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The Olympian.
Published March 04, 2008
State may reduce salmon-fishing limits
Chester Allen


Westport anglers probably will get shorter salmon seasons — and fewer fish to catch — as coho salmon runs into the Columbia River are struggling.

Puget Sound anglers will see plenty of hatchery chinook salmon, but might have a shorter season — mostly to protect wild chinook salmon that swim with hatchery fish and are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Lake Washington probably will not have a sockeye salmon season this year.

Anglers landed a mixed bag of good and bad news during Tuesday's 2008 salmon run forecast from the state Department of Wildlife and the treaty tribes.

But there was some good news as well.

"Coho doesn't look too good, but chinook is a different story," said Mark Cedargreen of the Westport Charterboat Association. "And chinook are more important to Westport nowadays than coho — and I think fishing for chinook is going to be better this year than it has been."

Cedargreen said Westport anglers didn't catch their allotment of coho or chinook last summer, but it is likely that they will this year, mostly because fishing might be curtailed to protect struggling wild coho runs.

Anglers are allowed to keep fin-clipped hatchery coho — and they must release wild fish. But hooking and releasing large number of wild fish can take a toll on the fish.

So a shorter season is likely this year, Cedargreen said.

Tuesday's meeting was the start of the annual "North of Falcon" series of meetings that eventually will set 2007 salmon seasons and catch quotas for sport, commercial and tribal fisheries.

No one is sure what fishing seasons will look like — they won't be set until the Pacific Fishery Management Council meets in SeaTac from April 6 to 11 — and many meetings will happen between now and then.

But the crystal ball appears clearer in some cases.

Lake Washington's popular sockeye fishery probably won't happen this year, as only 105,600 sockeye are expected back this year, which is far short of the minimum return of 350,000 fish needed to have a sport fishery, said Kyle Adicks, Fish and Wildlife chum, pink and sockeye program manager.

But 1.9 million chum salmon are expected to swim into Puget Sound this year, Adicks said.

While this year's run won't be as big as the massive chum runs of a few years ago, the chum run is still strong, Adicks said.

Floods during late fall and early winter kill just-laid chum salmon eggs, and runs might be down in future years after the floods of this past winter, Adicks said.

Chum have thrived during the past few years because they've had perfect conditions in freshwater and in the Pacific Ocean, Adicks said.

"All this tells me that there is still good habitat for chum," Adicks said. "If they don't get hit with big floods and the marine habitat is good, they do pretty well."

Continuing tough times for wild Puget Sound chinook salmon — and a proposed budget from the Legislature that would cut money to develop and monitor selective fishing for hatchery fish — could mean less selective fishing for hatchery salmon in Puget Sound this year, said Pat Pattillo, Fish and Wildlife salmon policy coordinator.

Puget Sound anglers fishing in Area 13 — South Puget Sound — fished for hatchery chinook all summer in 2007.

Selective fisheries can happen if wild fish — which must be released unharmed — don't show a spike in deaths after release, Pattillo said.

"There might not be as much selective fishing opportunity as last year," Pattillo said.

Phil Anderson, Fish and Wildlife deputy director, promised that this year's salmon-setting process will be more open to the public. Many Puget Sound anglers got angry last year when many season decisions — particularly ones that dealt with selective fishing for hatchery fish — were made behind closed doors with the treaty tribes.

Tribes often are reluctant to negotiate in front of strangers, as there has been so much controversy and anger regarding salmon management, said Lorraine Lewis, fisheries manager for the Swinomish tribe.

Tribes are considered sovereign nations, so they have the option of negotiating behind closed doors.

Anderson said observers will attend the meetings in an effort to make the entire process more transparent.

"We've got a lot of work to do, and a short amount of time to do it in," Anderson said.
 

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Another banner year for WA state anglers... sick:

"Oh Canada,.... " maybe I'll do 4 trips north this year! Tup:
 

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Many a fisherman have said this, but I will say it again....

We (sporties) always get the short end of the stick. What kind of resource (money and effort) will it take to crack down on commies and tribes?
 

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That one of the reasons that i moved up here seems to be less and less fishing down there

I talk the the guys over at the hatchery by my house

Seems that they are expicting a normal to above normal rum this year wink: Tup:

Looks like will another Great year in Ketchikan again :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ibgrizz said:
That one of the reasons that i moved up here seems to be less and less fishing down there
Looks like will another Great year in Ketchikan again :mrgreen:
I'm Jealous !!! Fishing for salmon around here is turning into a suck fest.
 

