Tag Archives: dave graybill

2020 Seattle Boat Show Fishing, Crabbing Seminar Schedule Set

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE SEATTLE BOAT SHOW

The Seattle Boat Show, Indoors + Afloat, is known far and wide for the quantity, quality and variety of its free boating and fishing seminars. For the 2020 show, there will be more than 200 free seminars on everything from diesel engine and electrical troubleshooting to cruising in Croatia, plus  advanced seminars for a fee through Boat Show University.

On the fishing and crabbing stage there will be 77 fishing seminars by the Northwest’s top-notch fishing experts. Whether it’s downrigger trolling techniques, using electronics to target trophy fish or learning about tuna fishing on the Washington Coast, the Seattle Boat Show is the place to be, Friday Jan. 24 through Saturday Feb. 1, 2020.

DEL STEPHENS WILL LEAD TWO SEMINARS ON ALBACORE TUNA FISHING OFF THE NORTHWEST COAST AT THE UPCOMING SEATTLE BOAT SHOW. (JOHN BEATH)

New presenters and topics for 2020 include:

  • Leland Miyawaki, well known for his fly the “Miyawaki Beach Popper, will give an in-depth seminar on saltwater fly-fishing for coastal cutthroat trout and salmon in Puget Sound.
  • Aaron Peterson, owner of Peterson’s  Northwest Guide Service,  will offer his knowledge of mid-Columbia River fisheries.
  • Chris Long, owner of Jolly Mon Charters in Anacortes, will give his perspective on fisheries in the San Juan Islands.
  • Del Stephens, also known as Tuna Dog by many and chairman of  the Oregon Tuna Classic for the past 15 years, will offer his in-depth knowledge of tournament and offshore fishing for albacore tuna.
  • Larry Philips, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Region 6 Director, will  host two seminars on coastal tuna, salmon and bottomfish fisheries. He and staff members will also host a Q&A session on all things fishing/hunting, killer whale issues, salmon season setting issues, licensing, the WDFW budget and more.
  • Highlights of returning presenters with new topics  include Tommy Donlin who will not only cover tuna, but provide insights on king salmon, lingcod and halibut fishing off the coast, and Austin Moser, owner of Austin’s Northwest Adventures, providing tips for successful fishing at Columbia River’s Buoy 10.

All seminars take place at CenturyLink Field Event Center. The complete schedule of seminars can be found at www.SeattleBoatShow.com/seminars. It is searchable by type, topic, date, stage and key word, making it easy for attendees to research and plan their show visits. For those attending seminars on two or more days, a 9-day pass for $30 offers the best ticketing value.

