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KID'S FISHING EVENTS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED

posted by Mike on 04/07/2020

Due to the COVID - 19 issues the Everett Steelhead & Salmon Club has made the decission to cancel all of the upcoming "Kid's Fishing Events" for this year. I am sure that everyone is disappointed but it's better to be safe than sorry. It will be back on the adgenda this next year.

CONTINUED CLOSURES OF FISHING & HUNTING SEASONS

posted by Mike on 04/07/2020

Fishing, shellfish harvesting, and some hunting postponed

WDFW acts to protect Washington communities from the spread of COVID-19

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today announced that recreational fishing, shellfish harvesting and spring turkey and bear hunting seasons will be delayed in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19.

The decision follows a Friday announcement that all state land and boat ramp closures would extend to May 4, 2020 to coincide with Gov. Jay Inslee's extension of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.

WDFW expects most recreation activities to remain closed through the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. The department will reevaluate specific hunting, fishing, shellfish harvesting, public land, and boat ramp closures as new information becomes available from public health officials.

"Local public health authorities have relayed to us their concerns regarding the risk that hunting, fishing and recreational travel poses to their communities right now," said WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. "With the support of the Governor's office we're asking people to put their recreation plans on pause while we work together to get this situation under control."

Director Susewind noted that some individuals may be able to enjoy these activities without risky interactions, but many cannot. He asks everyone to be patient for the health of all Washingtonians.

These newly extended closures include all recreational fishing and shellfish harvesting, whether on public or private lands, and the spring bear hunts that would have started on April 1 as well as the April 4 and 5 youth turkey hunt. In addition, the department will postpone the spring bear and turkey season opening days, which were previously scheduled to open on April 15. The department made the closure decisions after consulting with local health departments.

While some recreational fishing opportunities exist year-round, the lowland lakes trout season opener, previously scheduled for April 25, is one of the most celebrated angling days of the year. The recreational halibut seasons scheduled to open on April 16 in Marine Areas 6-10 and Areas 1-5 on April 30 will be delayed. Recreational harvesting of spot shrimp in Marine Areas 5-7 and 12 will also be delayed. When fishing seasons do open, anglers should be prepared to practice proper social distancing and avoid the gatherings that characteristically define opening day for so many.

A number of April razor clam digs are cancelled, though the department will assess the ability for razor clamming and other shellfish seasons to resume in May. According to Larry Phillips, WDFW Coastal Region Director, "We had an excellent season planned, with a great number of days available for razor clam digging. If we are not able to reopen, clam diggers can still look forward to larger clams next year."

If the department is able to open spring bear and turkey seasons on May 4, spring bear hunters would still have until May 31 or June 15, depending on the location, to use their permits before the intended season closure dates for those hunts. Likewise, spring turkey hunters would have 28 days of hunting during the spring season, plus, most likely, a robust fall season.

Hunting application deadlines for the rest of the year have not changed, yet the deadline for sealing bobcat and river otter pelts that were harvested during the 2019-2020 season has been extended to July 20.

Refunds for licenses and permits, if initiated before opening day, are available. Hunters can also get their points reinstated for spring bear season if requested prior to the start of the season.

The department does not regulate shed antler hunting, yet wants to remind the public that this activity is not allowed on state lands while the closures are in place.

For the latest updates on WDFW's coronavirus response updates, visit wdfw.wa.gov/about/covid-19-updates.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.

CONTINUATION OF DNR,STATE PARKS & WDFW LAND CLOSURES THROUGH MAY 4TH

posted by Mike on 04/04/2020

State lands closure extended to May 4

In accordance with the governor's extension of the "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order, all state lands will continue to be closed to the public through May 4.

OLYMPIA – The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (Parks), and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today the extended closure of state lands to the public through May 4. The closure coincides with the extension of Gov. Jay Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order.

This action is a continuation of the state's efforts to protect residents by stemming the spread of the coronavirus. This extension will apply to all camping on state lands, boat launches and water access sites, wildlife areas, and day-use recreation areas.

"The decision to extend the closure of public lands was an extremely difficult one. I share the sense of disconnection and loss that we are all feeling by not being able to be out in nature," said Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, the elected official who leads DNR. "Our trails, campgrounds, and outdoor spaces are core to who we are in the Washington, but this temporary sacrifice is necessary to turn the tide and protect our loved ones and neighbors. We have the responsibility to do what we must to save as many lives as possible."

