Loc: Vancouver, Washington
Originally Posted By: Salmo g.
If all Willapa fishing is going to be governed by NOS, I think making the best of the situation, with the understanding that WDFW is under the gun for more budget reductions, then the best alternative going forward is to close the Nemah and Naselle hatcheries, leaving Forks (Willapa) as the sole source of hatchery production in Willapa Bay. This basically eliminates future gillnetting in WB, and the recreational fishery would ride on the fortunes of NOS. WB would likely shift to more of a coho fishery than chinook for sport fishing, but it could be HSRG compliant, with more recreational salmon catch that at present, or maybe not if it's all mark selective fishing.
I agree, if those two hatcheries close, the Naselle will become a coho fishery, to a large extent. But the Naselle River chum salmon stocks seem to be thriving, based on the large number of adults that migrate thru in Sept and Oct. And all the chum are wild fish. So if chum salmon can maintain their productivity on the Naselle, my sense is, so can the Chinook since their life history pattern is not that different (in the absence of commercial fishing). I realize that chum are not nearly as valuable as Chinook, so anglers currently do not focus on chum, so the harvest rate is low. But the point is, if the recreational harvest of adult Chinook can be closely regulated, they may be productive enough in the Naselle to have a reasonable recreational fishery, even without the hatcheries. So it might not be just a coho fishery.
But this has nothing to do with fishing the Chehalis Rv, which is the focus of this rather extensive thread.