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Duroboat said:
ibgrizz said:
That one of the reasons that i moved up here seems to be less and less fishing down there
Looks like will another Great year in Ketchikan again :mrgreen:
I'm Jealous !!! Fishing for salmon around here is turning into a suck fest.
I guess you just need to come up and fish :mrgreen:
 

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Hmm lets see 1-sell eveyone(or shove it down thier throats depending on how you look at it) on selective fisheries in the sound,2-way undercut the number of fish expected/allowed the first season,3-tell us we are looking at an even smaller quota the 2nd season because they are underfunded = priceless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And this all comes when the runs of chinook to the sound aren't having down years/cycles per se. Wonder what'll happen when the hatchery and wild fish have some truly lean return years? The selective fisheries will be reduced even more and or cut all together, but hey at least we know the others will still be taking clipped and unclipped fish becuase we signed off on the selective fisheries :?
 

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If you don't like the selective fisheries, then get off your ass and go to the North of Falcon meetings and tell them you want to fish shorter seasons where you get to keep everything. Doesn't matter how you kill em (in the box or letting them go), you only have so many to kill. I guarantee that other folks will be there telling them that they want the longer seasons that the selective fisheries afford, especially those folks that finally got a summer season in Area 9. But goodness gracious, the whining and moaning on chat boards by people that are unwilling to show up and help with the dirty work is getting really old.
 

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yelloweye said:
If you don't like the selective fisheries, then get off your ass and go to the North of Falcon meetings and tell them you want to fish shorter seasons where you get to keep everything. Doesn't matter how you kill em (in the box or letting them go), you only have so many to kill. I guarantee that other folks will be there telling them that they want the longer seasons that the selective fisheries afford, especially those folks that finally got a summer season in Area 9. But goodness gracious, the whining and moaning on chat boards by people that are unwilling to show up and help with the dirty work is getting really old.
When and where?
 

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Cornfed -
Here you go -

Each year state, federal and tribal fishery managers gather to plan the Northwest's recreational and commercial salmon fisheries. This series of public meetings, known as the North of Falcon process, involves federal, state, tribal and industry representatives and concerned citizens.

2008 North of Falcon Public Meeting Schedule

March 4 2008 Salmon Forecasts and Fishing Opportunities:

9:00 am - 3:00 pm, General Administration Building Auditorium, 11th Avenue and Columbia Street on the Capitol Campus, Olympia
WDFW presents Puget Sound, coastal Washington and Columbia River salmon abundance forecasts. Fishery management objectives and preliminary fishing opportunities for 2008 are discussed.

March 5 Grays Harbor Fisheries Discussion:

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Montesano City Hall, 112 N. Main Street, Montesano
Public discussion of 2008 Grays Harbor salmon forecasts and fishing opportunities.

March 6 Willapa Bay Fisheries Discussion:

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Raymond Elks Lodge, 326 Third Street, Raymond
Public discussion of 2008 Willapa Bay salmon forecasts and fishing opportunities.

March 9-14 Pacific Fishery Management Council:

Double Tree Hotel, 2001 Point West Way, Sacramento, CA
The PFMC adopts a range of ocean fishery options, including catch quotas for sport and commercial fisheries.

March 12 Puget Sound Commercial Fisheries Discussion:

POSTPONED

The public discussion of management objectives and preliminary options for Puget Sound commercial fisheries has been moved to the March 18th North of Falcon meeting in Olympia.

March 12 Puget Sound Recreational Fisheries Discussion:

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, WDFW Mill Creek Office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd., Mill Creek
Public discussion of management objectives and preliminary options for Puget Sound marine and freshwater sport fisheries.

March 17 Columbia River Fisheries Discussion:

9:00 am - 3:00 pm, Vancouver Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver, WA
Public discussion of management objectives and preliminary options for Columbia River fall commercial and sport fisheries.

March 18 First North of Falcon Meeting: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, General Administration Building Auditorium, 11th Avenue and Columbia Street on the Capitol Campus, Olympia
Discussion of management objectives and preliminary fishery proposals for Puget Sound, coastal Washington and Columbia River area sport and commercial fisheries.

March 28 Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay Fisheries Meeting:

9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Lacey Community Center, 6729 Pacific Avenue, Lacey
Public meeting to reach final agreement on 2008 sport and commercial salmon seasons for Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay.

March 31 Pacific Fishery Management Council public hearing:
7:00 p.m., Chateau Westport, 710 Hancock Street, Westport
Public hearing to receive comments on proposed ocean salmon fishery management options adopted by the council.

April 1 Second North of Falcon Meeting:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Embassy Suites Hotel, 20610 44th Avenue West, Lynnwood
Public meeting to present results of state-tribal negotiations and analyses of preliminary fishery proposals. With public participation, preferred options are developed for Puget Sound and Columbia River area sport and commercial fisheries.

