PSRFEP Factoid

The Washington State Legislature created the Puget Sound Recreational Fishing Enhancement Program (PSRFEP) in 1993 through the efforts of Senators Bob Oke & Brad Owen who together sponsored SB 2055. The purpose of this bill was to improve recreational fishing in Puget Sound through the delayed release of hatchery raised Chinook from 11 rearing sites from Orcas Island down to Olympia. Back in the 1960’s, Frank Haw at the then Department of Fisheries (now WDFW) discovered that if release of Chinook Salmon was delayed from the hatcheries, the yearlings would lose the drive to head out to sea and remain year ‘round within the confines of Puget Sound.

Today, Chinook raised for this program are released in the late spring as 6-inch yearlings. They feed and grow in Puget Sound and by about June of the following year become part of the Summer Blackmouth fishery approximating 22-inches in length and about 4lbs in weight. As they subsequently mature,they return to their rearing sites providing a Fall Blackmouth fishery at those locations. In 1999, 1,925,000 yearlings were released as part of this program. As Tony Floor, the Program Manager at WDFW says, “…These fish did not exist prior to 1996.” The goal of this program is to release 3,000,000 hatchery raised yearling Chinook annually.

Until 1998, a $10.00 fee was required to purchase a Stamp for each saltwater license sold. This was to fund the PSRFEP. A license consolidation bill in 1998 eliminated the Stamp and provides the program receive 9.9% of all fishing licenses sold. The PSRFEP currently receives approximately $1.4 million.

Since its inception in 1994, the program has been overseen by a committee consisting of sport fishers interested in the direction and success of this Program. Bruce Ferguson, a saltwater flyfishing legend in Puget Sound, serves as one of the members of this committee. The committee meets quarterly to review the activities and provide direction, advice and recommendations for administering this program. Any interested party is invited to attend the committee meetings and should contact Tony Floor at WDFW for information.

hey greg i would be intersted in the meetings, where can you contact Tony floor, I'll guess I go to the web site and try, and oh yes Bruce Ferguson is a legend around here, I bought the book ho co-authored a couple of years ago. Northwest coastal fishing guide by doug olander is a good one too, ferguson's in that one to with maps and how to fly fish around here, tight lines Ben