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#942086 - 10/27/15 09:44 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET *** [Re: eyeFISH]
jgreen Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 04/18/12
Posts: 257
Loc: Elma, WA
I now have to drive at least 100 miles round trip for "a fair shot" at salmon, and now it looks like steelhead (at least early steelhead).

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#942087 - 10/27/15 11:40 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: jgreen]
Drunkenbubba Offline
Fry

Registered: 04/01/11
Posts: 31
Loc: Aberdeen WA
Originally Posted By: jgreen
Does this probably mean no December humptulips steelhead then? I love that early fishery.


I am wondering the same.

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#942088 - 10/27/15 11:50 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: jgreen]
eyeFISH Offline
Ornamental Rice Bowl

Registered: 11/24/03
Posts: 12424
Originally Posted By: jgreen
I now have to drive at least 100 miles round trip for "a fair shot" at salmon, and now it looks like steelhead (at least early steelhead).


At least....
_________________________
"Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." (Zane Grey)

"If you don't kill them, they will spawn." (Carcassman)


The Keen Eye MD
Long Live the Kings!

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#942095 - 10/28/15 11:42 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
slabhunter Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 01/17/04
Posts: 3639
Loc: Sheltona Beach
I remember catching a steelhead just after Thanksgiving on the Satsop years ago. This was at the tail out of the S hole before. I thought it was a ' Nooch stray
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When we are forgotten, we cease to exist .
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#942096 - 10/28/15 12:12 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
jgreen Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 04/18/12
Posts: 257
Loc: Elma, WA
I have caught some in December fishing for coho. The satsop has a winter run.

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#942098 - 10/28/15 12:34 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
FleaFlickr02 Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/28/09
Posts: 2873
I should look on the bright side. At least this year, I won't waste my time trying to catch steelhead on the Satsop. That's one nut I can't seem to crack, for whatever reason.

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#942100 - 10/28/15 12:56 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
jgreen Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 04/18/12
Posts: 257
Loc: Elma, WA
Use eggs FF02 smile

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#942124 - 10/28/15 03:04 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
DrifterWA Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 04/25/00
Posts: 4560
Loc: East of Aberdeen, West of Mont...
smile........no comment


Edited by DrifterWA (10/29/15 10:57 AM)
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#942208 - 10/29/15 12:26 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: DrifterWA]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3265
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope

NEXT UP IN THE DANCE:

For Immediate Release

Quinault Nation Closes Fisheries to Protect Wild Coho

TAHOLAH, WA (10/29/15)-- The Quinault Indian Nation has announced that it is closing all its fisheries in Grays Harbor and Queets River due to concerns about low returns of wild coho salmon and declaring a disaster due to economic hardship to its fishermen and their families, according to Quinault President Fawn Sharp.

“Closing the fisheries was a tough decision. The closure will have serious consequences and substantial financial losses for our community, but it's the right thing to do as stewards for future generations,” said President Sharp. “We will be seeking economic relief for our fishermen and their families, as well as providing what support we can through the Tribe,” she said.

“As we do every year, we participated fully in all pre-season planning with our state and federal co-managers, through the North of Falcon and Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission processes,” said Quinault Fisheries Policy Spokesperson Ed Johnstone. “After analyzing all available data, we concluded that the actual run sizes of wild coho returning to the Queets River and Grays Harbor are so far below expectations that closure was warranted. The closure will hurt our fishermen and reduce opportunity to harvest hatchery coho and other species but the situation was so dire that Quinault Nation felt that even incidental impacts to wild coho need to be avoided at this point in the season."

The Quinault Nation is working with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to determine how to approach management of fisheries directed at other salmon and steelhead. WDFW has indicated that it has closed non-treaty fisheries in Grays Harbor and the Chehalis River and its tributaries. WDFW and the National Park Service have not announced decisions regarding sport fishing on the Queets River and its tributaries.

As for a cause for a diminished return of the wild coho, Johnstone pointed to the "Godzilla" El Nino and blob of warm water off the coast. These conditions are expected to linger for the next few months. With forecasts of drought and continuation of adverse ocean conditions expected to severely impact food chains, we are extremely concerned about the ability of the fish that are in the ocean now and those produced from this year's escapement to survive. The fish returning this year are not only low in numbers, but in poor physical shape. There's a lot at stake. We want to minimize the potential to dig ourselves in a hole that will be hard to get out of. The condition of wild coho stocks from the Queets and Grays Harbor will affect future Quinault and ocean fisheries for years to come."

