Tag Archives: salmon

NMFS Highlights How White R. Levee Fix Helps Homeowners, Salmon, Habitat

THE FOLLOWING IS A NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE STORY

Puget Sound salmon got a boost this summer from a redesigned levee in Pacific, WA. While local leaders were determined to reduce frequent flooding of neighborhoods and businesses, NOAA and partners provided expertise in habitat restoration, as well as a portion of the funding. The results? King County improved resilience to flooding along the unpredictable river, and restored much-needed salmon habitat in the process.

AN ENGINEERED LOGJAM, PART OF A “BIO-REVETMENT” LEVEE ALONG THE WHITE RIVER IN PACIFIC, IN SOUTHWEST KING COUNTY. (NMFS)

The White River Chinook are among the local fish listed as Threatened. Decades of degraded habitat and overfishing have diminished wild salmon numbers. Since salmon need specific conditions for successful reproduction, habitat restoration is a critical priority. More off-channel habitat means the young fish are bigger and stronger when they head out to sea, thus more likely to make it home to their river for spawning.

The old White River levee, built in 1914, ran along the narrow channel of the river, cutting off the floodplain. With today’s knowledge of nature-based infrastructure, project engineers are able to reduce flooding and benefit salmon. Young fish gained an additional 121 acres off-channel habitat, more than a mile of natural shoreline, and thousands of sheltered places to eat, rest and grow. Eighteen acres replanted with native flora reinforces a protective riparian border.

NOAA Fisheries is committed to conserving and protecting listed species like the Chinook. This is one of multiple projects funded under the Commencement Bay Natural Resources Damage Assessment settlement that resulted from NOAA’s joint effort cleaning up after a nearby hazardous waste release.

“NOAA and partners provided $4.8 million dollars toward protecting the community,” said NOAA technical monitor Jason Lehto. “But salmon and other wildlife get substantial benefit, too.”

THE WHITE RIVER OVERTOPS AN OLD LEVEE FOLLOWING AN OCTOBER 2017 AND SURGING INTO A RESTORED FLOODPLAIN THAT HAD BEEN DRY FOR A CENTURY. (NMFS)

In October, a sudden storm pushed the river up and over the old levee, which breached as planned. The excess water spread over reconnected lowlands without flooding any nearby property. With more unpredictable sea levels and weather ahead, communities are turning to nature -based infrastructure solutions to find solutions like the White River/Countyline levee. The neighborhood is safer, and the White River Chinook have one more edge against extinction.

NSIA Lauds Judge’s Decision On Increased Dam Spill: ‘Vital’ For Fish, Industry

THE FOLLOWING IS A JOINT PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NORTHWEST SPORTFISHING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION, SIERRA CLUB, SAVE OUR WILD SALMON COALITION AND EARTHJUSTICE

Today, United States District Court Judge Michael Simon (Portland, OR) approved a plan for increased spill at eight federal dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

This plan for Spring 2018 dam operations was jointly submitted to the Court last month by plaintiffs and defendants in the long-running legal case to protect wild salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin. It was developed in response to the Court’s April 2017 Order requiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide more voluntary spill (water released through the spillways) to protect salmon and steelhead at risk of extinction.

WITH WATER SPILLING OVER THE SNAKE RIVER’S LITTLE GOOSE DAM, A SPOKANE ANGLER SHOWS OFF A NICE SPRING CHINOOK FROM A FEW SEASONS BACK. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Todd True, lead attorney for the plaintiffs: “There is no real scientific dispute that voluntary spill to the level required by the Court will avoid harm to juvenile salmon. In addition, this spill order has been carefully crafted to avoid any unintended negative consequences to navigation and other resources. In fact, it is very likely that spill at higher levels would afford additional salmon survival improvements.”

Plaintiffs include conservation organizations, fishing associations, the Nez Perce Tribe and the State of Oregon. Defendants include the Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and NOAA Fisheries.

Voluntary spill was first required during the spring and summer months at the eight federal dams in 2006 under the order of Judge James Redden after he had invalidated a plan from the federal agencies in 2004. The new spill plan approved by the Court today requires as much spill as is allowed under current state water quality rules for total dissolved gas (or “TDG”) unless there are compelling reasons to reduce it. Higher levels of spill help juvenile salmon migrating to the ocean in the spring and summer move past the dams more quickly and safely, and results in higher adult returns in the years that follow.