Friday, January 24th
12:00 PM Dungeness Crabbing Curriculum Tom Nelson Stage #3 North Hall
1:00 PM Coastal Tuna, Salmon and Bottomfish Fisheries and More Larry Phillips Stage #3 North Hall
2:00 PM Successful Puget Sound Shrimping Tom Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
2:00 PM Bring Your Boat for Fantastic Fishing in Central Washington Dave Graybill Stage #3 North Hall
3:00 PM Downrigger Trolling Tactics Kent Alger Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM Columbia River fall king fishing above Bonneville Dam Aaron Peterson Stage #3 North Hall
4:00 PM Using Electronics to Target Trophy Fish in Pacific Northwest Mike Surdyk Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Learn to Mooch, Puget Sound Salmon Keith Robbins Stage #3 North Hall
5:00 PM Trolling for Salmon Downrigger Techniques Chris Long Stage #1 North Hall
5:00 PM Tuna Fishing off the Washington Coast: Anyone Can Catch a Tuna Tommy Donlin Stage #3 North Hall
Saturday, January 25th
11:00 AM Using Electronics to Target Trophy Fish in Pacific Northwest Mike Surdyk Stage #3 North Hall
12:00 PM Saltwater Structure Strategies Tom Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
12:00 PM Tuna Fishing off the Washington Coast: Live Bait Tuna Success Tommy Donlin Stage #3 North Hall
1:00 PM Downrigger Trolling Tactics Kent Alger Stage #1 North Hall
1:00 PM Bring Your Boat for Fantastic Fishing in Central Washington Dave Graybill Stage #3 North Hall
2:00 PM Dirty Downrigger Tricks Tom Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
2:00 PM Learn to Mooch, Puget Sound Salmon Keith Robbins Stage #3 North Hall
3:00 PM Fly-Fishing Puget Sound with a Dry Fly Leland Miyawaki Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM WDFW Q&A Session on Fishing, Hunting, Killer Whales and More Larry Phillips Stage #3 North Hall
4:00 PM Winter Blackmouth Fishing in Puget Sound Nick Kester Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Trolling the Columbia River Gorge for fall kings Aaron Peterson Stage #3 North Hall
5:00 PM Bring Your Boat for Fantastic Fishing in Central Washington Dave Graybill Stage #1 North Hall
Sunday, January 26th
11:00 AM Learn to Mooch, Puget Sound Salmon Part I Keith Robbins Stage #3 North Hall
12:00 PM Learn to Mooch, Puget Sound Salmon Part II Keith Robbins Stage #3 North Hall
1:00 PM Dirty Downrigger Tricks Tom Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
1:00 PM Using Electronics to Target Trophy Fish in Pacific Northwest Mike Surdyk Stage #3 North Hall
2:00 PM Coastal Tuna, Salmon and Bottomfish Fisheries and More Larry Phillips Stage #1 North Hall
2:00 PM Downrigger Trolling Tactics Kent Alger Stage #3 North Hall
3:00 PM Hunting for Halibut and Lingcod Tommy Donlin Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM Lingcod Fishing in Puget Sound Nick Kester Stage #3 North Hall
4:00 PM Triple Threat Salmon Angling Tom Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Trolling for Salmon in San Juan Islands Chris Long Stage #3 North Hall
5:00 PM Bring Your Boat for Fantastic Fishing in Central Washington Dave Graybill Stage #1 North Hall
Monday, January 27th
2:00 PM Successful Puget Sound Shrimping Tom Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM Learn to Mooch, Puget Sound Salmon Keith Robbins Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Saltwater Structure Strategies Tom Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
5:00 PM Columbia River’s Buoy 10 Tactics for Success on Coho, Chinook and More Austin Moser Stage #1 North Hall
6:00 PM Dirty Downrigger Tricks Tom Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
7:00 PM Trolling for Salmon in San Juan Islands Chris Long Stage #1 North Hall
Tuesday, January 28th
2:00 PM Columbia River Springers in Your Boat! Tom Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM Columbia River’s Buoy 10 Tactics for Success on Coho, Chinook and More Austin Moser Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Fishing for San Juan Islands Chinook Tom Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
5:00 PM Chasing Coastal King Salmon Tommy Donlin Stage #1 North Hall
6:00 PM Lingcod Fishing in Puget Sound Chris Long Stage #1 North Hall
7:00 PM Using Electronics to Target Trophy Fish in Pacific Northwest Mike Surdyk Stage #1 North Hall
Wednesday, January 29th
2:00 PM Dungeness Crabbing Curriculum Tom Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM Columbia River’s Buoy 10 Tactics for Success on Coho, Chinook and More Austin Moser Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Successful Puget Sound Shrimping Tom Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
5:00 PM Learn to Mooch, Puget Sound Salmon Keith Robbins Stage #1 North Hall
6:00 PM Kayak Fishing the Pacific Northwest Brad Hole Stage #1 North Hall
Wednesday, January 29th
7:00 PM Trolling for Salmon Downrigger Techniques Chris Long Stage #1 North Hall
Thursday, January 30th
2:00 PM Using New Technology to Find and Catch Tuna Del Stephens Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM Triple Threat Salmon Angling Tom Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Downrigger Trolling Tactics Kent Alger Stage #1 North Hall
5:00 PM Dirty Downrigger Tricks Tom Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
6:00 PM Fly-Fishing Puget Sound with a Dry Fly Leland Miyawaki Stage #1 North Hall
7:00 PM Kayak Fishing the Pacific Northwest Brad Hole Stage #1 North Hall
Friday, January 31st
12:00 PM Dungeness Crabbing Curriculum Tom Nelson Stage #3 North Hall
1:00 PM Columbia River fall king fishing above Bonneville Dam Aaron Peterson Stage #3 North Hall
2:00 PM Fishing for San Juan Islands Chinook Tom Nelson Stage #1 North Hall
2:00 PM Using Electronics to Target Trophy Fish in Pacific Northwest Mike Surdyk Stage #3 North Hall
3:00 PM Downrigger Trolling Tactics Kent Alger Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM Fly-Fishing Puget Sound with a Dry Fly Leland Miyawaki Stage #3 North Hall
4:00 PM Hunting for Halibut and Lingcod Tommy Donlin Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Early Season Resident Coho Salmon Fishing in Puget Sound Nick Kester Stage #3 North Hall
5:00 PM Catching Winter Blackmouth, How, When & Where John Keizer Stage #1 North Hall
Saturday, February 1st
11:00 AM Using Electronics to Target Trophy Fish in Pacific Northwest Mike Surdyk Stage #3 North Hall
12:00 PM Catching Winter Blackmouth, How, When & Where John Keizer Stage #1 North Hall
12:00 PM Downrigger Trolling Tactics Kent Alger Stage #3 North Hall
1:00 PM Tuna Fishing off the Washington Coast: Live Bait Tuna Success Tommy Donlin Stage #1 North Hall
1:00 PM Trolling the Columbia River Gorge for fall kings Aaron Peterson Stage #3 North Hall
2:00 PM How to Maximize your Marine Electronics to Locate Fish John Keizer Stage #1 North Hall
2:00 PM Early Season Resident Coho Salmon Fishing in Puget Sound Nick Kester Stage #3 North Hall
3:00 PM Fly-Fishing Puget Sound with a Dry Fly Leland Miyawaki Stage #1 North Hall
3:00 PM Downrigger Salmon Fishing the Ocean and Puget Sound John Keizer Stage #3 North Hall
4:00 PM Albacore Tuna Fishing A to Z Del Stephens Stage #1 North Hall
4:00 PM Kayak Fishing the Pacific Northwest Brad Hole Stage #3 North Hall

