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Washington, Tribes Set Salmon Seasons for
Ocean, Coast, Puget Sound, Columbia River

by Staff
Columbia Basin Bulletin, April 6, 2012

Spotty for spring chinook in Lower Columbia, but other fishing options around in southwest region State and tribal co-managers meeting in Seattle on Thursday agreed on a package of salmon fisheries that they says meets conservation goals for wild salmon populations, while providing fishing opportunities on healthy stocks.

Washington's 2012 salmon fishing seasons, developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and treaty tribal co-managers, were finalized during the Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting. The fishing package defines regulations for salmon fisheries in Puget Sound, Washington's ocean and coastal areas and the Columbia River.

In developing salmon seasons and catch quotas, WDFW fishery managers worked closely with advisers and members of the public to design state-managed fisheries that meet conservation goals for wild salmon and result in the fair sharing of harvest opportunity, said Phil Anderson, WDFW director.

"State and tribal co-managers worked hard to identify fisheries that were meaningful for both tribal and state fishers," said Anderson, who represents WDFW on the management council. "By using a variety of management tools, we were able to design those fisheries so that they are consistent with efforts to protect and rebuild weak wild salmon stocks."

Key to those efforts is repairing and protecting quality spawning and rearing habitat for salmon, said Lorraine Loomis, fisheries manager for the Swinomish Tribe.

"While effective harvest and hatchery management can help provide limited fishing opportunities, wild salmon continue to decline because their habitat is being lost and damaged faster than it can be restored. This puts our treaty rights at risk," Loomis said. "Habitat is the key to salmon recovery."

As in past years, recreational salmon fisheries in 2012 will vary by area:

Specific fishing seasons and regulations for marine areas in Washington and a portion of the Columbia River will be available in the next couple of weeks on WDFW's North of Falcon website at

Washington, Tribes Set Salmon Seasons for Ocean, Coast, Puget Sound, Columbia River
Columbia Basin Bulletin, April 6, 2012

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