Liz Hamilton, executive director of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association: “Increasing the proportion of spill is vital for the protection of salmon and steelhead, and for fishing businesses and communities across the Northwest. This order for additional spill will divert baby salmon away from powerhouses, increasing the survival of juvenile fish migrating past dams to the ocean, enhancing the numbers of adult fish returning in the years that follow.”

Rhett Lawrence, conservation director for the Sierra Club in Oregon: “Increased spill levels in 2018 will provide a much-needed boost for our struggling salmon and steelhead populations. Conservation and fishing groups are grateful for our partnership with Oregon and the Nez Perce Tribe – working together for the Northwest’s iconic fish and holding the federal agencies accountable to the law and the people of the region.”

Joseph Bogaard, executive director of Save Our wild Salmon: “This order for additional spill in 2018 is a near-term life-line for our region’s endangered wild salmon and steelhead until we have a legally valid, science-based plan in place. This order gives our fish and the communities that rely on them some breathing room in 2018 while our region comes together on a long-term plan that improves the health of these rivers and recovers our struggling fish populations.”

Last fall, Washington State also clarified how it applies its water quality standards relating to total dissolved gas in the lower portions of the Snake and Columbia Rivers. This clarification by the state will allow incrementally higher levels of spill to occur in the spring and summer, leading to higher juvenile and adult returns than would have occurred previously.

In May 2016, Judge Simon ruled the federal agencies’ 2014 Columbia Basin Salmon plan is inadequate and illegal. This is the fifth consecutive federal plan (Biological Opinion or “BiOp”) deemed illegal by three different judges across two decades. Over this period, despite the federal agencies spending more than $10B on a series of ineffective, illegal plans to protect salmon and steelhead from a deadly federal hydro-system, not a single at-risk population has recovered.

While the federal agencies jointly submitted this proposed plan with the plaintiffs to increase spill, they also filed an appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last fall challenging the court’s decision to further expand spill. The appeal is on an expedited schedule and is expected to be resolved before the official beginning of the juvenile out-migration in early April of 2018.

You can read the signed order requiring more spill from the Court here:
http://www.wildsalmon.org/images/factsheets-and-reports/2018.District.Ct.spill.order.pdf

 


Columbia, SW WA Fishing Report (11-21-17)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ORIGINATED FROM WDFW AND ODFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Br. downstream:  13 bank rods kept 2 adult coho.  5 boat rods kept 3 adult coho and released 2.  Above the I-5 Br:  104 bank rods kept 1 jack and 43 adult coho and released 31 adult coho.  31 boat rods kept 16 adult coho and released 3 adult Chinook and 12 adult coho.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,182 coho adults, 92 coho jacks, 19 fall Chinook adults, 52 cutthroat trout, and two summer-run steelhead during six days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 111 coho adults and 21 coho jacks into the Cispus River near the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek and 104 coho adults and six coho jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 626 coho adults, 50 coho jacks, four fall Chinook adults, and nine cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and 223 coho adults and two coho jacks into Lake Scanewa near Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 10,300 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, November 20. Water visibility is seven feet and water temperature is 50 degrees F.

Lower Hanford Reach Steelhead Fishery – From Paul Hoffarth, WDFW Fish and Wildlife Biologist in Pasco WA – Steelhead fishing continues to be slow to fair in the lower Hanford Reach.  Bank anglers have averaged a steelhead for 20.5 hours of fishing.  Boat anglers are doing considerably better at 1.1 steelhead per boat (9.3 hours per fish). WDFW staff has interviewed 144 bank anglers fishing for steelhead in November with 47 steelhead caught and 33 hatchery steelhead harvested. Staff interviewed 22 boats (62 anglers) with 25 steelhead caught and 15 harvested.

The majority of the steelhead caught are double clipped and legal to harvest. Daily limit is one steelhead per day and the steelhead must have both an adipose and ventral fin clip (through December 31). This year’s return to Ringold Springs Hatchery is estimated at 816 steelhead.

…………………………..

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

The salmonid creel program on the lower Columbia has ended for the year and will resume February of 2018.

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed 17 adult coho kept, plus one adult coho released for 12 boats (27 anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for three bank anglers.

John Day Pool (Columbia River above John Day Dam and Joh Day Arm): Weekly checking showed one adult Chinook and one jack Chinook kept for two bank anglers; and four steelhead released for 13 boats (28 anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam):  Closed for retention.  No report.

Bonneville Pool: Closed for retention.  No report.\

The Dalles Pool: Closed for retention.  No report.

