For the first time in thirty-two years, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and tribal fishery managers failed to reach an agreement on this year’s salmon fishing seasons in Puget Sound. Without federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) approval of a joint state-tribal fishery agreement or separate approval of a stand-alone Puget Sound sport fishery plan, there will be a complete closure of all Puget Sound salmon fishing.
We can’t let this happen to a Puget Sound sport fishery that generates over 500,000 angler trips and $100 million in economic value. We must work to restore transparency, fairness, and common sense to our cooperative management practices at the North of Falcon salmon season-setting process. Please click the “Click Here to Take Action” button below to urge your Washington state Congressional delegation, Governor and officials at NOAA Fisheries to take immediate action!
We commend WDFW Director Jim Unsworth and his staff for their extraordinary effort negotiating in good faith, with conservation as their first priority. Despite the serious challenges this year posed by reduced Coho and Chinook abundance, WDFW developed a plan that fell within conservation guidelines, met ESA requirements, and provided meaningful recreational fishing opportunity via Mark-Selective Fishing.
WDFW and treaty tribes met on April 27 and were once again unable to reach a responsible and equitable fishery agreement. Without this agreement, each side must independently request authorization from NOAA for their desired fisheries.
This latest crisis facing our fisheries comes on top of the failure of NOAA Fisheries to provide needed ESA permits to over a hundred salmon and steelhead hatcheries as well as the necessary reviews for the Mitchell Act program that funds one-third of all Columbia River hatchery salmon production. This puts our fisheries at extreme risk of closure due to litigation from anti-hatchery organizations!
The Recreational Fishing Community (anglers and businesses) consisting of the Coastal Conservation Association, Charter Boat Association of Puget Sound, Everett Steelhead & Salmon Club, Fish Northwest, Northwest Marine Trade Association, Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, Outdoor Line, and Puget Sound Anglers stand together firmly on the need for NOAA Fisheries to take immediate action to approve WDFW’s conservation-focused salmon fishing proposal for Puget Sound. Please contact your elected officials and NOAA Fisheries on behalf of conservation, fairness, and a Puget Sound salmon sport fishing season!
Letter drafted to Governor Inslee, State Senators and Representatives
3 Rivers Marine is partnering with NMTA, NSIA, Fish Northwest, Puget Sound Anglers and others to have our voice heard. Your involvement will help sway the decision making process to help save our Puget Sound summer salmon fishing season! Be a part of the solution and let your voice be heard!