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.
Fishing Closure – No End in Sight
There’s no end in sight for the unprecedented closure of Puget Sound-area salmon fishing with the off-limits zones rapidly expanding to a growing list of inland waters where all fishing, not just salmon, has been suspended. The shut-down began on May 1 after state and tribal fisheries officials were unable to agree on 2016 season catch limits. On Thursday, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) shuttered an additional 48 freshwater areas, prompting expressions of frustration by anglers posting to the Salmon University Facebook page.
Much of the anger has been focused on the decision by some western Washington tribes to begin gillnetting sections of the Skagit River. The start of Swinomish tribal gillnetting was captured in this video –
Meanwhile, about 150 anglers gathered outside the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) regional satellite office in Lacey, Washington on Thursday to call on NOAA to issue the WDFW a permit to allow Puget Sound fishing. The WDFW, which earlier requested the federal permit, has warned anglers of a potentially long delay in response from NOAA. The WDFW’s application is the first time the state has sought federal permission for a Puget Sound fishery without tribal involvement.
A complete and updated list of current closures can be found on the WDFW’s website.
ODFW to Host Meetings on Spring Chinook Fishing
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) will be hosting two public informational meetings in Wallowa County to talk about upcoming spring Chinook fisheries. Fish biologists will give an overview of spring Chinook fishery management on the Imnaha and Wallowa Rivers, to include an outlook of upcoming seasons in 2016.
“We need to do a better job of explaining to anglers how these fisheries are managed and why opportunities can be so variable from year to year,” Jeff Yanke, Wallowa District Fish Biologist, in a written statement. “Implementing these fisheries involves a very complex process, so our goal for these meetings is to address common questions folks have about the management decisions we make.”
According to the ODFW, each meeting will include a period for public comment. The meetings are at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday May 17 at the Enterprise ODFW office (65495 Alder Slope Road, Enterprise) and 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18 at the Imnaha Store and Tavern (79015 Hat Point Roade, Imaha).
Long Island Fishing Line Receptacles Receive Award
The Town of North Hempstead, located on the North Shore of Long Island, New York, was this month selected to receive the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region II 2016 Environmental Champion Award for its fishing line receptacles. The receptacles are the handiwork of North Hempstead constable Mal Nathan, who saw similar devices while fishing in Florida. According to town officials, the receptacles were made by town staff at a cost of about $40 each and have been placed at six parks where people tend to fish.