We've Taken It In The Shorts Again!
Following is an excerpt of the results of the North of Falcon Meetings as reported in today's Seattle Times.
We've lost our two weeks fishery in Area 9 and others. If this and the other closures (see the complete article at http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/home/), piss you off as much as I, write Dr. Koenings, WDFW Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know what you think about losing your sportfishing seasons. We should also let our Governor know also (maybe someone could post her email address).
Chris (aka: Topwater) What can we do to help?
Makah's chinook plan leads to reduced sport seasons
By Mark Yuasa, Seattle Times staff reporter
Sports fisherman are outraged over the Makah Tribe's plan to increase their catch in its next winter troll chinook fishery, which in turn has led to a reduction in some sport fishing seasons.
"The recreational community has taken some cuts to allow for an increase in the Makah fishery, and once again we came out on the short end of the stick," said Clint Muns, who represents Puget Sound Anglers, the largest sport fishing club in Washington.
The expanded Makah winter chinook projected catch to a ceiling of 8,500 fish created a heightened impact on protected chinook stocks in mid-Hood Canal and the Snohomish river systems, and cuts were needed to get under the management objective.
The recreational fishing caucus throughout the season-setting process, which began March 1, adamantly opposed accepting the conservation burden created from the Makah winter fishery.
In the end, that wasn't the case.
"We were led to believe that we were splitting the impacts on wild chinook stocks of concern with the tribes, and we ended up taking all the heat," said Keith Robbins, a member of the state Fish and Wildlife's sport fishing advisory board.
State Fish and Wildlife has imposed two conservation measures by closing the sport fishery in northern Puget Sound (Area 9) during the last two weeks of July, and going with a chinook selective fishery in the Everett-Camano Island area (Areas 8-1 and 8-2) from Oct. 1 through April 2006.
"I certainly know people were upset over the Makah situation, but losing two weeks in Area 9 looked to be the best of the bad choices we had," said Phil Anderson, the state Fish and Wildlife salmon policy coordinator.
"The winter treaty troll fishery went from a full season last year to a much more restricted fishery," Anderson said.
"This winter the troll fishery is in October, and they went to a four-day-a-week fishery, so we'll see how that transpires."
"This whole (salmon-setting season) process is a collaborative effort to try and reach each parties' needs and come to a balance," said Tony Meyer, the director and salmon recovery information officer for Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.
"The state (Fish and Wildlife) traded two weeks of Area 9 for a selective (chinook) fishery in Area 8-1 and 8-2 from Oct. 1 to April 30, and the tribes agreed to that expansion in the co-management process," Meyer added. "That adds several months to that sport fishery, which is pretty significant, and there are other bright spots in the sport package."
One sport-fishing advisory-board member countered: "I don't think any fishermen challenges the tribe's right to fish, but when the sport and non-tribal community has to underwrite that opportunity, it can't help but leave a bad taste in our mouths."