Each week we round-up the top fishing news from the Northwest and beyond. Do you have a news tip? E-mail us at news /at/ salmonuniversity.com.
Unprecedented Fishing Closure Hits Western Washington
Most fishing in the Puget Sound area ground to a halt Sunday as the state’s federal fisheries permit expired midnight on April 30, a result of the ongoing impasse between the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commissions (NWIFC) on salmon fishing in western Washington. WDFW officials have pledged to seek a new fisheries permit independent of tribes, however, are unable to predict when or if such a permit might be issued. In the meantime, the impact of the unprecedented closure has been felt not just among salmon anglers; all fishing is now off-limits in areas where salmon are likely to congregate. This includes Lake Washington, as well as a number of other western Washington inland waters. Bass fishermen took to the WDFW Facebook page over the weekend to express their frustration at being caught in the tête-à-tête.
“We regret having to close these fisheries,” said the WDFW’s Ron Warren. “We know this is a hardship on many communities around Puget Sound and disappoints many anglers.” Recreational fisheries in Puget Sound marine areas that are not affected by the closures include bottomfish, such as lingcod, Pacific cod and cabezon, as well as sea-run cutthroat trout and halibut. The department has posted a full list of closures on its website.
Meanwhile, the Recreational Fishing Community, a coalition of the Northwest Marine Trade Association, Puget Sound Anglers, Coastal Conservation Association, Charterboat Association, and other groups, is calling on anglers to write their members of Congress. The coalition has provided an online Voter Voice form interested persons can use.
Free Crab and Shrimp Seminar in Seattle
This Saturday, May 7, a free crabbing and shrimping seminar will be held at Outdoor Emporium in Seattle (1701 4th Avenue S.). The event, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., will feature Salmon University’s Tom Nelson discussing the gear, bait, and technique to maximize crab and shrimp catch. The seminar will include a complimentary lunch provided by Outdoor Emporium, as well as discounts on popular gear. More information is available here.
Razor Clam Dig Extended at Mocrocks
Washignton state shellfish managers have added four days of razor clam digging at Mocrocks to a previously scheduled opening at Long Beach to offer a full week of digging starting May 6. According to the department, the dates were added after evaluating harvest levels and determining there are still clams available for digging. The upcoming dig is scheduled on the following dates, beaches, and low tides:
- May 6, Friday, 6:51 a.m.; -1.5 feet; Long Beach
- May 7, Saturday, 7:39 a.m.; -2.0 feet; Long Beach
- May 8, Sunday, 8:26 a.m.; -2.1 feet; Long Beach
- May 9, Monday, 9:14 a.m.; -1.9 feet; Mocrocks
- May 10, Tuesday, 10:03 a.m.; -1.5 feet; Mocrocks
- May 11, Wednesday, 10:55 a.m.; -0.9 feet; Mocrocks
- May 12, Thursday, 11:49 a.m.; -0.3 feet; Mocrocks