NOF 2018 Meeting


Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
For those of you that fish the sound and have interest in this years forecast and possible fishing opportunities.
I can't attend due to a all day meeting tomorrow at work.

February 27
2018 Salmon Forecasts and Fishing Opportunities

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Lacey Community Center, 6729 Pacific Ave. SE, Olympia.

WDFW presents Puget Sound, coastal Washington and Columbia River salmon abundance forecasts. Fishery management objectives and preliminary fishing opportunities for 2018 are discussed.


The wanted posters say Tim Hartman
Thanks for the reminder, Brian! Here's the whole notice about this and additional meetings that WDFW recently sent out:

February 16, 2018
Kyle Adicks, 360-902-2664

Public can participate in 2018 salmon season-setting process, rule simplification

OLYMPIA – State fishery managers have scheduled a variety of opportunities for the public to participate in setting salmon fishing seasons for 2018, beginning at the annual salmon forecast meeting Feb. 27.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will present initial forecasts compiled by state and tribal biologists of the 2018 salmon returns at the meeting scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Lacey Community Center, 6729 Pacific Ave. S.E., Olympia.

That meeting is one of more than 20 scheduled at various locations around the state as part of each year's salmon negotiations. A list of the meetings scheduled in 2018 can be found online at

State fishery managers will be relying on input from anglers, commercial fishers and others interested in salmon as they work to develop this year's fisheries, said Ron Warren, head of WDFW's fish program.

Additionally, fishery managers plan to discuss with the public ways to simplify salmon-fishing regulations, said Warren. Over the last two years, WDFW has been working to simplify regulations after hearing from the public that the state's fishing rules are too complex.

"It's really important for us to hear what the public has to say about salmon fisheries," Warren said. "I encourage people to get involved and share their ideas on fishing opportunities and ways we can simplify the rules for anglers."

In addition to attending meetings, other ways the public can participate include:

  • Online comments: The public can provide comments on fisheries and rule simplification through an online commenting tool as salmon seasons are developed. The online tool will be available in the coming weeks on WDFW's website at
  • Plenary session: This year, the co-managers have agreed to invite the public to an informal discussion, which is tentatively scheduled to follow a state-tribal negotiating session in early April. Meeting information will be posted on the website listed above.
  • Conference calls and daily briefings: During the final days of negotiations, state fish managers will hold multiple briefings each day with the public as well as conference calls with constituents who can't attend.
State salmon managers scheduled these opportunities under guidance from the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor that sets policy for WDFW. Commissioners have instructed WDFW staff to continue to work with their tribal co-managers to make the season-setting process as transparent as possible.

The annual process of setting salmon fishing seasons is called "North of Falcon" and is held in conjunction with public meetings conducted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC). The council is responsible for establishing fishing seasons in ocean water three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.

The PFMC is expected to adopt final ocean fishing seasons and harvest levels at its April 6-11 meeting in Portland, Ore. The 2018 salmon fisheries package for Washington's inside waters is expected to be completed by the state and tribal co-managers during the PFMC's April meeting.

TJ Fisher

Active Member
Unfortunately I can't make it either due to work obligations. Will there be minutes, overview, recording or anything available after the meeting?


Active Member
While this first meeting makes public the pre-season run forecasts; the basic building blocks of modeling that drives our fisheries, it probably the least important of the north of Falcon meetings. With the forecasts some of the big picture of what will be limiting stocks will be apparent but this year the real work will begin once the allowable impacts are established and the wrestling matches begin on how to share that limited resources.

Depending on you interest dates to consider putting on your calendar include 3/20 and 4/3 which are the two all day public meetings (9 to 3 with the first in Olympia and the second at Lynnwood). There also are a number of regional meetings that are more geographic specific and during the evenings (6 to 8). A couple that might be of interest to many here include the south Sound meeting on 3/27 at Lacy and North Sound on 3/20 at Mill Creek. Other areas covered include the Columbia, coast, and Straits.

The potential is for this year's NOF to be as difficult as any in the latest few years and how our various fisheries are "shaped" will be the product of this ugly process. Without being involved and clearly articulating our priorities we have no chance of influencing that final product.



Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
February 27, 2018
Contact: Kyle Adicks, 360-902-2664

Low returns expected to restrict Washington’s salmon fisheries

OLYMPIA – Projected poor returns of several salmon stocks are expected to limit fishing opportunities in Washington’s waters this year, state salmon managers announced today.

Forecasts for chinook, coho, sockeye, and chum salmon – developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and treaty Indian tribes – were released during a public meeting in Olympia.

The forecast meeting marks the starting point for crafting 2018 salmon-fishing seasons in Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington coastal areas. The annual salmon season-setting process is known as “North of Falcon.” Fishery managers have scheduled a series of public meetings through early April before finalizing seasons later that month.

Kyle Adicks, salmon policy lead for WDFW, said numerous salmon runs are expected to be lower this year compared to last season, including several key chinook and coho stocks. As a result, a number of fishing opportunities from Puget Sound south to the Columbia River will likely be restricted.

“We will definitely have to be creative in developing salmon fisheries this year,” Adicks said. “I encourage people to get involved and provide input on what they see as the priorities for this season’s fisheries.”

Adicks said the low salmon returns are the result of a variety of factors, including another year of poor ocean conditions.

The forecasts are based on varying environmental indicators, such as ocean conditions, as well as surveys of spawning salmon, and the number of juvenile salmon migrating to marine waters.

