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Well I made it to the meeting tonight after all, I let the lady know how important it was and caught some heat for missing my boys band concert but I am glad I went. First a disclamer - what info I put forth was scribbled quickly so although I hope to be spot on please do not take what I write as law per se. I will try to just cover some of the more notable and informative things that I heard, so here goes:

The presenter was Steve Theisfeld. I thought he was very open and willing to at least give his honest opinion on whatever topic was being discussed. There were about 2 dozen individuals present out in the "crowd".

First off the thing that still is gnawing at me was how definative Steve was when asked about if the tribes would be moving towards selective fisheries any time soon - he was very emphatic about saying there is NO way they will go selective, he seemed very very certain of this.

The next thing that is still sticking in my mind is a fact that Steve brought up more than once tonight - which is that the area 8.1 & 8.2 blackmouth fisheries by far have the biggest effect on the Stilly fish - wirth the area 9&10 selective fisheries having a much smaller effect. In essence some less blackmouth fishing in those areas should equal a fair bit more summer 9&10 selective takes if that is the route that people would like to take.


New happenings - the "co-managers"(Mucks) are pushing for a lake WA commercial chinook fishery. On our end there is "potential" for sport opportunity. He said that the tribes were adamant that there woukld be no fishing until at least 50% of the run had passed the locks, to which I had countered that by the time sport chinook fishing in the lake opened many fish would be dark, and inquired about being able to target those fish out in Shilshole bay. But he said that if that were the case then those fish would just fall under the general area 9&10 selectivwe quota and that no new fish would be added to any quotas as a result of the new tribal commercial fishery. Gary Krein then suggested a possible terminal fishery at Shilshole separate of the area 9&10 selective fisheries- stay tuned on this one.

The general concensus is that Stilly ESA fish are in a bit worse shape this year and that we need to address our impacts on them some how in order to at least keep the 9&10 selectives status quo. Possibilities: Shorter inriver seasons on Stilly, smaller quota in 9%10 selective, chop off some blackmouth month(s).

Now the area 9&10 selective fisheries. First a fact I was not aware of off hand - WDFW and the "co-managers" have a 2 year agrrement in regards to the 9&10 slective fisheries, that states that WDFW agreed to not ask for any change upward in the quota this coming summer of 08' - period. This was srtictly a 2 year deal and is back off the board after this summer. I guess 09' is shaping up to be interesting in that regard! Steve asked for input about/how to slow down the area 9&10 fisheires so that they will last longer. 4 main items were put out there, 1 reduce daily limit to 1 chinook, 2 increase minimum size to be retained, 3 close days of the week to fishing(weekdays), 4 have the opener on a weekemnd rather than the arbitrary July 16th opener. Another proposal came up later that seemed to garner the most attention - that was to possibly split the quota 50 - 50 between areas 9&10. Some general numbers/facts : area 10 lasted 13 days, area 9 lasted 16 days. Preliminary "raw" catch numbers(which Steve declared would come down "some" after WDFW works it's magic with the numbers) area 9 harvested fish - 5,270 / area 9 released fish - 8,888 ; area 10 harvested fish - 1,578 / area 10 released fish *(4),853 *not sure if this was a 4 scribbled, sorry. Of interesting note - We sporties were well above the marked vs. unmarked encounter ratio - the model target number was 70% - sorry I did'nt get our actual numbers written down in time but I beleive I recall one of the areas had an 85% rate. Steve did at one point come out and say that the area 9&10 slective was a "moving" of fish takes from areas 11 & 13 to 9&10. Altough IMO it would seem that areas 9&10 have a much more precarious sitting than the 11 & 13 fisheries had - because of the 9&10 fisheries close proximity to the grim Stilly chinook runs - we are allready more than likely going to be losing some fishing somehow/where because of that fact.

