would like to bring a fact out that recently came to light of why we stood
up against the gill net ban previously. I received the smoking gun email
that tells why. If you fish the ocean or Buoy 10 for chinook we just got
hit hard on future fisheries. The Lower Columbia River Fall Chinook took a
big hit that Barry Thom warned us about with a letter in 2016: "To
reduce genetic risks to ESA-listed Lower Columbia River Chinook salmon,
NMFS is proposing to reduce tule fall Chinook
salmon production in four Mitchell Act funded hatchery programs and to
increase Tule fall Chinook salmon production in two hatchery programs.
This would result in a 4 million net reduction in the number of juvenile tule fall Chinook salmon that would be released from
Mitchell Act hatcheries annually."
Cindy Lefleur of WDFW email: "Per your
request for information on the Kalama fall Chinook production. This year
(2022) will be the first year that all of our Mitchell Act (MA) programs
need to meet the requirement of the MA Biological Opinion (MA BIOP).
The smolts released this year will
be consistent with Table 1 from the MA BIOP. I have included a
snippet of that table below in the message that includes the Kalama fall
Chinook program and attached the full table in this email. The
release goal for Kalama fall Chinook in 2022 will be 2.6 million fall
Chinook, compared to last year’s goal of 7.0 million."
are two rules for hatchery production. If you make them, you have to catch
them. If you cant catch
them, you cant make them.
is where we come in as these are our ocean fish we catch as well as the
Buoy 10 fishery. We need all of the tools in the tool box we can get to be
able to catch the straying fish. Weirs and fish traps (WFC pound nets) by
themselves cannot stop the amount of strays needed to make a real
difference. Using commercials with them makes them more efficient.
WFC pound nets at this time are not showing to catch enough fish to not
only keep hatchery production stable, let alone increase it. There was a
WDFW Commission meeting and one of the slides showed that the pound nets
catch was very low compared to the gill nets. They have to be able to
catch a lot of fish in a short time. In talking with region 5 fisheries
the pound nets cannot handle a large school of fish as these are not large
enough to hold a lot of fish at one time. This means there would have to
be a lot of these pound nets. I would guess about 30-35 to catch the
amount of fish that the commercials catch with their nets A study
that I read, puts these at about $225,000.00 each. The traps go all of the
way to the bank. The Non tribal commercials have to stay away from the
banks as this is where our ESA steelhead travel. Beach seines are not
allowed due to impacting too many steelhead. While we are looking into
removing areas all over Washington rivers that pinnipeds gather to feast
on our schools of salmon and steelhead, this adds more ambush points in
the CR. PSA is advocating to keep our hatcheries going and pumping out as
many fish as allowable under ESA to keep us fishing. Remember Jamie
Glasgow of Wild Fish Conservancy at previous Senate hearing where the only
hatcheries they approved of were the closed ones. These fish traps do not
have to work, they just have to be deemed as a replacement for
commercials, then once commercials are removed and these fail, hatchery
production gets cut permanently. They win. After much review on
these, there is a big chance that through the multiple amounts of permits
required to get these into place, they may never get approved.
all that has to happen is to remove the commercials first that are one of
the biggest tools we have to catch excess hatchery fish and not be able to
catch them and its game over for us and hatchery production. Once
these lower fall chinook stocks fall it is going to get worse. We are
fighting to get those weirs installed in the Kalama and keep any tools
such as commercials working to keep us fishing. This is a look at the
bigger picture. You would never jump out of a plane and then try to find a
parachute after you jumped. This is exactly that. What we want is fishing,
fishing, fishing!!!!!!! We are not advocating to
take anyone else's fish. We are advocating to make more fish for everyone.
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
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 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