COMMENT on the Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Plan

Check here for Outdoor Line news, trips, public appearances, website updates, and political news. Club announcements are welcome here! here.Image
Image

COMMENT on the Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Plan

Postby House » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:12 am

Last week the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Puget Sound Treaty Tribes (Tribes) jointly submitted a proposed Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Plan (plan) to the federal government. The ten-year fishery plan was intended to provide the state greater certainty for its fisheries after years of acrimony and inequity in the annual salmon season-setting negotiations, but initial reviews indicate that it may result in “severe” closures to Puget Sound recreational fisheries.

You can view the plan here: http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01947/

No one questions the need to protect wild Puget Sound Chinook populations, which continue to decline since they were listed as ESA Threatened in 1999. However, it is not clear how this plan will benefit wild Chinook recovery and there are serious concerns about provisions that appear to unnecessarily constrain mark-selective recreational fisheries.

Since the plan was developed behind closed doors as part of federal court mediation, the public has had no opportunity to provide comment or understand the impacts of the plan. You can share your concerns with WDFW by emailing Director Jim Unsworth at director@dfw.wa.gov and the Fish and Wildlife Commission at commission@dfw.wa.gov In addition to respectfully sharing how conservation and recreation salmon fisheries are important to you and your family, below are a few points for consideration:

Need for Public Meetings and Transparency
WDFW has provided very little detail about the impacts of the plan on recreational fisheries and how it will benefit the conservation of listed Chinook. Third-party reviews of the plan suggest there could be severe reductions to recreational fisheries, including the mark-selective fisheries that seek to conserve wild salmon while harvesting hatchery fish throughout the sound. One analysis found that the plan’s requirements for protecting Stillaguamish Chinook would result in an additional 9 native spawners at the cost of 18,000 hatchery fish harvested in Puget Sound mark-selective recreational fisheries. WDFW must be more transparent about the plan and its likely impacts to recreational fisheries, including organizing public meetings throughout the Puget Sound region to give the public an opportunity to comment.

Selective Fisheries
With wild Chinook populations continuing to decline, full implementation of mark-selective fisheries – both tribal and non-tribal – is necessary to target returning hatchery fish and increase wild Chinook escapement. Unfortunately, the plan fails to recognize the opportunity to increase the productivity of the current habitat and allow us to increase hatchery production through selective harvest. Instead, the plan’s arbitrary constraints on the number of Stillaguamish River marked hatchery Chinook that can be harvested threatens to erode the extensive investments made in mark-selective fishing, which is largely responsible for maintaining what little fishing opportunity is left in Puget Sound.

Equitable Sharing
In recent years, the annual salmon season-setting process - known as North of Falcon - has resulted in inequitable sharing of the harvest and impacts between state fisheries and Tribal fisheries. Unfortunately, a handful of Tribes have used a broken system to arbitrarily shut down recreational fisheries and increase their harvest share in the process. Since any new harvest management plan is likely to have lower allowable harvests due to the declining health of Puget Sound Chinook, it is critical that the state and federal governments ensure there is an equitable sharing of the available impacts.

U.S.-Canada Treaty
The U.S.-Canada Pacific Salmon Treaty is in the final stages of renegotiation. Currently, Alaska and Canada can overharvest the same stocks that we are struggling to conserve with no payback penalty. Moreover, if they exceed their allowable impacts in-season, our fisheries must make up the difference – a potentially devastating blow to Puget Sound fisheries struggling with even lower allowable harvest rates. WDFW must work with U.S. treaty negotiators to ensure that northern fisheries also live within reduced impacts and implement electronic monitoring to alleviate the arbitrary restrictions on Stillaguamish hatchery Chinook, which threaten severe impacts on Puget Sound mark-selective recreational fisheries.

This is just the first step in what will be a detailed process for considering this Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Plan. Thank you for taking the first step by emailing WDFW and be prepared for more updates on our advocacy efforts on behalf of recreational fisheries and the conservation of Puget Sound Chinook.
User avatar
House
FYI
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:30 pm

Re: COMMENT on the Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Pl

Postby Fisherlady » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:19 am

How will this PS management plan impact the Co-Managers?
FYI
District 39 Senator Pearson is no longer someone we can contact for support. Replacement to come.
I emailed Representative Kristiansen - no response. Also emailed Rep. Eslick whose response was for me to share my concerns with WDFW Commissioners.

Thanks
Fisherlady
Pollywog
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:09 pm
Location: Granite Falls

Re: COMMENT on the Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Pl

Postby Nelly » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:25 am

Fisherlady wrote:How will this PS management plan impact the Co-Managers?
FYI
District 39 Senator Pearson is no longer someone we can contact for support. Replacement to come.
I emailed Representative Kristiansen - no response. Also emailed Rep. Eslick whose response was for me to share my concerns with WDFW Commissioners.

Thanks


I agree! Responses should be directed to Director Jim Unsworth at director@dfw.wa.gov and the Fish and Wildlife Commission at commission@dfw.wa.gov

As far as the inpact on the co-managers, as far as I can dig up info on the Stilly, there has not been a directed chinook fishery by the tribe for several seasons. Their only chinook harvest is incidental to coho and chum fisheries.
The bigger point here is that we need to raise more chinook in the Stillaguamish River.
The Outdoor Line on 710 ESPN Seattle 6-9am Every Saturday!
User avatar
Nelly
Spawned Out Boot
 
Posts: 2255
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:04 am

Re: COMMENT on the Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Pl

Postby Matt Eckstrom » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:41 pm

I have been sharing this info with everyone I know, we need to rally the forces on this one Tom.
Matt Eckstrom
Pollywog
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:38 pm

Re: COMMENT on the Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Pl

Postby Nelly » Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:16 pm

Thanks MATT and WELCOME ABOARD! cheers
The Outdoor Line on 710 ESPN Seattle 6-9am Every Saturday!
User avatar
Nelly
Spawned Out Boot
 
Posts: 2255
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:04 am

Re: COMMENT on the Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Pl

Postby SCHANKER » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:56 pm

Nelly, i agree we need to raise more fish. I know right where the south fork hatchery is, not as far upstream as i would like. But, i would like to know if the fish ladder out of granite is being maintained and used to standards? And when they say there is no fish for native stock, where and how far up do they look or go? Blue bridge, red bridge? I have seen kings many times above the fish ladder, and above gold basin. Why not use these fish for broodstock????
beatdeadhorse drool
User avatar
SCHANKER
Window Licker
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:30 am
Location: Granite falls

Re: COMMENT on the Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Pl

Postby Nelly » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:40 pm

All good questions Schanker,
Here’s what I do know: in addition to current chinook enhancement facilities on the Stilly -which includes a captive broodstock program- there’s already a new hatchery being built.
The problem is that the chinook that are coming out of the wild fish conservation hatchery are all adipose clipped!
Of course that means that selective fisheries are no help in preserving those fish.
There is a meeting tomorrow in Olympia regarding this Chinook Resource Management Plan (or RMP) hopefully WDFW has heard their customer base voice our collective concern. spy
The Outdoor Line on 710 ESPN Seattle 6-9am Every Saturday!
User avatar
Nelly
Spawned Out Boot
 
Posts: 2255
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:04 am


Return to Outdoor Line News and Announcements

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron