New Puget Sound Chinook Resource Management Plan

Joepa

Joe from PA
#1
From what I understand the 10-year RMP that was recently released by the WDFW contains new provisions to protect Stillaguamish Chinook that will likely have a major impact on the saltwater fishing regs starting in 2019. Anyone that is considering purchasing a boat primarily for saltwater salmon fishing in WA may want to look into this, as it appears the potential exists for the highly restrictive (or worse) seasons we've seen in the last 2 years to become the norm until 2029.
 
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Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#2
The way WDFW seems to be headed, fishing the Stillaguamish River in the future may be limited to the soon-to-be-founded Stilly Poach and Release Society. Imagine, one of the best PS SRC streams and one of the few PS summer steelhead streams closed forever. I used to be so thankful for the Stilly Tribe's Chinook program at its Harvey Creek hatchery. In all likelihood the effort has prevented the extinction of Stilly Chinook thus far. If the future means no fishing for any species wherever a depressed stock is present, I may have to re-think my opinion.

It's not that I don't care about Stilly Chinook. I do. But I'm not a 100% altruist. I'm a little bit altruist, but I'm mostly about appreciating, caring about, and even using natural resources for my own benefit and enjoyment. I think that's called being human.
 
#3
The way this plan was developed is complete bullshit! The WDFW managers and the tribes making more decisions and deals behind closed doors without the publics knowledge. Even the commission had no input and was generally not aware of this 10 year management plan. We all had high hopes for Mr. Unsworth but it appears he has picked up where his predecessor left off and in my opinion he is doing a worse job than the previous director. It is time for Mr. Unsworth to go!
 
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Chucker

Active Member
#4
The way this plan was developed is complete bullshit! The WDFW managers and the tribes making more decisions and deals behind closed doors without the publics knowledge. Even the commission had no input and was generally not aware of this 10 year management plan. We all had high hopes for Mr. Unsworth but it appears he has picked up where his predecessor left off and it my opinion he is doing a worse job than the previous director. It is time for Mr. Unsworth to go!
I agree. After all the fuss that there has been over the last few years, to make a deal like this with no stakeholder input is simply mind-boggling.

I have not read the plan, but what I hear is that it's really bad for fishing prospects into the future. There is a hard cap on stilly chinook exploitation rate, which is now really low . What I have heard is that if it had been at that level in the past, there would only have been chinook seasons in the sound in 3 of the last 20 years.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
#5
I've sent comments to the state senator and representatives from my district as well as to others on this.

The fact that the WDFW commission didn't know about these negotiations and no public input was taken shows just how out of touch WDFW leadership is with the states sportspeople.
Secrecy seems to be the mode of operation now with WDFW and transperancy is out the window.
Co-management has become a lopsided joke and just exactly who does WDFW think they represent?
Director Unsworth has become another spineless leader of WDFW.

Here is any easy way to find out who you should send emails to in your districts.
http://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/

SF
 

Joepa

Joe from PA
#7
I have not read the plan, but what I hear is that it's really bad for fishing prospects into the future. There is a hard cap on stilly chinook exploitation rate, which is now really low . What I have heard is that if it had been at that level in the past, there would only have been chinook seasons in the sound in 3 of the last 20 years.
This is my understanding as well. Apparently, WDFW leadership seems to think that the SE Alaska and Canadian fisheries will agree to reduce their impact on the Stilly Chinook stock to allow for a limited WA fishery but that seems very unrealistic. The question for me now is if this RMP is basically adopted as is, how aggressive will the closures be for the WA marine areas used by Stilly Chinook? Do they all get shut down? What about other salmon species seasons?
 
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#9
I have already sent emails to my state representatives, NOAA, WDFW commission, director of the WDFW, fish program manager and regional bios. A few of those emails regarding transparency at NOF and the overharvest of Chinook by 300% on the Quillayute system by our co managers were sent almost two months ago and I have still not received a response.

Maybe I can get a response to some of my emails about how this Puget Sound Chinook Management plan was created and why the commission and the public were not involved or even informed of its existence. Not going to hold my breath though.

The Stilly Chinook numbers in this 10 year plan has the potential to shut down all of Puget Sound and the Straits in its current state.
 

bk paige

Wishin I was on the Sauk
#10
"The Stilly Chinook numbers in this 10 year plan has the potential to shut down all of Puget Sound and the Straits in its current state."

I'm sure that is the tribes goal.
 

Joepa

Joe from PA
#11
What specific sections are the most concerning?
I believe it's the low abundance threshold constraint on page 167. In the previous RMP, the exploitation rate target for the southern US fishery (i.e. WA) was set at 15%. It is now capped at 8% regardless of the northern fishery impact (the total exploitation rate is 24%). If the northern fishery catches above 16% , the southern US fishery will be lowered to not exceed the 24% total (i.e. closed or limited seasons for us). Folks in the know seem to believe this is going to be a given for us.
 

JayB

Active Member
#13
Can anyone in the know summarize the implications for tribal fishing? Are there any scenarios where this lead to outcomes in which the tribes are free to net and non-tribal sport fishing is completely shut down?
 

Joepa

Joe from PA
#14
Can anyone in the know summarize the implications for tribal fishing? Are there any scenarios where this lead to outcomes in which the tribes are free to net and non-tribal sport fishing is completely shut down?
This is a subject on which I'd like clarification. Apparently there is little motivation for the tribes to work cooperatively with the state, and if push comes to shove, they can do their own thing with respect to the ESA permitting process. I don't know if that's true, or the extent to which it may be applicable, but I fear that this RMP will result in non-tribal fishers fighting the tribes for the remaining scraps.
 
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