Columbia River

Roughly 236,500 “upriver brights” are expected to return to areas of the Columbia River above Bonneville Dam. That is down more than 50 percent from the most recent 10-year average.

An estimated 286,200 coho are projected to return to the Columbia River this year, down nearly 100,000 fish from the 2017 forecast. About 279,300 actually returned last year to the river, where some coho stocks are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Some salmon fisheries in the Columbia River will likely be more restrictive than last year, Adicks said.

Washington’s ocean waters

A lower return of coho and chinook to the Columbia River, combined with a poor forecast of coho returning to the Queets River, will likely mean further restrictions to Washington’s ocean salmon fishery as compared to last year, Adicks said.

This year’s forecast of about 112,500 hatchery chinook expected to return to the Columbia River is down more than 50 percent from last year’s forecast. Those hatchery chinook, known as “tules” are the backbone of the recreational ocean fishery.

Puget Sound

The expected return of 557,150 Puget Sound coho is down about 6 percent from the 10-year average. Very low returns to certain areas, such as the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Snohomish River, could limit salmon fishing in those regions.

While the 2018 forecast of 227,400 Puget Sound hatchery chinook is up 38 percent from last year, continued low returns of ESA-listed wild chinook to some rivers will limit fisheries this year.

Conservation objectives

With the population of Puget Sound wild chinook in decline, salmon managers are working to finalize conservation goals for managing chinook fisheries in 2018.

“We’ll have a better idea of how restrictive Puget Sound salmon fisheries will be this year when NOAA provides its guidance in March,” Adicks said.

A 10-year management plan for harvesting Puget Sound chinook is being developed and will likely be submitted to NOAA Fisheries in late summer. More information on the plan can be found on the department’s website at, where WDFW will also post NOAA’s guidance for this year’s fisheries.

NOAA also may ask for additional restrictions on fisheries as the federal agency weighs conservation measures for southern resident killer whales, whose population has been declining along with salmon. State, tribal and federal fish and wildlife managers, together with their Canadian counterparts, are discussing how to recover the whale population. Some options include limiting fisheries, increasing hatchery production for salmon, improving water quality, and reducing boating activities in key killer whale habitat.

Salmon managers will continue to discuss the issue at upcoming meetings.

Also at those meetings, state salmon managers plan to discuss with the public ways to simplify salmon-fishing regulations. Anglers are invited to share ideas for making salmon fishing rules less complex during public meetings or by using an online commenting tool.

Public meetings and comment opportunities

A meeting schedule, salmon forecasts, and information about the salmon season-setting process are available on WDFW’s website at An online commenting tool will be available on the website later this week.

Upcoming meetings include:

Ocean options: State, tribal and federal fishery managers will meet March 9-14 in Rohnert Park, Calif., with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) to develop options for this year's commercial and recreational ocean chinook and coho salmon fisheries. The PFMC establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters 3 to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.

Regional discussions: Additional public meetings have been scheduled into April to discuss regional fishery issues. Input from these regional discussions will be considered as the season-setting process moves into the "North of Falcon" and PFMC meetings, which will determine the final 2018 salmon seasons.

Final PFMC: The PFMC is expected to adopt final ocean fishing seasons and harvest levels at its April 6-11 meeting in Portland, Ore. The 2018 salmon fisheries package for Washington's inside waters is scheduled to be completed by the state and tribal co-managers during the PFMC's April meeting.
Interesting stuff.

I was just reading yesterday that the forecast for Columbia springers was around 250k and up 20% from 2017.

Do these fish head to different places in the ocean than fall chinook? Just curious why they would be improving while the same rivers fall chinook are declining

TJ Fisher

Active Member
With chinook stocks in decline both in quantity and size would a slot limit on these fish make sense?
Just my personal opinion and from experience with a slot limit fishery for stripers in the Chesapeake bay. I think it would do more harm than good. Releasing the larger fish with a potentially higher mortality rate after release. I've seen it many times in the spring and fall trophy striper season, you see more fish floating above the slot limit than below.
I'm not convinced a slot limit would work out great with chinook.... What I see with the slot limit in the sound for lingcod is a TON of handling of fish. Lings that are borderline can only accurately be measured while lying flat in the boat, so they tend to get brought onboard a bunch and handled before measuring too large or too small and being released. I think lings are pretty hearty and I imagine would put up with being handled as such better than most salmon. That's just a guess though. I can just see a ton of "borderline" kings being netted, thrown onto the boat, measured and then finally released. I know first hand when dealing with fish that are close to the minimum size threshold that it can be extremely tough to get a quick, accurate measurement on them while keeping them in the water. Just some thoughts.


Active Member
when NOAA rejected the 'secret' chinook plan developed by the tribes and the now gone director of WDFW, they raised 3 concerns that had to be addressed for them to sign off. the third point was getting a handle on control of the pinniped population, currently the biggest obstacle to salmon recovery. so WDFW, as usual, simply ignored that point and trucks along with the old and tired rhetoric of 'ocean conditions' and degraded habitat. you simply don't get to be an 850# sea lion by sitting on a rock and 350# harbor seals are as frequently encountered as stones on the roadway. will WDFW ever address the real issues when they do their planning??? the salmon are not returning because they are breakfast, lunch and dinner for this exploding pinniped population. little wonder the return numbers are so low and the seasons will be curtailed across the state.

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