John Day Pool: Closed for retention.  No report.

WALLEYE

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for one boat (one angler).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for two bank anglers; and 10 walleye kept, plus one walleye released for three boats (eight anglers).

Lower Columbia, Gorge Pools Fishing Report (9-27-17)

THE FOLLOWING IS ODFW’S WEEKLY RECREATION REPORT FOR THE COLUMBIA ZONE

SALMON, STEELHEAD AND SHAD

On Saturday’s (9/23) flight, 976 salmonid boats and 22 Oregon bank anglers were counted from Tongue Point to Bonneville Dam; and 59 Oregon boats counted at Buoy 10. Anglers fishing in the John Day Pool averaged 0.13 Chinook caught per boat, while anglers fishing in The Dalles Pool averaged 1.87 Chinook and 0.02 coho caught per boat. Anglers fishing in the Bonneville Pool averaged 1.21 Chinook, 0.07 coho and 0.01 steelhead caught per boat, while anglers fishing in the gorge averaged 1.49 Chinook and 0.12 coho caught per boat. In Troutdale, boat anglers averaged 0.14 Chinook and 0.14 coho caught per boat, while anglers fishing in the Portland to Westport area averaged 0.40 Chinook and 0.09 coho caught per boat. In the estuary, boat anglers averaged 0.98 coho and 0.02 Chinook caught per boat. Bank anglers fishing in the gorge averaged 0.05 Chinook caught per angler, while anglers fishing in the Portland to Westport area averaged 0.04 coho caught per angler.

Gorge Bank: Weekend checking showed one Chinook adult kept for 21 bank anglers.

Gorge Boats: Weekend checking showed 64 Chinook adults, four Chinook jacks, and four coho adults kept, plus one coho adult released for 43 boats (144 anglers).

Troutdale Boats: Weekend checking showed five Chinook adults, one Chinook jack, and four coho adults kept, plus one Chinook jack and one coho adult released for 37 boats (79 anglers).

Portland to Westport Bank: Weekend checking showed one coho adult kept for 23 bank anglers.

Portland to Tongue Point Boats: Weekend checking showed 42 Chinook adults, six Chinook jacks, and three coho adults kept, plus 10 Chinook adults, one Chinook jack and eight coho adults released for 129 boats (307 anglers).

Estuary Boats (Above Tongue Point): No report.

Estuary Boats (Tongue Point to Buoy 10): Weekend checking showed 17 coho kept, plus 32 coho and one Chinook released for 50 boats (135 anglers).

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): Weekly checking showed 93 Chinook adults, 14 Chinook jacks, five coho adults, one coho jack and one steelhead kept, plus five Chinook adults, and one coho jack released for 81 boats (205 anglers).

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for two bank anglers; and 99 Chinook adults, 20 Chinook jacks, and one coho adult kept, plus one coho jack released for 53 boats (163 anglers).

John Day Pool (John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam): Weekly checking showed no catch for three bank anglers; and one Chinook adult kept for eight boats (11 anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam): Closed for retention. Weekend checking showed 31 legal and one oversize sturgeon released for two boats (seven anglers).

Bonneville Pool: Closed for retention. No report.

The Dalles Pool: Closed for retention. Weekly checking showed five oversize sturgeon released for two bank anglers.

John Day Pool: Closed for retention. Weekly checking showed six sublegal, one legal, and four oversize sturgeon released for two boats (eight anglers).

WALLEYE

Gorge: No report.

Troutdale: No report.

Portland to Tongue Point: No report.

The Dalles Pool: Weekly checking showed 49 walleye kept, plus four walleye released for six boats (12 anglers).

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed three walleye kept for two boats (three anglers).

ODFW Evacuating 1.78 Million Hatchery Salmon Ahead Of Rains, Possible Debris Flow

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

ODFW staff are evacuating about 1.65 million coho salmon and 132,000 spring Chinook salmon from Cascade Hatchery today and tomorrow due to the threat of debris flow in areas burned by the Eagle Creek Fire.

A SCREENSHOT FROM AN ODFW VIDEO SHOWS TANKER TRUCKS LINED UP TO TRANSPORT YOUNG SALMON FROM CASCADE HATCHERY. (ODFW)

“Rain is forecast next week in areas scorched by the Eagle Creek Fire, and we expect to see mudslides and debris flow,” said Brett Requa, ODFW east region hatchery coordinator. “This could overwhelm the screens on our water intake, reducing or completely shutting off the flow of water that sustain these fish, so we want to get them moved now.”

