smalma did a good job of explaining the neah bay (area 4) changes for 2005. the makah winter troll fishery had limited impacts on the coastal seasons (areas 1-4) due to serious constraints with late columbia river hatchery coho. the thompson played a role in our inability to get an area 4B add-on fishery once the ocean closed in area 4. even though the coast was down on thompson impacts from 2004, the numbers just couldn't support any additional impacts.
as someone who's main priority is the ocean fishery, i spend next to no time in the puget sound meetings. i do know that we were above our allowable thompson river impacts (based on ocean cutbacks and puget sound's 2004 season) statewide, so cuts had to come from somewhere. i don't know if the reductions in area 9 were the result. i also do not know how puget sound resolved the mid hood-canal chinook impacts that the makah winter troll fishery did have an impact on. i know the coastal chinook numbers moved downward during the last week of meetings.
i know the 5 day a week fishery sucks for most people, but it will give you a chance to at least fish one day on the weekend in august. nobody representing sportfishing in neah bay, including myself, wanted a 5 day a week fishery. unfortunetely, to have any kind of season length we had to make the move in 2005. hopefully next year will look more like the past few years, and we can return to a normal 7 day a week fishery.
i think we'll make it to at least mid-august with the package we have, especially considering the large run of pinks coming through this summer. without an extra pink on the limit, every pink retained is another coho left in the quota. if we see the fishing pressure of last year, the season will go in 4-5 weeks, but if the pressure resembles 2003 the season might make it through august.
we've been very fortunate the past few seasons when there was enough fish for everyone to get their fill of salmon fishing. when cuts must be made, nobody wants to be the ones cut.
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