fisheries in a new light so we can get back to fishing. It appears that ocean conditions are getting better. That is a huge factor in fish returns.  

Ron Garner President PSA    

Point Nopoint Fiasco

Pod cast on Ocra Whales with Butch Smith from Coho Charters   

Article on Salmon and Dams    

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

 October 3

Start Time is 9:00am

Port Of Edmonds Administration Office rear of building at the top of stairs

336 Admiral Way

Edmonds, WA 98020

 

Future meetings

December 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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