WDFW Director Kelly Susewind added, "We know many Washingtonians find great solace in spending time on the water or in the wilderness, and we are taking these painful steps only because of the urgent need to protect the health and well-being of our neighbors and communities."

WDFW anticipates additional fishing and hunting season announcements on Monday, April 6. Updates will be shared at wdfw.wa.gov.

"We understand and appreciate the hardship the park's closure has on the outdoor-recreating public," said Parks Director Don Hoch. "Most of our staff work for Parks because of their passion for the outdoors, and many of them have had to be reassigned to indoor work during this crisis. We all need to do whatever we can to help contain the spread of this virus. That means postponing a trip to a state park and staying home and staying healthy."

Campers who have state parks reservations through May 4 will be notified and offered a full refund. Visitors can find the latest information about State Park operations at parks.state.wa.us/COVID19.

People should continue to practice social distancing and good hygiene when outdoors and continue to stay as close to home as possible. DNR, WDFW, and Parks will continue to monitor this issue and will keep the public informed of the latest updates.

About DNR Recreation
Led by the Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, DNR manages 1,200 miles of trails and 160-plus recreation sites in 3 million acres of working forest state trust lands and 92 natural areas. DNR trust lands keep forests development-free, provide clean water, and generate revenue for public services and school construction. For recreation updates visit https://www.dnr.wa.gov/recreation. See additional DNR operational notices related to COVID-19 by following this link: https://www.dnr.wa.gov/slider.

About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural, and historic resources. State Parks' statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety, and winter recreation.

About WDFW
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife actively manages about one million acres of land, with 33 wildlife areas and nearly 500 water access sites around the state. These public lands help sustain wildlife habitat and public recreation opportunities for current and future generations. WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities. For updates on WDFW closures and restrictions during the COVID-19 response, visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/covid-19-updates

TED'S SPORTS CENTER WILL BE CLOSED THROUGH MAY 4TH

posted by Mike on 04/04/2020

We'll be closed through May 4th due to the new extended guidelines of the COVID - 19 State of Emergency Order. Not much that we can do but comply. The sooner we get through this situation the sooner we'll be back on the water. Make sure to take sace and be safe. Hope to see all of you soon!
 

TURN IN THOSE SALMON, STEELEAD & HALIBUT CATCH RECORD CARDS

posted by Mike on 04/04/2020

It's that time of the year again to send in those Catch Record Cards to WDFW. Due to the COVID - 19 situation the WDFW offices will not have drop boxes so please just send them back to the address below.

 

WDFW CRC Unit

PO Box 43142

Olympia, WA 98504-3142

 

Hopefully, we will be back on watersometime. Sooner would be better than later! But who knows.

Take Care! Be Safe!

Ted' Sports Center Crew

SPRING BEAR & YOUTH TURKEY SEASONS CANCELLED

posted by Mike on 03/31/2020

Spring youth turkey hunt canceled, bear season to remain closed for now

Stay Home, Stay Healthy actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today announced a decision to cancel the youth turkey hunt previously scheduled for April 4-5. In addition, six game management units (GMUs) that were scheduled to open on April 1 for spring bear hunting will now be closed pending further evaluation and could reopen if conditions allow.

The Department is taking these steps to limit the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19 per Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's order to Stay Home, Stay Healthy.

Many in the public have shared disappointment tied to previous public land and resource closures, pointing to exercise as an exemption. WDFW Director Susewind understands the need to spend time outdoors but notes that while hunting itself can be a solitary activity, many people have to travel from urban to rural areas to enjoy it.

"Every stop for gas, food, or a restroom break can introduce the virus to areas it hasn't yet reached," said Susewind. "It was a tough decision, but we want to ensure that people are properly encouraged to stay home at this time."

The Department had previously canceled mentored turkey events, but the youth special hunts hold a special place in staff's and hunter's hearts.

"Aspiring hunters often experience their first successful hunt over this weekend," said Susewind. "It's disappointing, but this is a serious situation, and we want our communities and the hunting public to successfully protect themselves."

Youth who were planning to hunt on April 4 or 5 may still use their tags in the regular spring or fall turkey seasons, pending further impacts. The spring turkey season is scheduled to run April 15 through May 31.