 ODFW plans to move about 500,000 Umatilla River coho and 500,000 Lostine River coho to Leaburg Hatchery, where they will be reared until next spring and then hauled back to the Umatillia and Lostine Rivers. Also, 350,000 Yakama coho will be hauled to Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery and 300,000 will be hauled to Willard National Fish Hatchery. The 132,000 spring Chinook are being hauled to Sandy Fish Hatchery.

 These juvenile fish (< 1 year old) are being transported beginning this morning in fish transport trucks which have oxygen supplies to help lower stress in the fish and keep them healthy.

 Bonneville Hatchery has well water available and is not expected to be hit as hard by the debris flow so their 2.4 million fish will remain on site. Staff are also weighing options to move Oxbow Hatchery and Herman Creek coho to another hatchery in the state but fire experts feel the Herman Creek drainage is in much better shape than the Eagle Creek drainage.

A HELICOPTER CARRIES WATER DIPPED OUT OF THE COLUMBIA IN THE GORGE TO HELP DOUSE THE EAGLE CREEK FIRE. (INCIWEB)

 “We thank Eagle Creek firefighters for saving all the structures at our three Cascade Locks fish hatcheries,” said Requa. “ODFW will be working to limit any harmful impacts to fish due to the Eagle Creek Fire over the next few months and years.”

 ODFW also thanks ODOT for delivering diesel fuel to power Cascade Hatchery’s generator over the past 10 days. The hatchery has been without power since Sept. 5.

Lower Columbia, SW WA Fishing Report (9-12-17)

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL ORIGINATED FROM WDFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Bridge downstream:  19 boats/56 rods kept 12 adult and 2 jack fall Chinook, 2 steelhead and 2 coho and released 20 adult and 2 jack fall Chinook and 1 steelhead.  2 bank anglers had no catch.

CHRIS , KOLBY AND LUKE MOORE ALONG WITH HUNTER HIGGINBOTHAM ENJOYED A GOOD TIME WALLEYE FISHING ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER BY CROW BUTTE STATE PARK. HUNTER’S DAD JAROD REPORTS, “THE HAMMERTIME WALLEYE SPINNER IN SIZE 5 IN COMBINATION WITH THE SPIN-N-GLO BOTTOM WALKERS WAS THE TICKET FOR US. HOTTEST COLORS WERE COPPER AND PINK BLADES!” (JAROD HIGGINBOTHAM)

From the I-5 Bridge upstream:  10 bank anglers kept 2 adult and 2 jack fall Chinook.  No boats were sampled.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 111 spring Chinook adults, one spring Chinook mini-jack, 30 summer-run steelhead, 203 fall Chinook adults, ten fall Chinook jacks, 14 coho adults and 17 cutthroat trout during four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 25 spring Chinook adults, and one cutthroat trout into the Cispus River near the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek and they released 77 spring Chinook adults  and two cutthroat trout at Franklin Bridge in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 121 fall Chinook adults, seven fall Chinook jacks, five coho adults, and four cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 3,220 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, September 11. Water visibility is 13 feet and water temperature is 54.9 degrees F. River flows could change at any time so boaters and anglers should remain alert for this possibility.

NEW! Check out these graphs; they show adult returns by species for each week and 10-year averages<https://www.mytpu.org/file_viewer.aspx?id=61254>.

Learn about changes to Riffe Lake levels<https://www.mytpu.org/tacomapower/about-tacoma-power/dams-power-sources/hydro-power/cowlitz-river-project/mossyrock-dam.htm> in 2017.

Please note: Tacoma Power will conduct an inspection of Barrier Dam Sept. 12-13. As a result, the flow pattern will be temporarily altered, causing an atypical fishing environment near the dam. The Barrier Dam Boat Launch will remain open during the inspection.

Drano Lake – 45 boat anglers kept 16 adult and 1 jack fall Chinook, 1 adult and 1 jack coho, and released 2 adult Chinook and 3 steelhead.  There were 39 boats here last Saturday morning.

Buoy 10 – Hatchery coho are being caught at Buoy 10.  The closure just outside Young’s Bay is lifted beginning Sept. 16.

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – During the first three days of the Chinook mark selective fishery below the Lewis we sampled 543 salmonid anglers (including 163 boats) with 271 adult and 1 jack fall Chinook,  3 steelhead, and 1 adult coho.  90 (33%) of the adult Chinook were kept.

