It’s A Sad Day For The Sports Fisherman In The PNW…

The word is out!

I heard it on the local news, last night. My husband visited the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, this morning.

Salmon fishing is expected to be very limited and the season short for the sports fisherman.

We may still be able to fish but for a much shorter period of time. Salmon season begins the first of July and continues through the end of October with winter black mouth (resident young king salmon) continuing through the winter. Even this year’s black mouth season is expected to close early.

Who suffers?

Non-tribal and recreational fisherman. Already, our ling cod and halibut seasons have all been reduced drastically while commercial and tribal fisherman get to continue.

Why? Because “state and tribal fishery managers could not reach an agreement on salmon fishing seasons in Puget Sound.” (today’s post on the WDFW website). It boils down to negotiations between the state and treaties with the local tribes. Politics, once again, and the local Coho (Silver salmon) numbers are about a third of what they normally are.

I agree that over fishing is a primary cause of these low numbers. I have been AGAINST net fishing for ANY fishery and it continues, unregulated or improperly regulated, for decades!!!

The sport fisherman tends to get the blame for low numbers and end up being the folks who suffer while the REAL offenders are the commercial and tribal fisherman who use indiscriminate means of fishing by using HUGE NETS that catch virtually EVERYTHING in its path, killing many untargeted fish species and other sea life. It’s INDISCRIMINATE and selfish greed, plain and simple.

Not only that, but broken or lost nets wind up killing even MORE sea life when they get away from the numerous fleets and get tangled around our large, majestic marine mammals.

Is there any real regulation of that activity occurring? The State says “yes” but I beg to differ. I’ve seen boats with nets in areas they aren’t supposed to be!

Still, it’s the sport fisherman who get blamed and punished. Comically, a lot of sport fisherman like to blame the seals but that’s THEIR natural food!

I’m not against a moratorium being put on fishing, as long as EVERYONE is required to participate. In fact, given the fact that MOST of the global fisheries are becoming more scarce, I would honor a GLOBAL-WIDE moratorium on fishing! But that’s not realistic because it would affect economies around the world.

However, with what I see, I call a spade a spade. If there is supposed to be a reduction in the salmon season, let it be for ALL FISHERMAN. Better yet, let’s just get rid of those nasty nets that cause way more damage to the marine ecosystems than anything else!!!!

In the Pacific Northwest, particularly Washington State, sport fisherman are required to fish with barbless hooks on fishing poles. What we catch and can keep has been reduced over time, to0. That is IF we can land them with the barbless hooks! Most of us understand and honor these limitations, but when the fisheries are low, like it has been reported this year, why is it the sport fisherman always gets punished?

If WE  (the lowly sport fisherman) have to fish with barbless hooks, then I think that commercial and tribal folks should ALSO fish with poles!!!


That’s a big part of why our fisheries, in general, are so low. Indiscriminate fishing with these dangerous killers of sea life just for ONE species of fish!

Better yet, let’s ALL OF US in the PNW not fish for FIVE YEARS!

Let’s share the blame and take responsibility! Will it hurt incomes and economies? Yes, but we’re already headed there! With the methods that are allowed to currently be used, our fisheries will be gone, anyway! Perhaps even in OUR LIFETIME!!!

Let’s be real about this issue! Let’s put aside greed! Let’s look at the problem in a real perspective!

I just bought my husband’s and my salt water fishing licenses. With this grim news, can we take them back?

Just sayin’…

Beach Casting for Salmon

Beach Casting for Salmon



2 thoughts on “It’s A Sad Day For The Sports Fisherman In The PNW…

  1. Yes, it’s the gill netters and it’s not right for them to continue. Even seals just catch one fish at a time…
    We have a salmon hatchery over here but we can only do one species. We have a fish ladder and keep working on installing open bottom culverts. We have one in so far…
    It’s wonderful to see the salmon coming up the creek but it would be nice to see more of them. We get about a one percent return (fish returning to spawn).
    Sport fishermen with one hook each don’t make a huge dent in the fish population so limiting their season won’t help much.


    • Yes! I agree. It has been aggravating to watch this political posing go on! The sport fisherman become the fall guy for all of the rules and laws that continue to go be broken by the greed of the gill netters. I don’t want to point fingers specifically at just one group of people and I won’t parse out whether its tribal or commercial because THAT’S NOT THE POINT. The point lay in the fact that these nets need to be banned, period. Indiscriminate fishing is sloppy and detrimental to ALL fisheries! If laws can be modified, so can treaties. Those that rely on the catch to make their living need to think in terms of fishing SMARTER not HARDER. It has been a bone of contention with me for a long time. I’ve been on the beach and talked to many sport fisherman. I hear the usual blame on the seals which is where I point out the same thing; seals eat salmon one fish at a time. Not only that, but they also must prepare their food to eat it. That’s why we see all of that comical slapping out there. That IS their livelihood! So, yes, the nets need to simply go. I’m not against a moratorium on fishing, but that also needs to be across the board for all. Period. Thanks for chiming in!


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