The rec community may feel dissatisfied over the loss of fishing access but many of us have beaten up WDFW over the wild Chehalis Chinook rarely making escapement. I think sports probably have exceeded the M.A. 2.2 modeled sport harvest of 572 total Chinook (530 wild). I also think there were few fish counts to back up the harvest estimate for this critical run. Overall I believe we should support this first attempt at in season management and any attempt to meet escapement.
They have told us for years that in season management is not an option. They have continuously underestimated the catching power of the sport fleet even though they have been asked year after year to look at it and compare to the model. With a dismal king escapement failure of 13 out of 16 years, they should err on the side of conservation and not open for king retention when there are only a few hundred "paper fish" to fund the fishery. Those kings should be used for funding as liberal of a coho fishery as the plan allows. We are getting manipulated by their "generous" offer of king retention, but the real deal is that if we fish for kings, it gives tacit approval for the gillnetters to have more days. Once the model is updated to reflect the improved catching power of the sport fleet, meaning if we can get away from using "the 20 year average", and start using "the 5 year average", chinook retention will be a thing of the past until they manage to get the run healthy. Regarding this closure, their intentions may be viewed as good by some, yes they are protecting kings, but if the model was correct, and the management was proper, it would not have opened for retention in the first place, and the sports wouldn't be left with a bad taste in their mouth again, shut down for coho fishing on one of the largest coho runs in history.
... Propping up an obsolete fishing industry at the expense of sound fisheries management is irresponsible. -Sg