Bits and pieces: Elliot bay - there was a motion to try and get this fishery to start later in July and last later into August, which I put my yes vote into. There was quite a bit of talk about lowering the minimum keeper size in regards to winter blackmouth. It appears that Puget Sound proper will become strictly single point hook fishing sometime in the near future, yes Steve did say he wanted input from treble user groups and whatnot - but he also mentioned a number of times that the tribes really want this to be put into effect asap. WDFW is looking into making a new Baker LAKE sockeye fishery. On the Skagit there was talk of looking at increased hatchery coho retentions. Regarding chums(and pinks and sockeyes) it is WDFW managment policy to aim these fisherires towards and for commercial purse seine and gill nets. There were some complaints about how hard the chums were netted in areas 9,8.2 & 8.1 this past fall. The story goes that recent high prices for thses fish brought in commercials from as far as bellingham to partake, and that even though the catch was admitedly very high this past fall - that as long as certain low escapement goals are met then the commercials can take preety much whatever they want(even though there is supposedly a million fish cieling) you got the distinct feeling that there is'nt much foresight involved in these fisheires at all, and that nothing will be done to reign them in until some/multiple seasons of overharvest (IMO).

I am glad that I got to participate, and hopefully some of the notes that were taken in as input from us is at least considered, because I know I certainly got more than my two cents in at that meeting ;)
 

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Nice job Poth, and thank you for the detailed report and your effort. Tup:

Clay
 

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I don't really see how the october blackmouth season effects the stilly fish as I know for a fact that most of the kings here run up the stilly durring the summer. So I don't think too many are out still in the salt in october as early october is when I notice the last of the fall kings (some up to 60lbs) rotting on the bank. With that being said I would think the summer fishery would have the most impact, but the sport fishery has little impact compared to the tribes and the commercials.

As for the chum last year the rivers were completely void of fish. Infact I noticed the most chum in mid october before the netting began :? light: . Although lowering the min. size for blackmouth would be cool as we wouldn't have to release so many dead fish.

Thanks for the report BTW Tup:
 

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I asked Steve about the Stilly fish take in the winter blackmouth fishery and it would seem that alot of the Stilly fish are blackmouth. I was sitting in the front row ahead of thepoth and he asked some very good questions. As ususal Smalma had some excellent insight into the process and gave some good history lessons about the process the last 20 years or so.
 

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thepoth -
Good summary though as usually the number of people there given the so-called expressed concerns here and on other sites aobut our seasons and fish management in general was disappointing. I agree that Steve Theisfeld did a very nice job in leading the meeting and as you report a number of important topics were covered with valuable input provided.

Coho king -
With the stocks like the Stillaguamish we need to remember much of the impacts can be on the sub-adult fish (shakers and barely legal fish). From the tag recoveries it is pretty clear that many fish from the Stillaguamish (and other Puget Sound spring and summer stocks) spend considerable time in the Sound (all their lifes?) and are caught in a number of areas through out the sound. Those fish killed in October in say 8-2 could be either fish likely to spawn the next summer or shakers. You are correct of course in that we are L=likely to see more of those maturing fish this time of year than in the fall.

To show how much those fish move around and the surprising fisheries they show up in consider the MA 11 fishery. The model refered to at last nights meeting shows that even with selective fisheries ala last year's season 1.7% of the Stillagaumish stock will be killed in that fishery. If one looks at just the inside fisheries (MA 5 through 13 and the river) MA 11 has the 4th highest impacts behind MA8, MA9, and MA11. Just goes to show that even areas that many anglers consider to be "terminal areas" can and do attract foraging immature Chinook from wide areas if there is bait there. The distance from the Stillaguamish River to South Sound is no distance at all for a fish that has several years to look for foraging opportunities.

As always the NOF process will be intersting and some difficult challenges and choices face the State and users in crafting fishing opportunities for the coming year.

Tight lines
Curt
 

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the poth... Thanks for the report and thanks for participating. As Smalma points out the expressed interest and commitment by the folks on this and other boards does not come close to actual participation. I found the same thing when I did a little research regarding how many folks actually followed through on their commitment to contact our lawmakers. So… good on you for making the effort in spite of the family issues.

Steve presented much of the same information to us at South King County PSA; I found it educating, interesting, confusing and frustrating, I have to block the part about the tribal fisheries; if I dwell on those issues it clouds my mind, but what I took away from Steve’s presentation is… I don’t know near enough about the intricacies of fish management and allocation to talk about them intelligently let alone make suggestions.

But the good news is… there is a cure for ignorance… it’s called education. To that end, I’ll be in Olympia for the meeting on the 18th. I honestly don’t know if I will ever know enough to add anything to the NOF process, but I intend to find out.
 

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Great report Tup: . Thanks. I'm really interested in how the area 9/10 selective fishery gets hammered out for this year. Don't like how the fall blackmouth season may get chopped. Oct and Nov were great months to fish in 2007 in the north sound.
 
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