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.
Washington Rules Changes Allow Hatchery Fish Retention in Tulalip Bay and Columbia River
Hatchery coho can be kept as part of the daily limit in the Tulalip Bubble fishery this weekend and next, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has announced. According to the WDFW, there are sufficient hatchery coho returning to Tulalip Bay to allow the retention of hatchery coho while not increasing impacts on wild chinook and wild coho. The Tulalip Bubble is currently open to salmon fishing on Saturdays and Sundays and includes waters west of Tulalip Bay and within 2,000 feet of shore from the pilings at Old Bower’s Resort, to a fishing boundary marker approximately 1.4 miles northwest of Hermosa Point.
A separate rule change allows retention of hatchery chinook on the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 upstream to Warrior Rock. This change will remain effective through Thursday, September 22.
Oregon Reopens All-Depth Groundfish Fishery October 1
The increased use of descending devices by halibut anglers was a key factor in contributing to the decision by fish managers to reopen the all-depth groundfish fishery on Oct. 1. The recreational groundfish season on the Oregon coast has been closed since July outside the 20-fathom line in order to protect Yelloweye rockfish.
“The efforts made by anglers to use the descending device are greatly appreciated and helped us make the decision to reopen the fishery,” said Lynn Mattes, Recreational Groundfish and Halibut Program Leader, in a written release. “Our goal was to return the sport groundfish fishery to all-depth in October and because of the use of descending devices, we got there.”
Idaho Fish and Game Develops Way to Eradicate Undesired Fish
Hatcheries have long been used to replenish and restore fish populations, but can they also be used to reduce or eradicate them? Idaho Fish and Game (IFG) researchers are studying whether using traditional hatchery technology in a nontraditional way can eliminate unwanted fish populations in the wild.
Fish and Game researchers and hatchery staff are collaborating on a project using 50 year-old technology to develop a monosex fish population whose offspring can only produce males. These males have two YY chromosomes (YY) rather than the usual XY arrangement.
Stocking YY-male hatchery fish into a body of water with an undesired fish population could change the sex ratio to all males within a few generations, and the unwanted fish population would eventually fail to reproduce and therefore die off. Once accomplished, Fish and Game would stop stocking those fish and fisheries managers would then restock that body of water with a more desirable fish species.
IFG has started the program targeting brook trout. According to the department, if the program with brook trout proves successful, the “YY male” method could eradicate or limit other undesirable fish species in select waters, perhaps even large bodies of water with carp infestations, or other unwanted fish that limit game fish populations and harm habitat. Fish and Game officials presented their findings at the August 2016 American Fisheries Society (AFS) national meeting in Kansas City, where the program won the 2016 Sport Fish Restoration Outstanding Project award in the category of Research and Surveys.
Warrior Rock lighthouse photo courtesy Ben Amstutz (CC BY-NC 2.0).