On April 6, WDFW will reassess its ability to open the impacted hunting areas, as well as several other upcoming hunting seasons. The most notable upcoming seasons include spring turkey and additional spring bear hunts currently scheduled to open April 15.

Nearly 90 percent of spring bear permit holders in northeast Washington would be traveling from outside the area.

A limited number of open hunting seasons that are winding down or have limited participation that does not create the same public health concerns remain open. Hunters participating in those seasons are reminded to renew their license for the 2020-21 hunting license year.

For the latest updates on WDFW's coronavirus response and harvest season updates, visit wdfw.wa.gov/about/covid-19-updates.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.

WDFW CLOSES ALL FISHING & SHELLFISHING STATEWIDE DUE TO COVID - 19

posted by Mike on 03/25/2020

WDFW closes recreational fishing statewide in wake of governor's order to 'Stay Home, Stay Healthy' in response to COVID-19

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today announced its decision to temporarily close recreational fishing and shellfishing statewide in the wake of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's order directing Washingtonians to stay home and stay healthy to limit the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19.

The closures will begin at midnight Wednesday, March 25 and last until at least 5 p.m. on April 8, 2020. WDFW will re-evaluate on April 6 whether the closure may need to be extended.

"This is not a decision we take lightly, but it's the right thing to do for the health and well-being of Washington's families," said WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. "Monday's extraordinary order for the residents of our state to stay home requires all of us to work together to ensure these measures have the intended effect."

Fishery managers have reported that some anglers have been seen crowding banks as concerns over coronavirus have continued.

"We've seen an uptick in outdoor recreation at some locations in recent weeks as people have looked for ways to get outside," said WDFW Fish Program Director Kelly Cunningham. "We've had reports of crowded boat ramps and busy fishing on some rivers, which runs counter to the governor's direction to stay home and practice social distancing."

In addition, many salmon and steelhead fisheries require regular monitoring under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which includes conducting angler interviews at access sites surrounding the state's marine waters. The on-site, face-to-face nature of angler interviews puts people at potential risk of transmitting the coronavirus. Without such monitoring, these recreational fisheries must close to ensure ESA protections.

WDFW and other state agencies previously closed all of their water access sites, including boat launches, and other public lands where people may gather. Local and tribal governments are taking similar actions across Washington.

WDFW Enforcement officers remain on duty and will be enforcing these new closures.

The lowland lakes opening day for trout remains scheduled for April 25, but will be evaluated depending on whether the governor's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order might be further extended.

For the latest updates on WDFW's coronavirus response, please visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/covid-19-updates. Updates to openings and closures will be posted to that page. For the latest information on the statewide response to this pandemic, visit https://coronavirus.wa.gov/.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.

TEDS WILL BE CLOSED MARCH 26TH THROUGH APRIL 6TH

posted by Mike on 03/25/2020

We will be closed from March 26th through April 6th as per the directive from Gov. Jay Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order concerning the COVID - 19 State of Emergency. Take the time to clean up and reorganize your tackle, clean up the boat, do your honey do's at home and the next thing you know we will be through with this little bump in the road and back to normal. Take Care - Be Safe!

WASHINGTON PARKS, WILDLIFE AREAS & WATER ACCESS TO CLOSE

posted by Mike on 03/24/2020

Washington state parks and wildlife areas to close following governor's order

OLYMPIA – Today, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (Parks) and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced the temporary closure of all state-managed parks, wildlife areas, and water access areas for at least two weeks starting Wednesday, March 25. The closure is in response to Gov. Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order issued yesterday.

Entrance gates and facilities will be closed, and on-site public services will be suspended. Essential staff will be present to preserve and protect resources.

Camping and other overnight accommodations on state-managed recreation lands will remain closed through April 30.

The public can find the latest information about State Parks and WDFW operations at:

State land officials and staff appreciate the public's understanding and cooperation in this unprecedented time.

NO LAKE STEVENS KOKANEE DERBY FOR 2020

posted by Mike on 03/24/2020

Unfortuantly, with the uncertainty of the times, a decesion was made to cancel the 2020 Lake Stevens Kokanee Derby. I am sure that many will be disappointed, but there are not that many options. Better to be same than sorry.

There will be next year!

