Pretty dry reading lately as a lot of folks have been trying to get information out. So just what are the objections in English? Well several but lets start with this. The release mortality from the commercial fleet is 56% at 90% compliance. In other words WDF&W is saying in the CR 102 that 90% of the netters will follow the rules and if they do only 56% of the fish the fleet release will perish. This is BS and there is no way that WDF&W will have the ability to get 25% of the fleet fishing days with onboard observers to which is needed to utilize the 90% compliance. In other words what information is out there basically says that commercial selective fisheries compliance with regulations ARE DEPENDANT on the percentage of the fleet with on board observers. Let us say that WDF&W only has 10% boat days with observers then compliance would drop from 90% to 70% or so which means the release mortality goes up 70% or so which results IN FAR LESS DAYS on the water for the gillnet fleet.

Next up is the definition of lethargic. Now when gillnetter drags a non targeted species up in a net the commercial fisher is required to:
a. Assess the condition and release the fish if vibrant,
b. Put the fish in a on board recovery box if lethargic and then release after recovery.

The problem? Well the same District 17 staffer that never saw Chinook coming out of a gillnet dead or lethargic as a observer evidently wrote the definition for lethargic in the Willapa and frankly the fish damn near have rigor mortis setting in to qualify as lethargic. This is important as during the commercial Chinook season and absolutely ALL the time that Chum are present in the commercial Coho season, the injured fish will fill the recovery boxes and require the nets be pulled for a time. So District 17's answer is just redefine lethargic to damn near dead so the commercial fleet can fish in a "selective fishery" with 56% mortality when in reality it much much higher!

This one is ugly. In the week of 10 / 8 - 14 the proposed catch is 3380 for Coho with a by catch of 2922 Chum mortality calculated at 56% @ 90% compliance. This is nearly 1 to 1 a dead Chum as Crab food for every Coho sold. After a two week absence to protect the Chum the commercial fleet returns 11/1-10 and the model projects 5415 of Coho harvested with a by catch of 1163 which is approximately 4.5 Coho sold to 1 dead Chum as Crab feed. Again this ratio is ridiculous to anal you choose but any way you cut it unacceptable.

So why all the gyrations? It is called "cooking the books" and District 17 staff have elevated the practice to damn near a art form! It is about finding a way to get the model to show that commercial impacts are acceptable.

Edited by Rivrguy (06/06/14 11:52 AM)
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in