April 6-11 Final Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting:
Seattle Marriot Hotel, 3201 S. 176th Street, SeaTac
PFMC adopts final ocean fisheries regulations and state-tribal fishing plans are finalized for all inside area commercial and sport salmon fisheries.

It would be fun to see some new folks at the various meetings. Though I would suggest that if one wants to see effective changes that they might want to go their homework and rely on factual imformation to support your ideas rather than dockside rumors. If you do decide to take part be sure to introduce yourself; many of those that have been involved for years will be more than willing to answer your questions and discussion how the process works. I would suggest that if folks are considering attending a meeting or two that you look at any of the regional meetings (evenings) for areas that interest you and the NOF meetings on the 18th (Olympia) and /or April 1 (Lynnwood).

The April first meeting is probably an appropriate date for those of us that have been involved in the NOF process for sometime (t.i.c.).

Looking forward to seeing you there
Curt
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
yelloweye said:
If you don't like the selective fisheries, then get off your ass and go to the North of Falcon meetings and tell them you want to fish shorter seasons where you get to keep everything. I guarantee that other folks will be there telling them that they want the longer seasons that the selective fisheries afford, especially those folks that finally got a summer season in Area 9.
Yep trading off months of non selective fishing in 11 and 13 for 2 weeks in area 9 was a smart move. clown: Tdown:
A hole lot of harvest oppertunity was lost with that move. What a joke.
 

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So, if I want to speak and/or possibly influence the Puget Sound decision should I go to the Mill Creek meeting, or is my time better spend sending emails to the sitting members.

Probably best to do both, but any guidance on who to send letters to, and on what issues may be negotiable at this point?
 

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Duro -
Until last year every marine salmon fisher in Washington interior marine waters for the last 15 years have been paying the cost of resource protection (in the shape of less time on the water and restrictive rules) except the folks fishing marine areas 11 and 13. Tell me why is it unfair to expect you and the other south sound fishers to finally help shoulder some the conservation burden by fishing selectively for your Chinook.

While I can certianly understand why you would not want to give up a good thing but just how long do you expect others to sacrifice to support your good fortune? With the south Sound Chinook finally being mass marked and the need to reduce over all exploitation on several listed Chinook stocks many at last years NOF thought that the seasons that came out of the process made good sense; too bad you were not there to show them the err of that thinking.

Trollking -
Attending the Mill Creek might be educational for you as it would probably illustrate the diversity of thinking within the angling community. However if you interest is getting your interest/ideas into the NOF mix getting them to folks that regularly attend the meetings may be more productive. I think that is an important point even though it may not be possible to attend many of the meetings folks should be able to find someone that does or can attend those meetings. Such folks could be advocates for your ideas as well as be able to provide feedback to you about the nuts and bolts of NOF and the biological realities of today's salmon management

Tight lines
Curt
 

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CascadeBob said:
Well said Yelloweye. clap: If we don`t attend these meetings and make ourselves heard, we don`t deserve to bitch about it.
I disagree. When you pay quite a bit of money for something, and each year the cost is the same or more, yet you get less and less, you have the right to complain. Most people cant attend these meetings. Most people work hard and get so few days off as it is... Besides, You dont have to attend meetings in Canada to beg for scraps yet I continue to go there, get better fishing,bigger fish, bigger limits, and less hassle.
 

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Fish management that includes non-selective methods with gill nets and selective methods for hook and line is a joke. I will know they are serious about the threatened runs when I see fish traps on the rivers and the Indians throwing LIVE natives back in the water. Until then it is just a big shell game. Keep moving things around and hope that great ocean conditions rescue them from their ineffective management strategies.
 

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According to what I saw, recreational fishermen catch .24 fish per trip in area 11, the average size is around 4 lbs. Its hardly worth going through the effort which is why its dying. At some point it would be nice seeing everyone focusing on improving habitat and infrastructure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Smalma,
You know perfectly well that change had zero to do with conservation nad zip nothing. It was solely moving our impact for one spot to another. The guys pushing selective fishing can sugar coat it all they want. But the fact remains thats what it was.
And by the way my favorite spot to fish kings is in area 9. But would I have made the trade for 2 weeks of fishing there. Not a chance.
 

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CascadeBob said:
Well said Yelloweye. clap: If we don`t attend these meetings and make ourselves heard, we don`t deserve to bitch about it.
Hmmmm.....well. I do this little thing called 'work' and unfortunately I don't have time to go make my stance known. After reviewing that schedule...I don't have a chance. l will just have to complain from here and hope that some of you retired folk out there go down and yell for me. Tup:
 
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