RAZOR CLAM DIG CLOSED DUE TO COVID - 19 CONCERNS

posted by Mike on 03/20/2020

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WDFW NEWS RELEASE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia, WA 98501
http://wdfw.wa.gov/

March 19, 2020
Contacts:
Larry Phillips 360-870-1889;
Jason Wettstein, 360-902-2254

WDFW halts four-day razor clam dig that was to begin Friday, March 20

Pacific County Health Officials issue new order today as a measure to contain COVID-19

OLYMPIA – WDFW has halted a previously scheduled razor clam dig that was to begin tomorrow, Friday, March 20, in response to an order today by the Pacific County Health Officer advising the closure of beaches to razor clam digging.

State shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) had approved a dig after vetting it with county officials and health departments in Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties, and after consultation with state health officials.

The cancelled digs include the following:

  • March 20, Friday 5:27 pm, 0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • March 21, Saturday, 6:07 pm, 0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis 
  • March 22, Sunday, 6:41 pm, 0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • March 23, Monday, 7:12 pm, 0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

"WDFW is responsive to the needs of local communities, and we manage razor clams in consultation with our coastal communities to ensure sustainable harvest," said Larry Phillips, WDFW's coastal region director. "But, under these circumstances, we need to include more than sustainable harvest in our decision making and do what is the best for the community. We understand that the county health department is responding to a global pandemic and WDFW is cancelling these digs to support that work and keep folks healthy."

There was a lot of dialogue and a fairly long process to approve these digs in light of COVID-19 concerns, and it has been a rapidly evolving issue, he added.  "Typically, we would want to provide much more notice before cancelling a razor clam dig," said Phillips.

Given the level of concern expressed in the communities, and the fact that some of the beaches open to razor clam digging fall within multiple counties, we also elected to close all currently open beaches to razor clam digging in order to provide consistency in approach, added Phillips.

WDFW has tentatively scheduled additional digs through April. Approval of these digs will be based on the results of marine toxin tests, assessment of available health information and further developments in consultation with local and state health authorities.

ADULT SALMON LIMIT REDUCED ON WIND RIVER

posted by Mike on 03/11/2020

Adult salmon daily limit reduced on Wind River

Action: Reduces the adult salmon daily limit to 1 fish on days and in locations open for salmon retention in the Wind River.

Location and effective date: 

  • From the mouth to 400 feet downstream of Shipherd Falls fish ladder:  Effective March 16, 2020 until further notice.
  • From 100 feet above Shipherd Falls fish ladder to 800 yards below Carson National Fish Hatchery:  Effective May 1, 2020 until further notice. The 'Closed Waters' area around the Coffer Dam (400 feet below to 100 feet above) remains in effect.

Species affected: Salmon

Reason for action: An estimated 2,000 adult spring Chinook are forecast to return to the Wind River in 2020. Managers need to reduce the adult salmon daily limit to ensure that broodstock collection goals are achieved. Reducing the adult salmon daily limit will provide continued opportunity for anglers to harvest spring Chinook and help ensure future hatchery returns.

Additional information: The salmon and steelhead daily limit is 6 fish; including no more than 2 adults (i.e. salmon and steelhead), of which only 1 may be an adult salmon. In the area between the mouth and 400 feet below Shipherd Falls, release wild Chinook and wild coho. Anglers are reminded to check the Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for areas where and dates when the Wind River is open for salmon retention. WDFW will continue to monitor the spring Chinook return with co-managers and national fish hatchery staff to determine if further fishery modification is needed.

Information contact: Matt Gardner, district fish biologist, 360-906-6746.

ADULT SALMON LIMIT REDUCED ON THE KLICKITAT RIVER

posted by Mike on 03/11/2020

Adult salmon daily limit reduced on the Klickitat River

Action: Reduces the adult salmon daily limit to 1 fish, on days and in locations open for salmon retention in the Klickitat River.

Location and Effective date: 

  • From the mouth (Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge) to Fisher Hill Bridge: effective April 1, 2020 until further notice.
  • From 400 feet upstream of #5 fishway to boundary markers below Klickitat Salmon Hatchery: effective May 23, 2020 until further notice.

Species affected: Salmon

Reason for action: An estimated 1,800 adult spring Chinook are forecast to return to the Klickitat River in 2020. Managers need to reduce the adult salmon daily limit to ensure that hatchery Chinook broodstock goals are achieved. Reducing the adult salmon daily limit will provide continued opportunity for anglers to harvest spring Chinook and help ensure future hatchery returns.