“People need to understand that these fish need a healthy ocean and we are facing severe challenges in the Pacific, ranging from acidification and sea level rise to storm events. We worry about the uncertainty of climate change impacts and developments like dams and oil terminals that could have disastrous consequences for the environment. We care about the Earth and the fish, wildlife, bugs, water, air and soil. These are not resources that can be wantonly exploited, but rather our relations that must be treated with honor and respect. Their future as well as ours have been entrusted to our care. It's not an easy job, but it’s one we must undertake, not only for Quinaults but everyone,” said President Sharp.

For now, we have to take responsible action here in our waters. It’s time to shut down,” she said.
_________________________
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#942284 - 10/30/15 10:17 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: Rivrguy]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3265
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope

As the dust settles on the closure of the fall salmon season both WDF&W and the QIN have put out their press releases and rational for what happened. For WDF&W's part it was a bit self serving as it was worded to say something and avoid any responsibility which is pretty much the same for the QIN. Now I am sure you are all shocked and appalled that this was the approach. That WDF&W failed to comply with the GH Management Policy is a given. That the QIN blew right through the numbers available for harvest is undeniable ( after the reduced runsize estimate ) but remember the state side pig piled right on so folks they are BOTH guilty as sin.

Now about the preseason forecast that was little more than a pipe dream one has to wonder just how did they mess up that bad. Good question but below and with this link http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/research/divisions/fe/estuarine/oeip/index.cfm you can see that NOAA was saying ocean conditions were not going to support the forecast.

NOAA ON PDO:
Many of the ecosystem indicators for 2014 point towards this being a relatively poor year for salmon survival. The summer PDO values were strongly positive (warm), coinciding with a ‘warm blob’ of water centered in the Gulf of Alaska. El Niño conditions were ‘neutral’, sea surface temperatures were warmer than usual, and the upwelling season started late and ended early. The biological indicators featured a high abundance of large, lipid-rich zooplankton, but a low abundance of winter fish larvae that develop into salmon prey in the spring, and moderate catches of juvenile spring Chinook salmon during the June survey off Washington and Oregon. Overall, juvenile salmon entering the ocean in 2014 encountered below average ocean conditions off Oregon and Washington likely leading to below average returns of adult coho salmon in 2015 and Chinook salmon in 2016. Our annual summary of ecosystem indicators during 2014 is here, and our "stoplight" rankings and predictions are shown below in Table SF-01, Table SF-02, and Figure SF-01.

So we had the WDF&W / Tribal preseason forecast and NOAA with totally opposite projections and the winner is .......... NOAA. So we and the fish loose. To be honest the ocean PDO is but one indicator be it a rather important one and THE CAUTION LIGHT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON. Instead it was full speed ahead on harvest from the ocean in until it was so obvious even the co- managers could not deny it. From the git go one local Rec ( JC ) was bringing the PDO issue forward but it was pretty much ignored by all in the NOF process including myself. I think JC thought we were all nuts but remember NOF is about " all paper fish must die " so hair straight back at a dead run we all went into the kill mode. But ( you knew that was coming didn't you ) some of us tried to unravel this thing but until the season started you do not get a feel for it. Still from the ocean in from the start the run appeared short and it was only a matter of how much short it would be. To make matters worse you cannot get the policy level WDF&W & QIN folks to manage the harvest in a cooperative manner. Sure the technical staffs proof out numbers and they do a reasonable job at it. That does little when the policy level ( those who make the final decisions ) just cannot get past this ( insert word of choice ) thing they have been doing for the last ten years. I have objected to this continuously and in April even took the issue to the Commission which I posted some time back.

Then this. NOAA thoughts outlined above are for Chinook to tank in 2016. Add to this NOAA's tracking of the Pacific has identified the El Nino will return and with a vengeance. In fact fears are it will surpass the 1997 event ( the worse in recent history ) and maybe even set a record for El Nino resulting in very low Salmon productivity. In a word folks odds are the good times of the past few years are about to go the way of the Dodo bird!

