What did we trade?


Joe from PA
I read recent posts on some of the other boards and overheard some talk about the large number commercial boats netting in Area 8. I was disappointed to see that first hand yesterday afternoon. I took the boat out after work in area 8-2 and there were literally more commercial boats out than recreational boats. It was frustrating to see nets in all virtually all the bays on the east side of Port Susan north of Tulalip and even more frustrating seeing them netting on the west side of Port Susan from Camano head to points north. I also saw a commercial boat on the west side of Camano in Saratoga passage. And, yeah, and the fishing was disappointing too.

I was in Ted’s the other day picking up a new fly line and I overheard Mike taking about this. He said that we (rec fisherman) “traded for some of our king quota with the commercial guys in exchange for pinks and we like that”. I felt like yelling… ”Not Me!” Apparently this “trade” was part of the North of Falcon process? Is that really the case? In exchange for a 6 week (or whatever it was) kill sport fishery on 1 wild Chinook, we’re now going to start allowing commercial fleets to clobber the hell out of the local pink runs in August? How can “we” (rec fisherman) agree to that? The pink run is the last remaining decent local salmon fishery left and now that’s going to be opened up to the possibility of it being commercially pounded into oblivion like the chum fishery and we like that?

I guess now I know why I was so uneasy with all the glory shots of gear fisherman displaying their wild Chinook catch this year. Personally, I think it sucks and will be participating in the NOF process in the future if this is what it really is about (guys trolling around in their $50K boats burning up $50 in gas so they can bonk one wild Chinook 5 times a year).


Active Member
It would be great if you were to get involved in the NOF process. You are correct in that were salmon season decision are made.

If opt to get involved to be effective it helps to have on of the more experienced hands show you the "ropes" as well as doing your homework. I'm usually at those meetings if you can look me up and we can talk over a coffee on how to be effective.

It should be realized that the commercial salmon industry is a long standing business in this State and has enjoyed the full support of the State's citizens (through our legislature).

Not sure aobut the "trade" you are talking about. Not sure what 6 week Chinook season you are referring to. Is the 6 week summer fishery in MA 9 and 10? if so that is selective fishery where anglers are required to release the wild (unclipped Chinook).

The non-treaty commercial effort directed towards pinks has been more or less constant over the last decade. We are currently seeing record Puget Sound pink runs. It is normal for the abundnaces of the various salmon species to very over time and the different species doing well at different times. These record pink returns will end in time - it is the nature of records that they can not be better every year. Just as a decade ago was the time chums and the 1970s and 1980s the time of coho we are currently in the time of pinks.

One thing that has limited (and likely will continue to) non-treaty commercial take of pinks is the incidental catch of the ESA listed Chinook. I don't see the recreational community giving up Chinook impacts to support increased commercial opportunity.

Tight lines


Active Member
Its a sad fact when anglers who are out on the rivers day in and day out know more than the so called expert bio's of this state.
when you walk the stream banks and count 0 spawners (chum) where just a year or two ago there was hundreds, well you dont have to be an "expert" to figure some one f-uked the whole thing. and now we see the same greedy get-em with the once sad little pink salmon.
funny how no one would touch them years ago. but since the state has totaly fu-kd the king runs and are working hard to kill whats left of the coho, i guess pinks are all thats left.
just think when all salmon and steelhead are on the endanger list they can have a party in Oly !! course where they gonna get the revenue from license fees. hmm more taxes !!!!


Joe from PA
Curt -

Thanks for the response. I assumed Mike was referring to other marine areas that were open to wild kings. I've fished a lot in MA 8-2 the last 3 pink years and I've never seen so many commercial guys out in MA 8-2 in August. Not even close. However, I just reviewed the non-tribal commercial regs and it's clear that the entire Port Susan area is closed so apparently that was the tribal fleet I ran into yesterday. I looked at the Indian Fisheries Commission website and gave myself a headache looking for any regulations on that site but I'll do some additional research there.