The WDFW announced today that as of tomorrow (Oct 22) Area 13 will open for recreational, selective coho fishing. We welcome this news, but continue to search for answers to two questions:
- Why has this taken so long? Tribal and Non-Tribal net fisheries are already in full swing — why are recreational fisheries lagging behind?
- While we welcome Area 13 being opened, why do areas Areas 6, 9, 10 and 11 remain closed?
We certainly understand these areas will open in November for blackmouth, but again thousands of recreational trips were taken last year in the last 2 weeks of October. These anglers all paid for their 2016 licenses — and combined they more in licensing fees than the Non-Tribal commercial fishermen who have gotten access this month.
10/26 Update: WDFW has responded to our inquiries and asserts there were no modeled impacts reserved on Puget Sound chinook (esp. blackmouth) to allow an October fishery. We are huge advocates for active in-season management, but they will require actual management by the department. Two weeks of late October selective Coho fishing in Puget Sound have a very modest impact on Chinook — and making that trade off is what in-season management is all about.
WDFW release at the [link]