Urgent action alert for all PSA Chapters.

Seahusky

Newbie
Mar 19, 2019
71
72
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Sequim, Washington State.
Name
Seahusky
Boat Name
Hewescraft Ocean Pro
Hi fellow fisher folks. I just received this in my email now and forwading this as it has huge ramifications for fishing this year.

Chapters,
Please send this out to your members if you agree. Dan Stauffer who has been working on our behalf at North of Falcon for years, wrote this up asking for participation
at the North of Falcon meeting #2 via zoom. Link to the website is below. Go to the March 30th meeting from 9-3. This is very important to get our fisheries back. Read very carefully.
Thank you
Ron Garner




https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/management/north-falcon/public-meetings



To all, once again it is North of Falcon season and we have a need to show unity and make our opinions known to WDFW in a very clear manner. I humbly ask for the broader PSA memberships support at North of Falcon #2 this Wednesday March 30th. I have included the link to the webinar registration. On the meeting calendar tree click the Join a Meeting tab for NOF #2 March 30th and request the Puget Sound Rec breakout room. You will sent an email link to join the meeting .
For a bit of background, after the forecast meeting and NOF #1 I felt rather secure in thinking we could achieve very similar seasons to last year with a few wiggles and tweaks to get us there. This, despite uncertainties around managing chinook under the precepts of the newly submitted Resource Management Plan and a new baseline period in the FRAM associated with said RMP. Unfortunately the first proposed fisheries package the state submitted for modeling contained some surprising details that caused some upheaval this week and resulted in this letter to you, my peers.
I will outline my strategy below, centered around certain topics of discussion I think will happen on Wednesday.

The summer A7 chinook season is proposed to start August 15th and run concurrent with the coho season. There is a position among the Sportfish Advisory Group that this action offers enough savings to also model a February winter blackmouth season in A7 without taking impacts from other areas. This should also avoid last years debacle. I feel strongly that many Samish chinook will be subject to commercial clean up if the Bellingham Bay bubble fishery is under utilized under this proposal.

As currently modeled A9 will NOT be open for chinook until August 1st! This will be devastating for Port Townsend and severely limit our opportunity to achieve any sort of harvest share on Skokomish/George Adams chinook before they migrate into A12. The Sportfish Advisors will be vocal about retaining the July period in A9. Please support this! A10 is modeled to open on July 16th. There are realistic worries effort shift could close A10 before many adult chinook runs arrive in August. Also, if you hear discussion of reopening the portion of A9 north of the Hood Canal Bridge please support it. I don't think we will get it, but this has been a long term goal of many and I do think we can attain this goal soon if we don't don't lose momentum.

In rather worrisome news, the WDFW and Tribes have not come to agreement on how to model coho this year. We do have issues to work around, but also see pleasing signs of recovery elsewhere that show our rebuilding plan for the events of 2015/16 are working. The Sportfish Advisors will likely discuss recent harvest imbalances tilting in favor of the tribes in areas 8-1, 8-2 and 10. We should strongly support suggestions to remedy this imbalance in those three areas.

Winter blackmouth season is being modeled in A10 in the February period rather than March as discussed at NOF#1. After the Makah winter troll and Tulalip commercial fisheries were added to the FRAM, late!! all the chinook impact numbers that looked workable went up by a fair margin. I know we will be asked to help bring those numbers down. I know the tribes don't care for our winter fisheries and I suspect these fisheries are first on the chopping block. The charter fleet is making a case for more Catch & Release to create more time on the water. They may have a point, and their association has one very passionate member driving this, but watch the harvest calculator on the live modeling tool we use. The total chinook harvest goes way down when either winter BM or C&R is added to FRAM. I would also point out that C&R was heralded as a tool to preserve steelhead opportunity and we are all too familiar with that story.

Lastly, remember that the N.W.I.F.C. has a new Chair this NOF season. He is certainly under pressure to establish strong leadership. As this is potentially the last year of seeking our ESA exemption under Section 7 the tribes will be looking for everything possible under "their" permit and the state probably won't rock the boat for fear of threatening the approval process of the new chinook RMP.

Key points for additional emphasis, or the hard stuff.

● Use the chat function liberally! Load it up. Identify yourself and affiliation especially in regards to your home waters. Be respectful, but very firm. The WDFW does read the chat! Remember, you may get what you ask for! Don't put in print, on the record exactly what you're willing to give up.

● Please refrain from 'Raising Your Hand' to speak. Your club leaders and the Sportfish Advisors need your support, but too much WDFW and/or Tribe bashing will disrupt and derail achieving our goals.

● A9 July period is very important. This may be the loudest issue of the year. Keep the chat active.

● Areas 8-1, 8-2 and 10's coho harvest imbalance must be emphasized. Again chat.

● Speak your heart about winter blackmouth and C&R opportunity, but please pay attention to the harvest count. Losing thousands of adult chinook from our coolers for limited time opportunity in the winter deserves careful consideration.

● As discussion works its way towards terminal and river fisheries you may notice a lack of engagement. Leadership for some of these opportunities has been somewhat absent. This where to 'Raise Your Hand' and speak live for your home waters.

● Late season unmarked coho opportunity seems achievable in A5 and A6 despite low Strait of Juan de Fuca returns. Sekiu and the peninsula chapters needs our support on this goal.

In closing, let me express my strong sentiment that this NOF season can be a moment for us to proudly show by example what our creed " Puget Sound Anglers are bound by nothing but integrity and our own common goals" means to us. Sorry for the length of this appeal to my peers, I thank you sincerely for your membership and dedication to those precious common goals.

Proudly a Puget Sound Angler,
Dan H. Stauffer
V.P. PSA SnoKing
 
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