New Puget Sound Chinook Resource Management Plan

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
#31
Can someone provide a cliff note summary of what exactly is the issue? Aren't the harvestable surpluses/quotas determined by the state and feds and the tribes with treaties are allowed 50% of whatever that quota is? Or am I waayyy off base and the issues that you guys are dealing with is far more complicated...
Bob,
Many times the tribes fish on a set net schedule, so in reality there is no 50% quota split.
If they were to hit their supposed 50% but still had a month of fishing scheduled, they keep fishing.
Now add in ocean harvest in Washington plus Washington fish taken in Alaska and Canada and you’ve got a very convoluted mess.
The way things are now, the treaties take precedent and everyone else falls in line behind them.
As the pie has gotten smaller, everyone is fighting for their share of it.
In my opinion, the co-management model is broken.
Having a spineless WDFW representing sports anglers doesn’t help.
This goes beyond salmon and steelhead as well.
When you see Puget Sound being carpet bombed with tribal crab pots a full month before the recreational opener, you have to think things won’t get any better in the future.
SF
 
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JayB

Active Member
#32
If the state and tribes can't reach an agreement, the tribes hold the permit with NOAA and can secure bureaucratic authorization for harvest while non-tribal fishing gets shut down.
 

Bob Smith

Active Member
#33
Thanks Brian, Jay and Jonathan for bringing a non WA guy up to speed. It indeed does sound like the co management model is in shambles. The last couple of years when I have participated in the PFMC salmon reg setting process - WA disagreements have held things up... now I am starting to understand why. California has two tribes sharing a single stock - you guys have dozens of tribal nations and fish that occupy Alaskan and Canadian waters... UGH.
 

bk paige

Wishin I was on the Sauk
#34
Thanks Brian, Jay and Jonathan for bringing a non WA guy up to speed. It indeed does sound like the co management model is in shambles. The last couple of years when I have participated in the PFMC salmon reg setting process - WA disagreements have held things up... now I am starting to understand why. California has two tribes sharing a single stock - you guys have dozens of tribal nations and fish that occupy Alaskan and Canadian waters... UGH.

Anywhere from 60-80% of Washington salmon is taken in AK/BC, and we fight for the scraps.
 

Dipnet

The wanted posters say Tim Hartman
#35
For a bit more information on this issue here's what I received from CCA today:

Last week the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Puget Sound Treaty Tribes (Tribes) jointly submitted a proposed Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Plan (plan) to the federal government. The ten-year fishery plan was intended to provide the state greater certainty for its fisheries after years of acrimony and inequity in the annual salmon season-setting negotiations, but initial reviews indicate that it may result in “severe” closures to Puget Sound recreational fisheries.

No one questions the need to protect wild Puget Sound Chinook populations, which continue to decline since they were listed as ESA Threatened in 1999. However, it is not clear how this plan will benefit wild Chinook recovery and there are serious concerns about provisions that appear to unnecessarily constrain mark-selective recreational fisheries.

Since the plan was developed behind closed doors as part of federal court mediation, the public has had no opportunity to provide comment or understand the impacts of the plan. You can share your concerns with WDFW by emailing Director Jim Unsworth at [email protected] and the Fish and Wildlife Commission at [email protected]. In addition to respectfully sharing how conservation and recreation salmon fisheries are important to you and your family, below are a few points for consideration:

Need for Public Meetings and Transparency
WDFW has provided very little detail about the impacts of the plan on recreational fisheries and how it will benefit the conservation of listed Chinook. Third-party reviews of the plan suggest there could be severe reductions to recreational fisheries, including the mark-selective fisheries that seek to conserve wild salmon while harvesting hatchery fish throughout the sound. One analysis found that the plan’s requirements for protecting Stillaguamish Chinook would result in an additional 9 native spawners at the cost of 18,000 hatchery fish harvested in Puget Sound mark-selective recreational fisheries. WDFW must be more transparent about the plan and its likely impacts to recreational fisheries, including organizing public meetings throughout the Puget Sound region to give the public an opportunity to comment.

Selective Fisheries
With wild Chinook populations continuing to decline, full implementation of mark-selective fisheries – both tribal and non-tribal – is necessary to target returning hatchery fish and increase wild Chinook escapement. Unfortunately, the plan fails to recognize the opportunity to increase the productivity of the current habitat and allow us to increase hatchery production through selective harvest. Instead, the plan’s arbitrary constraints on the number of Stillaguamish River marked hatchery Chinook that can be harvested threatens to erode the extensive investments made in mark-selective fishing, which is largely responsible for maintaining what little fishing opportunity is left in Puget Sound.

Equitable Sharing
In recent years, the annual salmon season-setting process - known as North of Falcon - has resulted in inequitable sharing of the harvest and impacts between state fisheries and Tribal fisheries. Unfortunately, a handful of Tribes have used a broken system to arbitrarily shut down recreational fisheries and increase their harvest share in the process. Since any new harvest management plan is likely to have lower allowable harvests due to the declining health of Puget Sound Chinook, it is critical that the state and federal governments ensure there is an equitable sharing of the available impacts.

