WHO CATCHES THE FISH?
Thought I would take a minute to put up some information from the Willapa Management Plan regarding Chinook harvest as the sports / commercial / conservationist camps do the annual " kick the crap out of each other two step ". So below is a statement in the plan by WDF&W regarding Willapa Chinook harvest and the numbers are similar for Grays Harbor.
Anyone see anything wrong with the numbers? Millions and millions of dollars spent both private and your taxes in the coastal regions ( Willapa & Grays Harbor ), land restrictions, jobs lost, growth management, water quality improvements all of these things for what? 68% of the Chinook returning are harvested before they even get to coastal waters. Add the Washington marine fisheries ( charter and troll ) and what you have is the local communities sport and commercial interest ripping into each other over the remaining 29%. The big loser? The fish! Conservation is always pushed to the side as WDF&W attempts to maintain harvest under extreme pressure from a wide variety of interest.
You see the fish does not vote, cannot hire an attorney, is not able to contribute to the politicians campaigns that are elected to write our laws. It is frequently said " the system is broke " and offhand I would say the fish and local communities pretty much agree.
Fundamental to fisheries management in Washington is involvement in the PFMC and North of Falcon processes. The annual series of PFMC and North of Falcon meetings is the foundation for the development of all fishing in Washington including the Pacific Ocean, Columbia River, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound, inland rivers, and coastal harbors and rivers. There are, however, more northern fisheries occurring in the coastal waters of Canada and Alaska, which substantively impact Chinook and coho originating from Willapa Bay. Agreements for these fisheries are governed through the Pacific Salmon Treaty where overall harvest limits on Washington stocks are negotiated. These fisheries in Canada and Alaska have historically accounted for 67% of total Willapa Bay Chinook harvested (figure 2). When coupled with terminal harvest rates that exceeded 70%, the overall harvest or total exploitation rate of Willapa Bay origin Chinook was near 90%.
Willapa Bay Commercial 23%
Washington Marine 1-4 6%
Willapa Bay Recreational 3%
I urge all who visit D's Rants to do the contact bit and I will add your name to the contact list so whenever we have something interesting posted you can be notified.
Posted on Thu, August 15, 2013
by Dave Hamilton