Additional information: In the lower Klickitat River, beginning April 1 through May 22, 2020, the combined salmon and hatchery steelhead daily limit is 2 fish, of which no more than 1 may be an adult salmon; release wild Chinook. Anglers are reminded to check the Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other areas and dates when the Klickitat River is open for salmon retention. WDFW will continue to monitor the spring Chinook return with co-managers to determine if additional fishery modification is needed.

Information contact: Matt Gardner, district fish biologist, 360-906-6746.

HATCHERY STEELHEAD SEASON EXTENDED ON SALMON CREEK

posted by Mike on 03/11/2020

Hatchery steelhead season extended on Salmon Creek (Clark Co.)

Action: Opens angling for and retention of hatchery steelhead; selective gear rules in effect, except barbed hooks are allowed.

Effective date: March 16 through May 22, 2020

Species affected: Hatchery steelhead

Location: From the mouth to the 182nd Avenue Bridge

Reason for action: Recent changes to hatchery steelhead releases in Salmon Creek, from the Mitchell Act Biological Opinion, have resulted in the replacement of the "early" returning winter steelhead stock with a stock that exhibits a somewhat later run timing. This rule opens hatchery steelhead fishing during the timeframe outlined above and provides anglers with additional time to harvest these fish from Salmon Creek.

Additional information: The hatchery steelhead daily limit during this period is 3 fish; minimum size 20". Anglers are reminded that selective gear rules are in effect during this period except barbed hooks are allowed; selective gear rules are defined in the 2019-2020 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet. Salmon Creek will return to permanent rules on May 23, 2020.

Information contact: Matt Gardner, district fish biologist, 360-906-6746.

ADULT SALMON LIMIT REDUCED IN DRANO LAKE

posted by Mike on 03/11/2020

Adult salmon daily limit reduced in Drano Lake

Action: Reduces the adult salmon daily limit to 1 fish in Drano Lake.

Effective date: March 16, 2020 until further notice

Species affected: Chinook

Location: In the waters downstream of markers on point of land downstream and across from Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery and upstream of the Highway 14 Bridge.

Reason for action: An estimated 4,600 adult spring Chinook are forecast to return to Drano Lake in 2020. Managers need to reduce the adult salmon daily limit to ensure that broodstock collection goals are achieved. Reducing the adult salmon daily limit will provide continued opportunity for anglers to harvest spring Chinook and help ensure future hatchery returns.

Additional information: Beginning March 16, 2020, the Drano Lake salmon and steelhead daily limit is 2 hatchery fish, no more than 1 may be an adult Chinook. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook. Anglers are reminded to check the Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for additional information related to Drano Lake. WDFW will continue to monitor the spring Chinook return with co-managers and national fish hatchery staff to determine if further fishery modification is needed.

Information contact: Matt Gardner, district fish biologist, 360-906-6746

PUBLIC IMPUT SOUGHT ON WASHINGTON'S OCEAN SALMON FISHERIES

posted by Mike on 03/10/2020

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Public input sought on proposals for Washington's ocean salmon fisheries

ROHNERT PARK, Calif. - Fishery managers have developed options for Washington's ocean salmon fisheries that reflect low numbers of coho salmon predicted to return this year.

The three options for ocean salmon fisheries were approved Monday for public review by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), which brings tribal, federal, and state entities together to establish fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.

The three alternatives are designed to allow comparison of options for management this year, said Kyle Adicks, salmon fisheries policy lead for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). These ocean options will help inform other Washington salmon fisheries as the season-setting process continues.

"With these alternatives in hand, we will work with stakeholders and co-managers to develop a final fishing package for Washington's coastal and inside waters that meets our conservation objectives for wild salmon," Adicks said.

The number of coho expected to return to the Columbia River this year is the lowest in more than 20 years. The small coho quotas in the first two alternatives, and the closure to fishing in the third, are a result of those low expected abundances of coho.

The options include the following quotas for state recreational fisheries off the Washington coast:

Option 1: 30,000 Chinook and 29,400 marked coho. This option includes an early season Chinook fishery from June 14 through June 28 in all ocean areas, followed by a Chinook and marked coho fishery from June 29 through Sept. 30.

Option 2: 22,125 Chinook and 22,500 marked coho. This option opens Chinook and coho fishing in all ocean areas from June 27 through Sept. 13.

Option 3: All ocean areas closed to salmon fishing.