Add to that nearly ALL our fisheries in Grays Harbor are shall we say a bit dishonest as to the actual impacts of the harvest. Take the commercial drift nets both Non Treaty & QIN. They are modeled with a 5% drop out rate which includes Pinniped losses. For years this might have been accurate but not so in recent years. With the recent arrival of large numbers of Sea Lions it has just went ballistic! Setting on the wall at Wal-Mart you can watch the bow picker put out its net followed by the Sea Lions racing upstream and getting fish in front of or out of the net. It is rather easy to see when with all the commotion when they get one as the Seagulls race in to get their share. Then when they reel in the net you can count the number of fish coming over the bow. I witnessed this year as numbers as large as one to one and as low as one for the Sea Lions to seven in the boat. So 5%? Oh I doubt it in fact it ended up around 20 to 25%. So if the QIN got 10000 plus Coho another 2000 plus died be it by the Sea Lions not into the boat and they are not counted in the impacts. The Rec fisheries are similar but I think while problematic our mortality rates drop out and release are OK but ( again don't you just hate the but thing ) it does not take in effort. When the bay fishery was mostly locals and some traveling fishers OK but now it is much much greater number of fishers coming from all over and the harvest model does not reflect EFFORT. Inriver Rec the same / not much difference so drop the finger pointing.

So as the next years process of season setting starts in we cannot afford anymore silliness in the preseason forecast that we had from the co-managers this year. No longer can we set harvest with a wink and nod knowing full well it does not reflect the true impact of any fishery. The good ole days just left folks and reality is about to set in. It is what it is but it should be something to watch play out between the co-managers and all the harvesters. Finally remember this, the fish have no vote.





Edited by Rivrguy (10/30/15 10:19 AM)
_________________________
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#942305 - 10/30/15 12:05 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5479
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
The forecasts say there are fish, so we fish. The more we can front-load (ocean of before updates) the better off we the fishermen are.

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#942389 - 10/31/15 12:18 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: Carcassman]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3265
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
With the rain everyone has hopes that the drought thing is all done, gone, bye bye but the effects will linger. Even with the rain flows will drop down below average again by around the 10th of November according to the Northwest River Forecast Center. So just when you think your safe this will materialize. A retired staffer sent this a bit back and it is about to become relevant.

You noted, correctly, that low flows may not let Coho penetrate as far up the tribs. This means that, for a given spawn, fewer smolts will be produced. In the extreme drought at Snow, more Coho spawned in half the stream. We got half the smolts. Second thing that happened, and this will be critical because they use Index sections to survey, is that there will be more fish in the indexes because they can't get higher. We saw this, too, since we surveyed 100% of the anadromous zone. So, the estimated Coho escapement for 2015 will be reported as a number that is "higher" than reality and this will lead to a larger forecast in 2018.

As to chum, the method I have seen to estimate escapement is a mean number of fish days; how long a live fish is in the index. The number used in PS was around 10. Again, in the drought year, Snow and Salmon creeks had different survivals with Salmon being less than a week. The result was that the official escapement for Snow was higher than the official escapement for Salmon, even though Salmon had about twice as many spawners. We cut tails off of all carcasses so we only counted them once. In another drought in the mid-80s, a stream in Hood Canal never had a single live fish. One week, zero. Next week, post rain, 100 dead. By the "official" method there was no escapement. Plus, chum will also be affected by how far upstream they get.
Escapement methodologies are built on averages and average conditions.
_________________________
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#942425 - 11/01/15 11:02 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: Rivrguy]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3265
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope

Just when you think things will settle down in the world of salmon and fish something comes along to upset the ole apple cart so here we go. The issue is the QIN Winter Steelhead season but the issue is not Steelhead but rather the Late Coho run. How so this is a reasonable question but the answer is well .... complicated?

To understand the issue a brief look at history and the fish is required. So this link to WDF&W's harvest posting is needed. http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/commercial/salmon/files/2014_landings_archive.pdf This will allow one to match up what harvest is and run timing at the estuary harvest areas. Keep this thought this is ESTUARY run timing not 50 miles upriver.

