While I am no proponent of some of the native fisheries, it is unfair to only point your finger at them. waste is just ass much of a problem with regular commercial fishing. The management of fisheries is where the problem is.
Bob, I think you are completely and totally right about a hoochie and flasher as being superior to bait for salmon fishing, unless I am mooching! I seriously question a 6% catch of juvenile salmon in herring nets except for unusual circumstances! I believe a closure of winter fishing for herring while they are spawning would be more appropriate than a total closure of the commercial fishery.
I am speaking from experience here as I held a herring netting license and lost it due to the fisheries people spotting a salmon in my holding net pen in the middle of the night! For the uninformed, herring netting is a purse net fishery that is done at night and to find a salmon in with your herring is a very common occurrence. The salmon are dipped out. Herring must be delivered live to the processor. A salmon swimming around in your holding pen is big time trouble! One salmon cost me a license, a boat and nets, and the fish was still alive and well! I won't even get into lost income!
Don't throw stones at the herring netters. These guys work hard for what they earn and are not the detriment to salmon that some would like to believe! There are far bigger issues to consider!
Thousands of chum carcasses make good marine nutrients !
It's not my place to say what they should, could or need to do with their share of the harvest. How many fish do you think end up in the white man's freezer for too long until they end up in the dump....?
wetline- my problem with herring netting at least in the sound is primarily the harvest of the herring themselves, not the salmon, as I do not know much about the bycatch numbers. I do know that the population of herring, which is the preffered feed of chinook salmon, has been heavily reduced in the last decade(s). this cannot possibly be a good thing for other species. Once again, I am not in any way agaist commercial harvest. I think it needs to be managed better, and from your story as you told it, it sounds like you were excessively punished, so for that, I am sorry.
Wet Line: "There are far bigger issues to consider".
My thought on that is: Maybe, maybe not- but it is one of the "issues to consider". And we need to consider all of the impacts, not just the "comfortable" few. I would not dispute that commercial herring netters are hard working. But it is undeniable that pressure on the forage fish puts pressure on all the related species.
Some interesting research at the U.S.G.S. Western Fisheries Reasearch Field Lab on Marrowstone Island indicates that the Herring themselves are imperiled by a disease which cuts their lives short by roughly half the expectancy. Perhaps reduced pressure on that fishery is in order.
Of course I am sorry to hear of the calamity that befell you- I don't make light of that. And I am sure that's been very hard.