Fisheries may close earlier in each area if quotas are met. For more details about the options, visit PFMC's webpage at https://www.pcouncil.org, where information can be found on the three alternatives for ocean salmon fisheries. There will be a public hearing on the alternatives at Chateau Westport on March 23 in Westport, Washington.

Last year, the PFMC adopted recreational ocean fishing quotas for the Washington coast of 25,250 Chinook and 159,600 marked coho.

Chinook and coho quotas approved by the PFMC will be part of a comprehensive 2020 salmon-fishing package, which includes marine and freshwater fisheries throughout Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington's coastal areas. State and tribal co-managers are currently developing those other fisheries.

State and tribal co-managers will complete the tentative 2020 salmon fisheries package in conjunction with PFMC during its April meeting in Vancouver, Washington.

Several additional public meetings are scheduled in March and April to discuss regional fisheries. The public will also soon be able to comment on proposed salmon fisheries through WDFW's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/, where a list of additional scheduled public meetings – several of which will be streamed live – can be found.

People who want to participate in the North of Falcon process are encouraged to check the website regularly for meeting updates and schedule changes in response to impacts of COVID-19 coronavirus.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.

JOHN DAY POOL GOES TO C & R ON STURGEON, MARCH 11TH

posted by Mike on 03/09/2020

John Day Pool goes to catch-and-release fishing for white sturgeon

Action:  Anglers must release all sturgeon.

Location: John Day Pool (from John Day Dam to McNary Dam) and adjacent tributaries.

Effective Date: March 11 through April 30, 2020.

Species affected: White sturgeon.

Reason for action: Increased catch rates over the past week have surpassed the harvest guideline. Non-retention measures are necessary in order to avoid further exceeding the catch guidelines in these areas. 

Additional information: Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon will continue to be allowed. These measures were implemented to help ensure the long-term viability of the population.

Information contact: Region 5, 360-696-6211

2020 WASHINGTON SALMON FORECASTS

posted by Mike on 02/29/2020

Salmon forecasts released as salmon season-setting process gets underway for 2020

OLYMPIA – Fishery managers say the coming year may be another tough one for anglers in Washington, with low salmon returns expected again in 2020.

The 2020 forecasts for Chinook, coho, sockeye, and chum salmon – developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and treaty Indian tribes – were released today during a public meeting in Olympia.

The forecast meeting marks the starting point for developing this year’s salmon-fishing seasons in Puget Sound, the Columbia River, and Washington coastal areas, part of the annual “North of Falcon” process that sets salmon fisheries. A series of public meetings is scheduled through early April to develop tentative fishing seasons for the upcoming year. 

WDFW Director Kelly Susewind said that fishery managers will be working hard to find the appropriate balance between meeting conservation objectives and providing fishing opportunities, two key tenets of WDFW’s mission.

“Finding that balance is always a challenge,” Susewind said. “But we work with the co-managers to provide opportunities wherever and whenever we can, while meeting conservation goals.”

The forecasts are based on scientific modeling and a variety of data including environmental indicators such as ocean conditions, numbers of juvenile salmon that migrated to marine waters, and numbers of adult salmon that returned in past years. 

The following are summaries of this year’s forecasts, which vary by area:

Columbia River: About 233,400 "upriver brights" are expected to return to areas of the Columbia River above Bonneville Dam, a slight increase from the 2019 return of 212,200 fish, but still well below the most recent 10-year average.

An estimated 181,000 Columbia River coho are projected to our ocean and Columbia River waters, a sharp decrease from the 2019 forecast of about 905,000 fish. Only about a third of that number, 331,500 Columbia River coho actually returned last year.

With the projected weaker coho run and a low Chinook run, salmon fisheries will likely be more constrained than last year, according to Kyle Adicks, salmon fisheries policy lead for WDFW.

“We had strong predictions for last year’s coho returns that ultimately didn’t materialize in the way we expected,” Adicks said.

Washington's ocean waters: The story is similar for the state’s ocean fisheries, with lower numbers of coho projected to return to the Columbia River and to Washington's coastal streams. Ocean quotas for coho will be significantly constrained as compared to last year due to these poor projected returns.

This year's Columbia River mouth forecast of about 51,000 hatchery Chinook to the lower Columbia River is up 2,100 fish from last year's actual return. Those hatchery Chinook - known as "tules" - are the backbone of the recreational ocean fishery.

