I received and responded to this e mail as a GH Adviser and was going to wait a while before saying anything but as I received it from another asking what this was about I figured the jig is up.

That all said I for one appreciate Mike reaching out for input as he did not have to reach out. THX Mike.

From Region 6:

Subject: though to adjust Chehalis Basin hatchery Coho bag limit

Hi all,

Iím writing to you to know that WDFW is discussing the possibility of increasing the hatchery Coho bag limit in recreational fisheries on the Chehalis, Satsop, and Skookumchuck rivers to two fish. We are considering this change in response to the number of hatchery Coho returning to our facilities this fall. As you are aware, the forecast for wild Coho didnít leave much room for harvest opportunity and agreed to fisheries during NOF took this information into account. We would like to hear what you, the advisors, think.

Thanks for your time.

Subject: RE: though to adjust Chehalis Basin hatchery Coho bag limit


After a little thought my response is no for the following reasons. First it is my understanding that this would require to legally redo the preseason forecast which the QIN would have to agree to. Although WDF&W does not circulate the QIN / WDF&W agreement for the year ( and has not this year ) past agreements contained a clause to not alter the preseason forecast. As the QIN & state have both muddled through this far with all sharing the pain it is rather illegitimate for the Rec fisher to now not have the same standards applied. Before Steve's illness he passed on that the QIN were not that pleased with altering the forecast last year by shutting down fisheries rather than utilize the preseason forecast for the entire season. I cannot imagine expanding a state fishery ( basically a preseason forecast redo ) would be all that well received.

Second item is after looking at the numbers provided by WDF&W we do not have harvest numbers be it QIN or state posted on the agency website after week 39 so for anyone to get a feel for the runsize is not possible. On the hatchery side Bingham has the bulk 5000 number up which was off one posting and the Springs is just shy of 6000. With the QIN preseason forecast of 12,319 hatchery returning adults that was used adding in Mayr and Aberdeen Lake we are likely at that benchmark. This thing where up to date harvest and hatchery rack counts not being made available is a very poor practice that only adds to folks perceptions which may or may not be valid.

That said the vast majority of the normal timed Coho are already in the hatchery and spawning reaches or soon will be. From this point in time on we will fish on the back end of the native Coho run of what is known as the T day fish and Late Coho. This portion of our Coho run traditionally under performs the normal timed portion and takes a real hit in the QIN Steelhead fishery starting December 1. While we have both the Bingham and Skookumchuck Mitigation hatchery origin Late Coho coming but the production and adult returns are rather small. Increased bag limits will result in increased harvest pressure and increased mortalities on the NOR Coho. As it is the NOR Coho that is the limiting factor not the abundance of hatchery origin adults it would be rather reckless to throw conservation standards into the dumpster to appease a few Rec fishers. Add to the mix this thought many may feel that if there are enough impacts for expanded Rec catch why not additional time for QIN & NT Nets? Many may feel that the level playing field concept for all just got trampled.

In years such as last year when the run fails restrictions usually get applied to the fisheries remaining which is the inriver Rec and rather unfair. It would be reasonable tool that in years that the runsize exceeds expectation and solid data is available to expand the inriver Rec catch. I have no problem with this concept but it needs to be discussed with all parties that wish to participate and a complete vetting of the concept based upon the historical catch patterns and run reconstruction. Parameters of just when & how this tool could be utilized established and known to all fishers be it Rec / NT / or QIN.

So again my response is no as it would be a rather reckless move to expand Rec Coho bag limits for the reasons outlined previously.


Edited by Rivrguy (11/10/16 12:21 PM)
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in