 

Northwest Fishing Derby Series

The Northwest Salmon Derby Series has been renamed the Northwest Fishing Derby Series,  diversifying the fish species to include bass and kokanee and increasing the number of derbies to 20, up from 14 in 2019. While at the show, stop by to view the grand prize for the series, a fully-loaded, KingFisher 2025 Escape HT powered with Yamaha 200hp and 9.9hp trolling motors on an EZ Loader Trailer. The boat is equipped with Shoxs Seats for maximum comfort in the roughest of seas, a custom engraved WhoDat Tower, Raymarine Electronics, Burnewiin Accessories, Scotty Downrigger and a Dual Electronics stereo. It is valued at $75,000. Anglers do not need to fish all the derbies to be eligible for the boat and motor package. When an angler purchases a derby ticket, the angler is automatically entered into the drawing for the grand prize boat

 

WDFW Commission Denies Petition To Restrict Popular Skykomish Fisheries

A utility district’s petition to restrict bait fishing for half the year and delay the opening of the summer Chinook and steelhead season on Washington’s Skykomish was rebuffed by the Fish and Wildlife Commission late last week.

That left local anglers like Mark Spada breathing a sigh of relief for the moment.

“The sportfishing community worked very hard to educate the commission to the importance of this last-of-its-kind fishing opportunity for the North Sound,” said the president of the Snohomish Sportsmen’s Club. “Thankfully they listened, and voted to deny this uninformed petition by the PUD.”

KRISTIN BISHOP SHOWS OFF A NICE SKYKOMISH SUMMER CHINOOK CAUGHT IN JUNE 2017. A UTILITY DISTRICT’S REQUEST TO RESTRICT GEAR AND SEASON TIMING ON THE RIVER WOULD “SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECT” ITS FISHERIES FOR HATCHERY KINGS AND STEELHEAD. (THEFISHERE.COM)

But the citizen panel did ask WDFW to consider the request during the upcoming North of Falcon salmon-season-setting process, where fishing rules for 2020-21 will be determined through preseason forecasting and consultations with tribal comanagers before approval by federal overseers.

The petition came from the Snohomish County Public Utility District, which is concerned about wild steelhead recovery in the watershed, where it operates a dam it has to mitigate for.

Speaking for the utility, fisheries biologist Larry Lowe asked the state agency to enact selective gear regulations from July 15 through January 31 and push the summer opener back two to three weeks to June 15.

Lowe said that despite enhancement projects on the Skykomish and its tributary the Sultan, where PUD’s dam, hydropower facilities and reservoir are, native winter-run returns have declined to “an alarmingly low level,” with just 178 and 55 back to the mainstems of both rivers, respectively, this year.

