New Puget Sound Chinook Resource Management Plan

TJ Fisher

Active Member
#91
I used to live in NJ and fished striped bass back there. I've sometimes wondered what imposing a rule similar to the 3-mile rule would do for salmon. It seems that would be a possible way to allow people to continue to fish up and down the coast, but also provide refuge for a certain percentage of the population.
I'm not sure of the migratory patterns but my opinion is even if it gives safe haven for a small percentage, it's worth it. I think it could be easily implemented and managed thru seasons to allow more salmon to make it to the "safe haven" which could mean more fish returning to spawn in the rivers. Paired with habitat restoration projects on ALL rivers that have salmon and steelhead I think it could work without eliminating all recreational fishing for 10 years.

Again these are opinions and I do not have any background in fisheries biology.
 
#92
Great theories and I am sure it worked for striped bass and I completely agree with improving habitat. Unfortunately, our pacific salmon face more complex problems. The top three limiting factors for most Puget Sound salmon runs are 1. Alaska and Canadian commercial fisheries catch 50% to 70% of our salmon before they even return to Washington waters. 2. Protected marine mammals that are grossly over populated consume 50% to 80% of out migrating salmon before they leave Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan De Fuca. 3. The few salmon left that make it back to Washington waters as adults are subject to tribal and non tribal commercial fisheries in the salt and rivers.

A safe haven miles out from river mouths won't work when most of the salmon are killed before they even return to the state and when they do they face gill nets cutting off migration up our rivers.

Tribal fishing is not going away. A lawsuit needs to be filed against the feds to force them to protect these ESA listed salmon in Alaska and Canada not just in Washington. Also, marine mammals in Puget Sound need to be managed to allow the out migration of salmon.

Fix those two problems and you will have more salmon than you know what to do with in regards to most runs.
 

TJ Fisher

Active Member
#93
It definitely seems like a very complex problem and thank you for the explanation. As for the majority of the problems that plague our salmon the feds need to step up. Has there been a tagging process to track salmon migration and mortality?
 

Smalma

Active Member
#95
Jonathan-
You might want to check the size of the Alaska/BC catch of the Puget Sound Chinook stocks. Depending on the stock in question those northern fisheries may represent a half or more of the total catch but not half or more of the total run. In fact for most PS Chinook stocks those northern fishery impacts on individual stocks range from less than 10% to maybe a bit more than 35%; typically in the 15 to 20% range. While I agree that those northern fishery take represents a larger portion of the total catch than desired it is not near as large as you alledged.

With the overall reduction in fishing rates (northern and southern United States combined) and the continued decline of PS Chinook runs I would argue the # 1 factor limiting our Chinook populations are habitat issues. Perhaps there is no better indication of the habitat problems than the declining survival of eggs to smolts in a growing numbers of the Puget Sound rivers. If we can get fish out the systems from the adults that spawn the rest doesn't matter.

Curt
 

TJ Fisher

Active Member
#97
Is there information on how many of these fish return to the rivers and are actually able to navigate the obstructions such as nets to make it to spawn. Also what is the survival rate of fish caught in nets then released? Are things in place to protect wild populations from becoming by-catch statistics?
 

jasmillo

Active Member
#98
Great theories and I am sure it worked for striped bass and I completely agree with improving habitat. Unfortunately, our pacific salmon face more complex problems. The top three limiting factors for most Puget Sound salmon runs are 1. Alaska and Canadian commercial fisheries catch 50% to 70% of our salmon before they even return to Washington waters. 2. Protected marine mammals that are grossly over populated consume 50% to 80% of out migrating salmon before they leave Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan De Fuca. 3. The few salmon left that make it back to Washington waters as adults are subject to tribal and non tribal commercial fisheries in the salt and rivers.

A safe haven miles out from river mouths won't work when most of the salmon are killed before they even return to the state and when they do they face gill nets cutting off migration up our rivers.

Tribal fishing is not going away. A lawsuit needs to be filed against the feds to force them to protect these ESA listed salmon in Alaska and Canada not just in Washington. Also, marine mammals in Puget Sound need to be managed to allow the out migration of salmon.

Fix those two problems and you will have more salmon than you know what to do with in regards to most runs.
I hear the marine mammal argument a lot and always have the same question; how are they so overpopulated with such a depleted food source? Honest question. Not advocating for or against management of marine mammals but if their population is inflated, it’s artificially inflated. My guess is through the millions of hatchery fish pumped into the sound each year. If that’s the case, I doubt marine mamals are a significant driver of the depletion of wild fish specifically. If they are it’s only because there are so few wild fish left left that any predation is impactful.

At its source, humans caused this issue be it through over harvesting the resource, habitat
destruction or artificially altering the systems. Maybe management of marine mamals is a short term bandaid. However, until we fix the human problem, this will always be a ...problem.

Any solution that does not involve fixing our impact as the core driver is not a solution. It’s a bandaid at best and a political talking point at worst. It’s not a conversation anyone wants to have because the ramifications have significant impacts to all of us. Fisherman and non fisherman alike. If we truly cared about the resource we’d be pushing hard for those types of solutions and not bandaids that might keep us fishing through the majority of our lives (maybe some of us) but does little for the long term viability of the fish.

Am I off base here? I have heard the arguments that humans are here to stay, etc, etc., etc.. Hard problems require hard decisions and sacrifice though. Without real solutions, I feel we are just probably delaying the inevitable.
 

TJ Fisher

Active Member
#99
I hear the marine mammal argument a lot and always have the same question; how are they so overpopulated with such a depleted food source? Honest question. Not advocating for or against management of marine mammals but if their population is inflated, it’s artificially inflated. My guess is through the millions of hatchery fish pumped into the sound each year. If that’s the case, I doubt marine mamals are a significant driver of the depletion of wild fish specifically. If they are it’s only because there are so few wild fish left left that any predation is impactful.