U.S.-Canada Treaty
The U.S.-Canada Pacific Salmon Treaty is in the final stages of renegotiation. Currently, Alaska and Canada can overharvest the same stocks that we are struggling to conserve with no payback penalty. Moreover, if they exceed their allowable impacts in-season, our fisheries must make up the difference – a potentially devastating blow to Puget Sound fisheries struggling with even lower allowable harvest rates. WDFW must work with U.S. treaty negotiators to ensure that northern fisheries also live within reduced impacts and implement electronic monitoring to alleviate the arbitrary restrictions on Stillaguamish hatchery Chinook, which threaten severe impacts on Puget Sound mark-selective recreational fisheries.

This is just the first step in what will be a detailed process for considering this Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Plan. Thank you for taking the first step by emailing WDFW and be prepared for more updates on our advocacy efforts on behalf of recreational fisheries and the conservation of Puget Sound Chinook.

Sincerely,

CCA Washington

 

Dipnet

The wanted posters say Tim Hartman
#36
For anyone that loves to fish Puget Sound, this is an extremely important issue. I've sent my messages to Director Unsworth, the Fish and Wildlife Commission and my state legislators.

Don't just kick back in the easy chair and think someone else will be your voice! Use the provided links in the initial post of Stonefish and also the CCA letter I quoted. Let the powers that be know what's on your mind and let's hold them accountable!

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke (1700s Irish statesman in the British Parliament)

I'll tweak Mr. Burke's well-known phrase to address our current issues: "The only thing necessary for the loss of Puget Sound fisheries is for good anglers to do nothing."
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
#37
As Dipnet mentioned, don’t sit on your hands on this issue.
If you like to fish Puget Sound, particularly for salmon I can’t stress how important it is to act.
Call or email your state senators and representatives and express your displeasure with this plan.
Request a face to face meeting with them if possible.

Email Gov Inslee and Director Unsworth and tell them secret negotiations with the tribes without the knowledge of the WDFW Commission is unacceptable as is the plan they negotiated.

Email the WDFW Commission and tell them the plan is BS and the lack of transparency within WDFW is unacceptable to the people that WDFW is supposedly representing.
http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/members.html

I’ve fished Puget Sound for over 50+ years and don’t want to lose the opportunity to continue to do so.

Thanks
SF
 

Dipnet

The wanted posters say Tim Hartman
#38
I’ve fished Puget Sound for over 50+ years and don’t want to lose the opportunity to continue to do so.
Yeah, I've fished the Sound since the early '60s and remember when salmon were so much more plentiful. In fact, as teenage anglers my buddies and I decided salmon were too easy to catch so concentrated on SRC. Even back then cutties were a challenge but we were up to the task!

But nowadays, even having an open season on salmon is in question. Losing the opportunity to ply the waters of Puget Sound in quest of a nice salmon would break my heart. My recreation and my former work life were both involved in Puget Sound sport-fishing. It's so much a part of my upbringing and identity. To lose that would feel like having an essential part of my soul ripped out!

Please, please, please message the WDFW, the Commission, your legislators, the feds and anyone else you can think of to help!

Let's put the pressure on them, hold their heels to the fire and make them realize it's not just about them. It's about us! We out here in the trenches: on the beaches, in the boats and in the recreational fishing supported businesses!!
 
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bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
#41
If the state and tribes can't reach an agreement, the tribes hold the permit with NOAA and can secure bureaucratic authorization for harvest while non-tribal fishing gets shut down.
That’s what’s been happening ,I doubt the stilly system will ever open to sport fish in the future due to low chinook returns
 

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
#42
I'll tweak Mr. Burke's well-known phrase to address our current issues: "The only thing necessary for the loss of Puget Sound fisheries is for good anglers to do nothing."
As I have been saying on this forum for years, "You get the fishing you fight for."

I know very few of you personally. But what I have noticed during my many visits to Olympia to attend the Commissioners meetings, the room is about 99% gray haired or balding men. We know what we have lost and what little there is left. Soon, like the fish, we are going to be gone. Who will carry on the fight then? Will there be anything left to fight for? Will anyone even care?

Sure...you have busy lives with family, jobs, other interests, etc. etc. But if you don't jump on board now there will be nothing left for you when it comes time for you to "retire and do some fishing". Don't believe me? In three decades I've watched my two 'home' rivers go from year-round openings to near complete closures; 45 day openings in the summer and the same in the winter. How many days will you get when you retire? 3? 5? Boy! That'll be great won't it! Wake the fuck up people!

If you think some one else is going to take care of it then you have already lost. Might as well sell your gear to some other dreamer while you can still get something for it.
 
#44
Bob Smith: many share your thought of:. "Tribal fishing rights are in play for the Klamath stocks, but 50% of zero is essentially zero for the tribes as well. "
But....

And, as Muckleshoot Tribe attorney Alan Stay said, it spawned other actions designed to protect salmon – "because if there is no salmon fishery, then the treaty is violated."

This lay's the groundwork for suits for compensation and violation of federal law, since the federal overrides the state (wdfw) rules and policy.
 

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