And he said that the fishery for hatchery kings and summer-runs is impacting pre- and postspawn wild winters, as well as outmigrating smolts.

“Wild salmon and steelhead face many complex and costly challenges on the road to recovery. The requested rule changes are neither complex nor costly and will continue to provide ample fishing opportunity for recreational anglers as well as provide the resource protections needed for species recovery,” Lowe wrote.

But WDFW’s regional fisheries manager Edward Eleazer says the fishery comes in well below allowable impacts, and he points to greater threats to the steelhead stock than angling.

“Major pressures for steelhead are harbor seals, habitat degradation and climate change,” he told the commission during its Nov. 15 conference call.

The pinnipeds have been identified as eating large numbers of outmigrating salmonids in Puget Sound.

PUD’s Diversion and Culmback Dams have blocked all fish passage to most of the Sultan for decades, and much of the Sultan and Skykomish watersheds outside of three wilderness areas have been heavily logged, dumping sediment into the rivers. In the valley, dikes armor banks to protect the BNSF rail line, farms and towns.

Eleazer pointed out to commissioners that the Skykomish fishery is operated under a comanager agreement, and is authorized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to have a maximum impact of 4.2 percent on wild winter steelhead.

“Recent estimates by NOAA say we’re more like 1.6 percent, so the impacts on steelhead are negligible and not severe like the petitioner is claiming,” Eleazer said.

He said the proposed rule changes would “significantly affect hatchery Chinook and hatchery steelhead fishing.”

It’s fair to say that the Skykomish is where anglers are digging in their heels.

“The fact that the smolt mortality and wild fish encounters were below the allowable minimums as outlined by the NOAA permit for this fishery gave PUD no legitimate case for the rule change they were petitioning for,” argues Spada.

In this era of decreased hatchery releases and salmon and steelhead fishing opportunities, the Sky is the last bastion of consumptive angling in Puget Sound. It’s the only river north of the Cowlitz where Chinook and steelhead can be kept in June and July.

It’s the river that WDFW prioritized in the Chambers Creek early winter steelhead settlement with the Wild Fish Conservancy, and it’s the one they’ve come up with a plan for saving the summer steelhead fishery out of another WFC lawsuit.

Just under 500 Chinook and 1,573 steelhead were caught on the Sky during 2017’s summer fishery, according to WDFW’s 2017 sport catch report, the most recent available, along with 1,863 winter steelhead during the fall-winter season.

While eggs and sand shrimp are popular and productive offerings for summer kings, coho, chums and both summer and winter steelhead, under selective gear rules bait and scents are prohibited. Anglers are also limited to lures with single barbless hooks (except plugs), and required to use knotless nets.

Eleazer acknowledged that PUD is an important stakeholder in fishery issues in the Skykomish watershed, and the county agency does a lot of steelhead and salmon habitat and recovery work.

“One of the reasons why they’re so alarmed, and our staff is alarmed as well, is because of the extreme drought and climate conditions that we saw in 2015,” he said. “And so the salmon and steelhead returning this year, their parents came into the system during 2015 and it wasn’t very hospitable for them to survive. Very low numbers are coming back this year because of the climate change environmental situation, so they’re kind of waving the red flag.”

That year was when the effects of The Blob — the giant pool of overly warm water in the North Pacific — really hit Northwest rivers hard, with little winter snowpack and hot air temperatures leading to an early meltout and record low flows through summer.

I chronicled those impacts in a photographic survey of the Skykomish that summer, when on July 18 the river was flowing at a mere 425 cubic feet per second, 2,700 cfs below average and twice as low as the old record minimum for the date, set back in 1940 — extraordinary numbers.

PANORAMA MODE CAPTURES THE SKYKOMISH RIVER AT PROCTOR CREEK DURING JULY 2015’S RECORD LOW FLOWS. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Over on dewatered Olympic Peninsula streams, WDFW biologists observed where wild winter steelhead redds had been dug up by raccoons to get at the eggs.

Unfortunately the snow drought was followed by major fall floods. The Skykomish saw crests of 70,000, 60,000, 95,000 and 80,000 cfs at Gold Bar in a six-week period, which didn’t do salmonids any favors either.

Eleazer said that it appears PUD is more focused on recent abundance trends, and it’s true, those don’t look good.

Where once there were enough winter steelhead to hold a coveted March-April catch-and-release season on the Sky, overall Snohomish-Skykomish Basin returns have dropped from 4,132 as recently as 1998 to 1,188 in 2014 to 372 in 2018.

