Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
On Thursday February 4th Director Unsworth and staff will be holding a public input meeting in Southbend and here is the link. http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/jan1116a/ I realize most will react with " oh my god another dog and pony show! " In many ways yeuuuupppppp could be correct. That said I attended a TU meeting that the Director was the speaker and folks the man is sincere. He is different than most of the past Directors if not all of them. He really does listen and learn from these things. By learn I think ( that is always dangerous for me that think thing ) he is from Idaho and is learning who we are. Who WE are folks and at 68 I can say with certainty that WE are the most cantankerous, opinionated, stubborn around. WE are also the most dedicated, passionate advocates for the fish around. So attend if you can and learn about Mr. Unsworth so in the process he can learn about you.
North of Falcon is around the corner so it is time to start looking ahead to what a small Coho runsize will mean. Just say the forecast is 30K which is a little above escapement. The GHMP dictates on a small run 5% if the runsize is less than 110% of escapement which allocates 73% / 1095 to fresh water and 27% / 405 to 2-2. ( bay fishery ) The 73% freshwater impacts also include the Chehalis tribal catch. This thing could ( likely will ) get tight.
For Chinook this year is when the ocean PDO loses should show in the 3 year old age group and if it is in the tank I am not sure exactly how you craft the seasons. Last year's fishing genetic testing in Willapa 2T showed substantial GH Chinook impacts so that will be in the mix also.
This down turn is normal, has happened before, and will happen again. The difference between the past and present is the loss of two million hatchery produced adults which in a normal year would be between 20 to 40k adults. This means our H over W mix is way way backward for C&R in a full blown fisheries.
We are all about to see what happens when our harvest is heavily dependent on natural production. We are about to see just why HSRG hatchery reform NOT being fully implemented was & is really a bad idea. You can thank the former director there I think. He did his best to maintain traditional fisheries and did a rather good job at it. The down side is we are about to get the bill for it all at once. Looking back I think maybe we screwed the pooch just a bit much on this one.
One last item. No I do not know the escapement numbers for last fall. I inadvertently ( I think ) got the fall Chinook numbers and sent them out immediately to folks, which I am not sure I was supposed to do. Before my screen melts no I do not know why numbers such as escapement are such a secret. It is absolutely as ass backwards approach as you can get from my seat. It is what it is though so we muddle forward.
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in