Dungeness crab population declining in south Sound – Vashon Beachcomber

The anecdotal information has been coming in all year on this, now it appears that it’s official.

The winter crabbing season is set to close at the end of the month, but several marine areas did not even open for crabbing in the fall — after countless crabbers came up empty-handed repeatedly last summer. In fact, of the state’s 13 marine areas, five of them — all in the south sound — remained closed to crabbing when the winter season opened on Oct. 7. Don Velasquez, a fish and wildlife biologist at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), stressed this is not the norm…. Numerous islanders were upset when few Dungeness crabs found their way into pots last summer, and now that the state has finished compiling statistics, it is clear just how poor the season was — and how few crabs appear to be living in nearby waters. Sue Riemer reports. (Vashon Beachcomber)

http://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/news/dungeness-crab-population-declining-in-south-sound/

Salmon fishing restrictions may get ‘severe’ – KING

It appears that we are going to need to take more draconian steps to save the remaining Chinook. While no one wants to see salmon fishing undergo more restrictions, it’s better than not having any of the fish left here. California already is in that situation.

A salmon fishing agreement between the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and tribal co-managers is fueling continued angst by many recreational fishermen who fear it will force severe closures. The Comprehensive Management Plan for Puget Sound Chinook was recently released after a long secret court mediation process. If approved, it could place severe restrictions on salmon fishing around Puget Sound. Because the plan was reached in secret, it’s also reignited a rallying cry for transparency from WDFW and tribal co-managers…. Both the Attorney General’s office and representatives from WDFW explained that the mediation process required non-disclosure from all parties. If approved by NOAA, the plan would reduce the exploitation rate from 12 percent to 8 percent on wild Chinook for the next 10 years. That means only 8 percent of the wild Chinook expected to return to their natal streams can be impacted by fishing. Alison Morrow reports/ (KING)

http://www.king5.com/article/news/local/salmon-fishing-restrictions-may-get-severe/281-498970670

New research shows wild salmon exposed to fish farms have ‘much higher’ rate of disease – CBC

More data exposing the danger to wild fish from fish farms. The ban on net pens is needed now.

Wild salmon exposed to open-net fish farms are much more likely to be infected with piscine reovirus (PRV) than those that don’t have that contact, a new study has concluded. The data also show that the virus makes it more difficult for wild salmon to swim upstream to their spawning grounds, which has major implications for the sustainability of the populations. “The government has to remove this industry from the key salmon migration routes or we risk the complete loss of wild salmon in this province,” said Alexandra Morton, lead author on the report and an outspoken advocate for wild salmon. Ash Kelly reports. (CBC)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/new-research-shows-wild-salmon-exposed-to-fish-farms-have-much-higher-rate-of-disease-1.4446839

Atlantic salmon still being caught in Skagit River – Skagit Valley Herald

Well, I guess this lays to rest the opinion that I’ve been hearing in our Marine Resources Committee from one supposed ‘expert’ from industry that said,  “don’t worry, they’ll starve to death quickly”.  If this isn’t good enough information to call for an immediate ban on all net pens in the state waters I don’t know what will be.

More than three months after being released during the collapse of a fish farm near Cypress Island, Atlantic salmon are being caught about 40 miles up the Skagit River. “Virtually every time we have done work in the river we have encountered Atlantics along the way,” Upper Skagit Indian Tribe Natural Resources Director Scott Schuyler said. Since the Aug. 20 collapse, Schuyler said Upper Skagit fishermen and fisheries crews have caught the nonnative fish in Mount Vernon, near Lyman and east of Hamilton while pursuing native salmon. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

https://www.goskagit.com/news/atlantic-salmon-still-being-caught-in-skagit-river/article_a355ba10-c8da-5b07-b2e8-11be738c7408.html

2017: The Year In Climate – New York Times

The Big Picture

What makes stormwater toxic?- Salish Sea Currents

Nice quick overview on stormwater and what is being done to better understand  and mitigate it.

Researchers are trying to determine which chemicals in stormwater are contributing to the deaths of large numbers of coho salmon in Puget Sound. It has prompted a larger question: What exactly is in stormwater anyway? Eric Wagoner reports. (Salish Sea Currents)

https://www.eopugetsound.org/magazine/is/stormwater-mystery

Jo Bailey (1928-2017) Gunkholing In The San Juans – Pt Leader and others

From Mike Sato’s Blog, The Salish Sea News. http://salishseanews.blogspot.com/


Sailor and author Jo Bailey passed away in October (see obithttp://www.ptleader.com/communityrecord/obituaries/joanne-claribel-imeson-jo-bailey/article_28168eca-cf19-11e7-acf9-2722749634e4.html). She coauthored several “gunkholing” guides to South Sound, the San Juans and British Columbia’s Desolation Sound. For landlubbers who’ve never gone “gunkholing,” the term describes cruising in shallow waters, roaming around, and overnighting in sheltered coves. Mud, or gunk, is what’s found in “gunkholes” like coves, marshes and sloughs. Thanks, Jo, now we know.

Jo Bailey August 1974

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