From the Warrior Rock Line downstream to the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line – Beginning Sept. 15, closed to Chinook retention until October 1. Remains open for hatchery coho and hatchery steelhead.

Lewis River upstream to Bonneville Dam (non-mark selective Chinook fishery) – We sampled 512 salmonid anglers (including 139 boats) with 113 adult and 5 jack fall Chinook,  1 adult coho, and no steelhead.  106 (94%) of the adult Chinook were kept though all could have been retained.

Bonneville Pool – 18 boat anglers kept 12 adult fall Chinook and released one.  There were 37 boats outside Drano Lake, 4 off the White Salmon River, and 9 off the Klickitat River last Saturday morning.

Walleye

Lower Columbia mainstem below Bonneville Dam – Boat anglers in the Camas/Washougal area are catching some walleye.

Trout

Recent plants of catchable size rainbows.  No report on angling success.

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes

MINERAL LK (LEWI)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=MINERAL+LK+%28LEWI%29&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Lewis County – Region 5
Sep 05, 2017
Rainbow
3,543
2.5
MOSSYROCK HATCHERY
Sept 30 is the last day to fish here.

Feds Issue Early Warning About 2018-19 Columbia Salmon Runs

As if I wasn’t depressed enough about what feels like an even worse return of Puget Sound pinks than forecast, federal fishery managers pushed out an early warning we could see diminished Columbia River salmon runs in coming years.

NOAA says that this year’s annual longterm ocean surveys off the Northwest Coast turned up some of the lowest numbers of juvenile Chinook and coho seen in the past two decades, which could translate into “lean times” in 2018 and 2019.

(NOAA)

The “highly anomalous conditions” observed off Oregon and Washington also included low catches of baitfish, which may mean predators higher up the food chain focused more on salmon smolts — a result seen with murres outside San Francisco Bay and possible but unproven here.

They say that though the ocean has cooled from the Blob, “the biological responses to these warm waters are likely to be evident for a longer period.”

Indeed, high numbers of southern visitors are still being seen.

Surveys showed Pacific pompano catches peaked in 2016 and declined this year but are still well above where they were between 1998 and 2013, while 2017’s jack mackerel catches were the highest ever. Pyrosomes also invaded this spring and researchers report a “complete shift” in the predominate jellyfish species off the coast.

The Daily Astorian has been working the ocean beat hard this summer, and broke this news earlier this week. In a report yesterday, the paper said the tuna season has been “abysmal” so far, with boats having to go 125 miles or further out to find fish, though the albies have been nice and fat.

The caveat in my case is that, while I’ve been fishing two spots — my local beach and the Duwamish in Tukwila –without success, that doesn’t mean the salmon are necessarily not there, though the lack of jumpers certainly is suggestive.

Similarly, scientists need to take a deeper dive with what they’ve initially collected and compare it to other data before they issue 2018 Columbia salmon forecasts.

“Our results are still in the preliminary stage, with several next steps,” reads a mid-August memo to Michael Tehan, NOAA’s Assistant Regional Administrator at the Interior Columbia Basin Office in Portland. “Zooplankton and salmon samples that we collected at sea still need to be processed to estimate important biological metrics, such as copepod biomass, salmon condition and stomach contents, and salmon growth hormone levels. All results will be placed into a broader context by integrating them with oceanographic data derived from satellites and ocean buoys. We will also corroborate our results with other coastal ecosystem surveys (e.g., Gulf of Alaska) that regularly catch Columbia River salmon. Finally, each year we synthesize results of this work, including an estimate of adult salmon returns to the Columbia River.”

Late Humptulips Regs Tweak: Release Wild Kings, WDFW Says

THE FOLLOWING IS A 5 P.M. FRIDAY AFTERNOON EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE NOTICE FROM WDFW

Anglers fishing the Humptulips River must release wild chinook

Action: Anglers fishing the Humptulips River must release all wild chinook salmon.

THOUGH WDFW’S PRINTED FISHING PAMPHLET ALLOWED FOR THE RETENTION OF ONE WILD HUMPTULIPS KING A DAY STARTING TODAY, AN EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE OUT IN LATE AFTERNOON SAYS THEY MUST BE RELEASED EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. DARREL SMITH CAUGHT THIS ONE FROM THE SOUTH OLYPEN RIVER SEVERAL SEASONS AGO. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Effective dates: Immediately, until further notice.

