PRESS FOLLOWS UP GH CLOSURE

PRESS FOLLOWS UP GH CLOSURE

Hi all,

Here  we are guys and read and think. Now this,  the QIN numbers were not posted. If  they got them verbally and had the information then explain the non treaty nets in. The QIN numbers were three weeks late going up on the WDF&W website AND staff gave no indication that they had them. In simple terms they kept the information INTENTIONALY from the public to continue business as usual with the NT Nets.  So much for conservation driven harvest AND a " open & transparent " process.

I got to admit Steve did as good job as I have seen since former Deputy Director Peck in what is known as "agency double speak".

Dave

Salmon fishing closed Harborwide

 By Kyle Mittan The Daily World

 

Salmon fishing in Grays Harbor and along all of its tributaries has been closed three months early after catch data suggested that the return of coho salmon would be significantly less than predicted, according to a press release from the state Department of Fish &Wildlife.

The closure, announced on Friday, began Monday. The season was slated to run through Jan. 31, 2016.

The department, along with technical staff with the Quinault Indian Nation, uses catch data and other information to jointly predict the forecast for each year’s upcoming season, said Steve Thiesfeld, regional fish program manager with Fish &Wildlife. The system isn’t perfect, he added.

“It’s not just one party pulling a number out of the air. There’s actually lots of working together with the best info,” Thiesfeld said. “It’s not an exact science.”

Still, the predicted numbers were far more optimistic than what current catch data has shown, forcing the department to call off salmon fishing in the Harbor and along the Humptulips, Hoquiam, Chehalis, Wishkah, Wynooche, Satsop, Black, Skookumchuck, Johns, Elk and Newaukum rivers and Van Winkle Creek, a statement from the department says.

Thiesfeld said he couldn’t give an exact diagnosis for the shortage, but a good guess, he said, was that survival rates in the ocean have ebbed.

“The tools that we had in front of us weren’t able to pick up what appears to be a systematic decline in ocean survival rates. … At least for right now, that’s what it appears to be,” he said. “We have known that we were entering a period of lower ocean productivity, but we’re a little surprised it’s caught us this hard this quickly.”

Dave Hamilton, a local recreational fishing advocate, feels the Quinaults and Fish &Wildlife did not communicate effectively to determine an accurate forecast. Now fishermen across the board, Hamilton said, are paying for it.

He believes the tribe may have over-harvested what was already a thin salmon run for the season.

“The reason we’re closed is not because there wasn’t any salmon left to harvest,” Hamilton said. “The reason we’re closed is because WDF&W and the Quinaults harvested them up and would not recognize that the run was smaller and that all indications were it was going to be smaller.”

Ed Johnstone, a policy spokesman for Quinault fisheries, did not return a message asking whether the tribe would close its fisheries to correspond with the Fish &Wildlife closure

Hamilton contends that Quinault fishermen have provided their catch data later than usual this year. Thiesfeld said that treaty or non-commercial fisheries are required by law to fill out “fish tickets,” and that the data typically makes it into the state’s database within six days of it being reported.

Quinault fishing data, he added, is even more timely.

“We were pretty aware of where the Quinault Tribe was on their catch,” Thiesfeld said. “I’m not aware of any lack of communication.”

A more important issue, Thiesfeld said, was interpreting the data mid-season. The in-season update that ultimately led to the closure, Thiesfeld said, “hasn’t been done for quite some time in the Harbor.”

“The dilemma in fisheries management is, if the catches are low, does it mean the run is not coming back as you predicted or does it mean the run is late?” Thiesfeld said. “Conversely, if you have really good catches, does that mean run is early or the run is big?”

Poor salmon stocks, Thiesfeld said, have affected much of the state, including Puget Sound and the Columbia River.

 



No comments (Add your own)

Add a New Comment


code
 

Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.