Tag Archives: yelloweye rockfish

NOAA Spotlight: How Puget Sound Anglers Helped Bios Delist Rockfish Species

THE FOLLOWING IS A NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION NEWS STORY

In 2010, three species of rockfish in Puget Sound, WA were listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and received additional protections to aid in their recovery. The decision was based on the best available science at the time. There remained considerable uncertainty whether these populations were distinct from populations found on the outer coast—a defining criteria for ESA listings.

YELLOWEYES WERE ONE OF THREE SPECIES OF PUGET SOUND ROCKFISH THAT FORMER STATE BIOLOGIST SAM WRIGHT PETITIONED THE FEDS TO LIST UNDER E.S.A., WHICH THEY DID IN 2010. (NOAA)

NOAA Fisheries researchers set out to answer this question, using genetics to determine if these rockfish populations were distinct from outer coast populations. Population genetics is a powerful technique, but one that requires getting enough tissue samples to analyze. This is a challenge when the species are rare as was the case with these rockfish species. Overcoming this challenge led the researchers to a unique solution. The results were recently published in a special issue of the scientific journal Citizen Science: Theory and Practice.

WITH HELP WHERE TO LOCATE CANARY ROCKFISH IN PUGET SOUND FROM ANGLERS, FEDERAL BIOLOGISTS WERE ABLE TO FIGURE OUT THAT COASTAL AND INLAND SEA STOCKS WERE ONE AND THE SAME, ALLOWING FOR THE REVERSAL OF THE SPECIES’ 2010 ESA LISTING . (ODFW)

Recreational fishermen know where to find fish. The researchers asked recreational fishermen for help identifying places where they used to fish for these threatened species of yelloweye and canary rockfish. The recreational fishermen jumped at the chance to share their knowledge and become citizen scientists. They supplemented information provided by the scientific research community and volunteered their expertise fishing in complex rocky habitats.

“Fishermen have the knowledge and expertise that allowed us to answer some really basic questions about these threatened rockfish species,” said Kelly Andrews, lead author of a new scientific paper and research fisheries biologist at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

“The recreational fishing community and charter boat captains have been out on the water daily, sometimes for decades. They have a lot of built-up information about how fish populations are doing and where those species, especially rare species, are most likely to be found and captured,” said Andrews.

(NOAA)

The results of the collaboration were impressive. When the researchers tapped into the fishing community’s knowledge, they tripled the number of sampling sites and doubled the number of ESA-listed rockfish tissue samples collected.

When researchers analyzed the genetic make-up of the collected samples, they found two significant results. Yelloweye rockfish found within Puget Sound and the inside waters of British Columbia, Canada were genetically different from those found along the outer coast. That is, there are distinct population groups inside and outside the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin region. In contrast, canary rockfish were genetically similar across the regions; the populations were more connected than originally thought.

With this new information in hand, federal fishery managers expanded the ESA protections for yelloweye rockfish by modifying the Puget Sound population’s  boundaries. In addition, ESA protections were removed for canary rockfish; the first time that’s ever happened for a marine fish species.

By working with the recreational fishing community, the researchers found a cost-efficient way to collect the necessary samples for genetic analyses that led to improved management of endangered rockfish.

Editor’s note: Other authors of the paper “All Hands on Deck: Local Ecological Knowledge and Expert Volunteers Contribute to the First Delisting of a Marine Fish Species Under the Endangered Species Act,” which appears in the journal Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, include Puget Sound Anglers president Ron Garner.

Offshore Lingcod, Other All-depths OR Bottomfish Fair Game Starting Sept. 3

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

Anglers will be able to fish for bottomfish at any depth beginning Tuesday, Sept. 3. 

LINGCOD LIKE THIS ONE CAUGHT BY ROGER GOODMAN OUT OF NEWPORT ARE FAIR GAME DEEPER THAN 40 FATHOMS (240 FEET) OFF THE OREGON COAST STARTING SEPT. 3. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

The rule limiting fishing to inshore of 40 fathoms, which keeps yelloweye rockfish mortality below the annual limit, was originally scheduled to run through the end of September. However, fishery managers have determined that enough 2019 yelloweye rockfish quota remains to remove the seasonal depth restriction early this year. 

The move to all-depth fishing in early September will give anglers more opportunity to head offshore for lingcod and other bottomfish. In addition, a shift of some fishing effort to deeper waters may reduce incidental catch of nearshore species such as copper rockfish, which has already reached the annual limit.

“A lot of anglers really look forward to the fall all-depth bottomfish season, especially for offshore lingcod,” said Maggie Sommer, ODFW marine fisheries manager. “Opening to fishing at all depths at the beginning of September this year should allow anglers to take advantage of this additional opportunity while weather and ocean conditions remain good.”