He said that PUD was also “very upset” about this year’s May 25 start of the Skykomish fishery, seven days earlier in the past, a change that came about through WDFW’s rule simplification efforts which affected hundreds of flowing waters statewide and moved the traditional Sky opener from June 1 to the Saturday before Memorial Day.

In 2020, the Saturday before the holiday falls on May 23; in 2021, the 29th; in 2022, the 28th, etc.

According to Eleazer PUD didn’t submit comments on the late May opener, but Lowe’s petition states that as much as 43 percent of the Sultan’s wild winter redds are dug after the 25th of the month.

And Lowe says that outmigrating steelhead, coho and Chinook smolts “are vulnerable under a May 25 opener. This would not be the case with a mid-June opener.”

PUD’s crunching of 2011 WDFW creel data shows that king and steelhead catch rates spike from June 6 to 11, consistent with the early 2000s.

(PUD)

The mouth of the Sultan, where a popular put-in/take-out is located, also acts as a thermal refuge because the tributary dumps in water that’s cooler than the Sky, Lowe says.

Hatchery steelhead haven’t been released in the Sultan in more than a decade as WDFW moved away from off-station stocking, and the agency also scaled back the period that gold mining can occur between the site of the old Diversion Dam, at river mile 9.7 and which came down in 2017, and Culmback Dam to the month of August.

Before filing their petition, Lowe and utility managers took to print and the airwaves in early June rather than work with local anglers, and that didn’t sit well with Spada, and the whole thing still doesn’t.

“It continues to mystify me why the PUD thinks that they are in control of wild fish management on the Sky, and want to point fingers of blame at the recreational fisherman when they have made no attempt to be part of the solution, or work together with all interested parties for common sense management,” he says.

Eleazer told the commission that to his knowledge, PUD has not talked with the Tulalip Tribes, which comanage fisheries in the basin, and that conversations have been limited to the utility, his agency and the Wild Fish Conservancy.

Before voting to deny the petition, Fish and Wildlife Commission members debated whether to include specific direction to WDFW staff to consider the requests during North of Falcon.

Some, like Vice Chair Barbara Baker of Olympia and Kim Thorburn of Spokane wanted to, while others like angler advocate Dave Graybill of Leavenworth said it wasn’t necessary because it was already part of NOF.

Ultimately, an amendment to do so was included in the vote denying PUD’s petition.

NOF begins again in late winter, with multiple chances to comment on any proposals that come out of it.

Carpenter Elected As Chair Of Washington Fish-Wildlife Commission; Baker Vice Chair

Washington’s Fish and Wildlife Commission has a new chair and vice chair.

Larry Carpenter was unanimously elected by his fellow members over the weekend to head up the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s citizen oversight panel, while Barbara Baker will be its vice chair.

LARRY CARPENTER. (WDFW)

Carpenter, who hails from Mt. Vernon, owned Master Marine and has been on the board since 2011, takes over from Brad Smith of Bellingham. He is known as a staunch advocate for fishing and hunting.

Smith, the longest serving member of the commission, nominated Carpenter and was seconded by Dave Graybill of Leavenworth.

According to WDFW’s Tami Lininger, Carpenter’s appointment to the commission has also been extended through Oct. 31, 2020.

Baker, of Olympia and the former clerk of the state House of Representatives, was appointed to the commission in January 2017, making her leap into the vice chairmanship relatively fast compared to others in recent years.

The previous two vice chairs — Smith and Carpenter — were on the commission four years before being elected to the seat.

Elections take place every other year.

Baker was nominated by Don McIsaac of Hockinson and seconded by Bob Kehoe of Seattle. She too was elected unanimously.

IN THIS TVW SCREENGRAB, WASHINGTON FISH AND WILDLIFE COMMISSIONER BARBARA BAKER SPEAKS BEFORE THE SENATE NATURAL RESOURCES AND PARKS COMMITTEE PUBLIC HEARING ON HER APPOINTMENT TO THE PANEL, SET TO RUN AT LEAST THROUGH 2022. (TVW)

Other members of the commission include Kim Thorburn of Spokane and Jay Holzmiller of Anatone.

The ninth seat has been vacant since Jay Kehne of Omak resigned last summer to spend more time with his family and afield.