Fishery managers have developed options for Washington’s ocean salmon fisheries reflecting the need to minimize impacts to low forecasts of abundances of coastal coho stocks, while providing opportunity to access the large forecast for Columbia River coho. Three ocean options approved by the Pacific Fishery Management Council are now up for public review.
Kyle Adicks, salmon fisheries policy lead for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said these options are crafted with quota levels designed to address the conservation needs of coastal coho stocks and Puget Sound Chinook stocks, while still trying to provide angler opportunities to access more abundant stocks in ocean areas.
Two of the options would limit quotas on Chinook and marked coho. A third option would close all ocean areas to salmon fishing.
Adicks notes that fisheries managers use public feedback on various options to negotiate a final season among states and tribes represented at PFMC that rarely mirrors a specific initial option, but is refined to incorporate preferences shared by the public.
Under any of the three scenarios WDFW would monitor the number of salmon caught by recreational anglers and may close earlier if quotas are met. More details about the options are online at the PFMC website, https://www.pcouncil.org.
An online public hearing on the alternatives is scheduled for Tuesday, March 23. The meeting link is https://meetings.ringcentral.com/join. Enter the meeting ID: 149 199 7052, click “JOIN” and follow further instructions. For the best audio experience, computer audio is advised.
More information, including how to sign up for oral comment, plus hearing materials, is available online at https://www.pcouncil.org/events/online-public-hearing-on-salmon-management-wa-march-23-2021/. For technical assistance, email Kris Kleinschmidt or call/text (503) 820-2412; or email Sandra Krause or call/text (503) 820-2419.