Location:  Humptulips River, from the mouth to the confluence of the East and West forks, in Grays Harbor County.

Reason for action:  The Department is in the process of adopting permanent rules that are necessary to implement the personal use fishing plans developed through North of Falcon proceedings.

Other Information:  Salmon daily limit is 6 fish; up to 2 adults may be retained. Release wild coho and wild chinook. Trout and gamefish fisheries remain as listed in the 2017/2018 fishing pamphlet.

Atlantic Salmon Escape Fish Farm; Some Caught In B’ham Bay

UPDATED 10 A.M. 8-22-17

Atlantic salmon have escaped from a net pen on the east side of the San Juan Islands where they were being raised for market.

Strong pre-clipse tides are blamed for allowing the Cooke Aquaculture fish to get loose last weekend, with some turning up pretty quickly in Lummi fishermen’s catches.

The pen held 300,000 fish but a statement from Cooke says that “many” are still in the net. The Seattle Times says the company reports the loss at several thousand fish though it won’t be known for some time what the true scale is.

The news comes a week after a group announced plans to hold a flotilla protest in September elsewhere in Puget Sound, where other fish farms rearing the nonnative species are located and being proposed.

For more, see this Lynda V. Mapes piece in The Seattle Times. http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/oops-after-accidental-release-of-atlantic-salmon-fisherman-being-told-catch-as-many-as-you-want/

Here’s the latest from WDFW:

Here is an update on the Atlantic Salmon escaping a net pen in the San Juan Islands (Cypress Island).  Cooke Aquaculture has several pens out there where they understood a collapse occurred (strong tides) and fish escaped over the weekend.  There is no confirmation on the numbers that got out as they are harvesting the pens as we speak to help assess the number that escaped.  The floating net pen had a capacity of about 300k, with some first estimates of 4k that escaped, though there are no current estimates of escaped fish.  Fish were reported being caught in Bellingham Bay this morning.

WDFW’s authority to the net pen operation is with regards to fish health.  With these fish escaping, they are immediately available for harvest as we already had rules in place from past experiences to allow no limits or minimum size limits.

Here is the WAC that pertains to the limits for Atlantic Salmon, which means as long as your salmon limit isn’t filled for the day, you can fish and retain as many Atlantic Salmon as you can catch (and harvest).  You do not need to record these on your catch record card.

 

WAC 220-313-080 Atlantic salmon.

It is unlawful to fish for or possess Atlantic salmon except as provided in this section.

(1) There is no minimum size limit for Atlantic salmon taken from anadromous water, and no daily or possession limit.

(2) Atlantic salmon may be taken from all anadromous waters open to trout fishing under Title 77RCW except marine waters that are not open to salmon fishing under this title, and may be taken from all anadromous waters open to salmon fishing for salmon other than Atlantic salmon.

(3) Once the daily limit of salmon other than Atlantic salmon has been retained, it is unlawful to continue to fish for Atlantic salmon or salmon other than Atlantic salmon.

Again if you know of any methods that work to catch these fish, please let me know so I can distribute that information.  Here are several Atlantic Salmon species pages on the WDFW site:http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/salmon/atlantic.html    http://wdfw.wa.gov/ais/salmo_salar/

With Coho Quota Almost Full, WDFW Says Ilwaco, Westport Salmon Fishing To Close After Aug. 22

THE FOLLOWING IS A EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Ocean salmon fishery off Ilwaco and Westport to close early

Action:   Close Marine Areas 1 (Ilwaco) and 2 (Westport) to salmon fishing.

Effective Dates:  Effective 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 22.

HUNTER HIGGINBOTHAM SHOWED OFF HIS SKILLS WHILE SALMON FISHING OUT OF WESTPORT. THIS COHO BIT A HERRING BEHIND A FISH FLASH FOR THE LAD. (VIA JAROD HIGGINBOTHAM)

Species affected:  All salmon.

Locations:  Marine Areas 1 (Ilwaco) and 2 (Westport), Cape Falcon, Oregon to Queets River, Washington.

Reason for action: Estimates indicate that anglers will reach quotas for coho salmon by the end of the day Tuesday. Closing the salmon fishery early will help ensure compliance with conservation requirements.

Other information: Recreational fisheries in Ilwaco and Westport would have closed earlier in August but were able to remain open due to transfers of quota by the commercial troll fishery to the recreational fishery. 

Marine Areas 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) and the Buoy 10 fishery at the mouth of the Columbia River remain open as scheduled.