At its source, humans caused this issue be it through over harvesting the resource, habitat
destruction or artificially altering the systems. Maybe management of marine mamals is a short term bandaid. However, until we fix the human problem, this will always be a ...problem.

Any solution that does not involve fixing our impact as the core driver is not a solution. It’s a bandaid at best and a political talking point at worst. It’s not a conversation anyone wants to have because the ramifications have significant impacts to all of us. Fisherman and non fisherman alike. If we truly cared about the resource we’d be pushing hard for those types of solutions and not bandaids that might keep us fishing through the majority of our lives (maybe some of us) but does little for the long term viability of the fish.

Am I off base here? I have heard the arguments that humans are here to stay, etc, etc., etc.. Hard problems require hard decisions and sacrifice though. Without real solutions, I feel we are just probably delaying the inevitable.
It doesn't sound off base to me and I agree, there haven't been from what I have read any real solutions. Real solutions requires large sacrifice on all fronts not just recreational fishing unfortunately this isn't profitable at this time.
 
I hear the marine mammal argument a lot and always have the same question; how are they so overpopulated with such a depleted food source? Honest question. Not advocating for or against management of marine mammals but if their population is inflated, it’s artificially inflated. My guess is through the millions of hatchery fish pumped into the sound each year. If that’s the case, I doubt marine mamals are a significant driver of the depletion of wild fish specifically. If they are it’s only because there are so few wild fish left left that any predation is impactful.

At its source, humans caused this issue be it through over harvesting the resource, habitat
destruction or artificially altering the systems. Maybe management of marine mamals is a short term bandaid. However, until we fix the human problem, this will always be a ...problem.

Any solution that does not involve fixing our impact as the core driver is not a solution. It’s a bandaid at best and a political talking point at worst. It’s not a conversation anyone wants to have because the ramifications have significant impacts to all of us. Fisherman and non fisherman alike. If we truly cared about the resource we’d be pushing hard for those types of solutions and not bandaids that might keep us fishing through the majority of our lives (maybe some of us) but does little for the long term viability of the fish.

Am I off base here? I have heard the arguments that humans are here to stay, etc, etc., etc.. Hard problems require hard decisions and sacrifice though. Without real solutions, I feel we are just probably delaying the inevitable.
Yes the seal and sealion population is over inflated due to hatchery fish. They eat wild fish along with hatchery fish. All we can do is apply "bandaids" to improve our fisheries and runs of wild fish. Unless you know how to get millions of people to leave western Washington and billions of dollars to restore habitat at the same time. Not going to happen, just like ending tribal commercial fishing.

Thus all we can do is try to fix what we have control over as stated in my last post.
 

jasmillo

Active Member
Yes the seal and sealion population is over inflated due to hatchery fish. They eat wild fish along with hatchery fish. All we can do is apply "bandaids" to improve our fisheries and runs of wild fish. Unless you know how to get millions of people to leave western Washington and billions of dollars to restore habitat at the same time. Not going to happen, just like ending tribal commercial fishing.

Thus all we can do is try to fix what we have control over as stated in my last post.
No, I get it. I agree bandaids are needed. That being said, there are a plethora of things that can be done before you get to the extreme of removing millions of people from western WA that I imagine (don’t know, this is a guess) would have a much bigger impact on wild fish then marine mamal culling. Not looking for an argument here, just some input from folks who are familiar with the research which I am not. What would the expected impact be wild fish if we culled marine mamals. How many would we need to cull to make an impact! How would it impact those species.

Culling the prey animals of fish seems like the obvious solution most people recommend because it’s the simplest thing we can do now and it’s the most obvious issue we observe. Whether it’s based in science is my question. It seems like there could be changes made related to commercial fishing, tribal fishing, recreational fishing, habitat, etc. that would be way more impactful then culling marine mammals that are hard but fall well short of removing millions of people.

Also, when it comes to predation, there have to be a ton of other species (outside of humans) killing juvenile salmon, what do we do about those. Where do marine mamals land in the list of impactful prey animals.

I throw these questions out there because I don’t know the answers and a lot of folks who post here probably do. I would be curious to hear their thoughts. I’m also playing devils advocate a bit. It seems like it’s the “in”thing among saltwater fisherman to hate animals like sea lions. You can see it all over this forum. Does the science back up the hate?

From a bandaid perspective I think there are probably cases for culling. Fish ladders and other artificial impediments where salmon get stopped and it’s a marine mammal free for all are great examples of that. It’s just a bandaid though. We all know what the solution to even that problem is although I agree that solution is probably not a reasonable thing at this time.
 
We don't have to end tribal commercial fishing. Eliminate gill nets, tribal or not. I think they should be banned perminately. Yes this would impact the commercial fishing industry however not as much as you may be led to think. It would require more work with a hook and line only fishery, it would increase the cost at the market to consumers for (wild caught) fish and would probably also increase the market cost of even farm raised. This would also decrease by-catch mortality. It would decrease the amount of fish sold, and possibly increase the amount of recreational anglers (an increase in license sold should increase money available for habitat projects assuming money from license sales doesn't go into a general fund)
 

bk paige

Wishin I was on the Sauk
I throw these questions out there because I don’t know the answers and a lot of folks who post here probably do. I would be curious to hear their thoughts. I’m also playing devils advocate a bit. It seems like it’s the “in”thing among saltwater fisherman to hate animals like sea lions. You can see it all over this forum. Does the science back up the hate?

Those sea lions singlehandedly wiped out the Cedar steelhead at the Ballard locks, for one example. They even took Herschel to Sanfransisco and he was back a week later if i remember right.
 

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