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)

2 Responses

  1. Yes, it’s a bit odd, but from the way I read it, perhaps they were putting together the gist of the agreeement in secret because of a court mediation process. That allows the two sides to air their positions, and come to some agreement before bringing it to the public for further comment and changes. Theorertically of course. I’m not defending it, but just trying to put it into context. Not everything done in the public name is done in public. I’ve seen lots of first drafts get done privately, then rolled out. Most land use docs seem to go through a first draft by consultants and staff, then brought to the public for tuning. There is a good reason for that. It’s called expediency.

    As to your second comment, about Atlantic salmon, it would sound from your comment that you are relatively new to the area. While Atlantic Salmon are endangered, they are not native. We have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to save and protect *our* northwest native salmon. The only people wanting to raise Atlantic salmon here are the companies making money off them. The Tribes, the sportsfishermen, and all other stakeholders do not want them here. We have seen problems, both now with the escapes, and the diseases, without even seeing the expansion of the fish virus plaguing Vancouver Island, just to the north of us. While I hear from the industry that “we don’t have it here” the fact that it’s a virus, which means it mutates, shows that with only a small genetic change, it could be here tomorrow, and wipe out both farmed fish and natives both. You should take some time to read all sides of this issue, including the Tribes POV, which is “ban them”, the State’s POV, the environmental POV and the others. The best way to think of this is, “if you were spending millions to keep a population of people healthy, why would purposely introduce non native mosquitos into the area that carry disease?” Just to make money? Sorry, that isn’t good enough.

  2. Very surprising that agreement by a public, tax supported agency needs to be kept secret – who is getting bought off??? Also, Atlantic salmon ARE an endanged, protected species. (Look it up on Google)

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