This change also means that all-depth halibut anglers may retain bottomfish on the same trip, since this is allowed when the sport bottomfish and halibut fisheries are both open at all depths.  

For more about bottomfish regulations, visit https://myodfw.com/sport-bottomfish-seasons

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ODFW Commission Sets 2019 Groundfish Regs, Adopts Urban Deer Program

THE FOLLOWING IS AN O.D.F.W. PRESS RELEASE

At their meeting in Salem today, the Fish and Wildlife Commission approved rules for a new urban deer control program for cities experiencing problems from high urban deer populations.

SOME URBAN DEER ARE BELOVED — THE NOW DECEASED NORRIS THE BUCK, AND SOME NOT SO MUCH. (ODFW)

The rules are based on SB 373 passed by the 2017 Oregon Legislature, which called for the development of a pilot program to allow cities to reduce deer populations in areas where high densities of deer are causing damage, health and safety concerns. To participate in the program, cities will be required to pass an ordinance or resolution declaring that city deer populations have risen to a level that is a public nuisance as well as an ordinance prohibiting the feeding of deer. Any cities participating will also be required to salvage deer meat and donate it to charity to the extent possible.

The Commission adopted recreational and commercial nearshore groundfish fisheries regulations for 2019 as proposed by staff. Next year’s regulations are very similar to 2018 regulations. The general marine bag limit will again be 5 fish. The lingcod, cabezon, and longleader fishery bag limits will also be the same as 2018, and retention of blue/deacon rockfish will be allowed in the longleader fishery. New for 2019, yelloweye rockfish allowances have increased, so recreational fishing will be allowed out to the 40 fathom line (instead of 30 fathom line) during the seasonal depth restriction, and the restriction is proposed to start one month later, on May 1.

YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH ANGLING WILL BE ALLOWED 60 FEET DEEPER IN 2019 THAN 2018, OUT TO THE 40-FATHOM LINE. (ODFW)

In other business, the Commission voted to:

  • Provide ceremonial hunting tags to the Burns-Paiute Tribe.
  • Fund several Access and Habitat projects and Restoration and Enhancement Projects, plus appoint Richard Heap of Brooking as Sportfishing Representative and Cary Johnson of Astoria as Gillnet Representative to the Restoration and Enhancement Board.
  • Adopt rules as proposed by staff for providing big game hunting tags to nonprofits for use by disabled veterans.
  • Update the Wild Turkey Management Plan, the first update since the Plan was adopted in 2004. The Plan adopted today updates trap and transplant guidelines, expands methods to address nuisance and damage, and outlines ways to improve hunter access to wild turkeys and strategies to create new turkey hunters

The Fish and Wildlife Commission’s next meeting is Jan. 18 in Salem.

2019 Halibut, Bottomfish Seasons Subject Of 4 ODFW Early Aug. Meetings

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

ODFW will host a series of public meetings the week of Aug. 6 to gather input on the 2019 recreational bottomfish and halibut seasons. People who can’t attend meetings can also listen in via Webcast (details below).

MORE YELLOWEYE ROCKFISH WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR HARVEST DURING OREGON’S 2019 SALTWATER FISHERIES. (ODFW)

One key change for next year is that beginning in 2019, the amount of yelloweye rockfish that all fisheries, including recreational fisheries, are allowed to impact will be going up. This increase in yelloweye rockfish should allow for some additional opportunities. However the quotas for many other bottomfish species will remain at current levels or decrease a bit. ODFW will be seeking input on how to balance the season structure and regulations to stay within these allocations.

“It’s important that we hear from a wide range of anglers before making decisions on the 2019 seasons,” said ODFW Recreational Halibut and Bottomfish Project Leader Lynn Mattes.

The meetings will be held:
Monday, Aug. 6, 6-8 p.m. in Salem at ODFW Headquarters (4034 Industrial Drive SE) in the Commission Room.
Tuesday, Aug. 7, 6-8 p.m. in Newport at the Marine Resources Program office, 2040 SE Marine Science Drive.  This meeting will also be webcast, details below.
Wednesday, Aug. 8, 6-8 p.m. in Brookings at the Southwestern Oregon Community College, Curry Campus, 96082 Lone Ranch Parkway.
Thursday, Aug.9, 6-8 p.m. in North Bend at the Public Library, 1800 Sherman Street.

Anglers who wish to provide input but cannot attend a meeting in person or via the webcast can contact Lynn Mattes at 541-867-4741 ext. 237 or lynn.mattes@state.or.us or Christian Heath at 541-867-4741 ext. 266 or Christian.t.heath@state.or.us.  Background information will be posted on the ODFW sport bottomfish and sport halibut webpages by Aug. 3.

Webcast details:
Join from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/173547725
You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (571) 317-3122
Access Code: 173-547-725
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