Puget Sound: Roughly 523,500 wild and hatchery coho are expected to return to Puget Sound this year, representing another decline from 2019 when 737,600 were predicted to return. Projected declines for Chinook in Puget Sound aren’t quite as drastic, with about 256,800 Chinook expected to return to the region, a dip of about 12,000 from last year’s prediction.

In addition, Adicks said that persistent low returns of some stocks – particularly Stillaguamish and mid-Hood Canal Chinook – are likely to continue to restrict fisheries.

Public meetings and comment opportunities

Information about the salmon season-setting process, including public meeting schedules and materials, are available on WDFW's website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/management/north-falcon.

WDFW intends to livestream several public meetings, including those scheduled for March 16, March 25, and March 31. The department will provide links to those upcoming livestreams, as well as to the archived video from Friday's forecast meeting, on the website listed above.

Upcoming meetings include:

  • Ocean options: State, tribal, and federal fishery managers will meet March 3-9 in Rohnert Park, Calif., with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) to develop options for the 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 around the state throughout March and into April to discuss regional fishery issues.
  • Final PFMC: The PFMC is expected to adopt final ocean fishing seasons and harvest levels at its April 3-10 meeting in Vancouver, Wash. The tentative 2020 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.

WILLAPA BAY TRIBUTARIES CLOSING TO ALL FISHING

posted by Mike on 02/28/2020

Willapa Bay tributaries will close to fishing due to projected low steelhead returns

OLYMPIA – Fishery managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today announced the closure of Willapa Bay tributaries in an effort to meet preseason expectations for spawning wild steelhead.

Affected rivers include the tributaries of Willapa River: Forks Creek, Palix River and all forks, Nemah River North, South, and Middle, the Naselle River, and Bear River.

The closures will begin Monday, March 2 and are expected to last through Friday, May 22.

With projected low steelhead returns statewide this year, WDFW and tribal co-managers have taken steps in-season to maximize the number of wild steelhead that return to spawning grounds, including closing all fishing in the Chehalis River.

“Shifting angling pressure due to the fishing closure of the Chehalis last week is likely to affect the outcome of preseason plans to protect wild steelhead in other rivers,” said James Losee, fish program manager for WDFW’s coastal region. “These additional closures are needed to protect wild steelhead and ensure we meet preseason objectives.”

Losee noted that the number of wild steelhead spawning in the Chehalis River has fallen below the escapement goal every year since 2016, indicating a continuing problem with low returns that can also be seen in Willapa Bay.

“When returns are this low, it is challenging to predict the effect that changes in angling pressure will have on our ability to meet short- and long-term conservation goals,” Losee said.

Fishery managers will continue to monitor other area rivers and streams and announce additional fishery changes as needed. Anglers are encouraged to visit https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ to see in-season rule changes.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.

SIX DAYS OF RAZOR CLAM DIGGING - MARCH 6TH - MARCH 11TH

posted by Mike on 02/27/2020

WDFW approves six days of razor clam digging starting Friday, March 6

OLYMPIA – Razor clam diggers can round up their shovels, clam guns and tubes for a six-day dig beginning March 6. 

State shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved a dig on evening low tides after recent marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.

The approved dig is for the following beaches, dates and low tides:

  • March 6, Friday, 4:11 pm, -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • March 7, Saturday, 4:59 pm, -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • March 8, Sunday, 6:43 pm, -1.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • March 9, Monday, 7:25 pm, -1.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • March 10, Tuesday, 8:06 pm, -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • March 11, Wednesday, 8:46 pm, -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

No digging is allowed before noon for allowed digs, when low tide occurs in the evening.

"With abundant clams and smaller crowds, this time of year is great for digging enthusiasts," said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. "The sun is setting later as spring approaches and diggers who head out early often fill their bags before dark."

For a list of proposed razor clam digs on Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks beaches through April, please see our razor clam webpage.

WDFW authorizes each dig independently after getting the results of marine toxin testing. Final approval of the tentatively scheduled openings will depend on whether results of marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.

In order to ensure conservation of clams for future generations, WDFW sets tentative razor clam seasons that are based on the results from an annual coast-wide razor clam stock assessment and by considering harvest to date. To see videos of WDFW's sustainable management work for razor clam seasons, visit our razor clam page.

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