So what is a Late Coho? Depends on where you are as it has been used in multiple places in hatchery programs in Grays Harbor & Willapa but for the Chehalis it is the December / January returns. The reality is our Coho run has three distinct parts. The Normal timed Coho first show in August in small numbers and ramp up in numbers steadily and tail out by week 44. This portion of the run is substantially larger proportionally than in its natural state due to large numbers of hatchery plants both fry & smolt that numbered in the millions back some years. Now natural selection has pretty much done away with the hatchery traits with time so the front part of the normal Natural Origin Recruits ( NOR ) is truly natural but is much larger proportionally than it was before human manipulation and front loading the run timing.

Then we have the back end of the normal run timing. When I was young this was called the T-day run. It comes in primarily in weeks 45 to 48. In the past this was proportionally a larger part of the Coho run but harvest & just us has reduced it . Then we have the true Lates that come through the estuary in weeks 48 through 51 with stragglers into January. In all three parts of the run you have overlap as a certain % of Normal timed Coho will come back late and a % of Lates comes back early.

So what does this have to do with Steelhead? Down and dirty a run at history is needed. After Boldt the Dept. Game did not accept the QIN fishers targeting "Native Steelhead" so they started planting out large numbers of early timed Steelhead from Chambers Cr ( and others ) for harvest both tribal and Rec. This resulted in a agreed to Steelhead season starting December 1 which we still have. Now for many in East GH at the time this was not acceptable. Why? Well they kicked the crap out of the Late Coho and wiped out the December Chinook. I personally objected one time and the Dept Game staffer bluntly told me that was the Dept. of Fisheries problem. Fast forward to the present and we still have December 1 start for winter Steelhead but since the joining of the two agencies and new genetic guidelines the early hatchery origin plants are not allowed so few Steelhead in December. ( look at the numbers December in the harvest report that I linked previously)

You then add to this little effort is made by either of the Co-Managers to track the health of the Late Coho. Sure on Bingham Cr. they have a very good count as the Science Division has a trap but little else of a serious nature that I am aware of. We do have hatchery releases identified as Lates at Bingham and for the Skookumchuck Dam mitigation which are really a hybrid cross between the back end of the normal run and Natural Lates.

Why is this all important? It is accountability in harvest pure and simple. We ( and the fish ) cannot afford to not clearly define the true impacts of ANY fishery Treaty or Non Treaty. That the QIN did not throw the first punch in this thing is not only true but I doubt if they got the second, third, or forth blows in. That said two wrongs do not make a right. The Late Coho are a very special fish to the East GH folks and other avid fishers and now a days are called the Native Hooknose on the Satsop. It is a weak component of the Coho run that does not perform in returns as well as the normal timed Coho due to environmental factors and a improperly managed Steelhead harvest.

In nearly every fishery in the Chehalis Basin ( Spring Chinook possibly the exception ) the dishonesty in quantifying the true harvest impacts by run components in not just troublesome but downright glaring. It exist everywhere but the QIN Steelhead harvest is simply the most obvious and damaging to the fish at the moment.

So to the point I have been making for some time. The Co-managers are dysfunctional to such a degree that they cannot get anything done, other than shut us Recs down when they screw up. If they cannot address a issue so clearly defined December Steelhead season what hope is there for the complex issues with years of much lower returns looming on the horizon? If it continues I feel it would be safe to say we and the fish are toast. Often it is said have to know where you have been to know where you are to know where you're going. It is just plain time to leave the past behind us folks because this thing between the Co-managers, whatever it is, cannot continue.
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Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#942427 - 11/01/15 11:18 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
eyeFISH Offline
Ornamental Rice Bowl

Registered: 11/24/03
Posts: 12424
AGREED...

This sham of a gillnet fishery supposedly targeting hatchery Chehalis steelhead in December (5 days a week, historically beginning latter half of November) has been the death knell for late wild coho in the system.

An intellectually honest accounting of steel vs coho encounters in this fishery would readily reveal just which species is the true target.
_________________________
"Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." (Zane Grey)

"If you don't kill them, they will spawn." (Carcassman)


The Keen Eye MD
Long Live the Kings!

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#942428 - 11/01/15 11:26 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
larryb Offline
The Rainman

Registered: 03/05/01
Posts: 2347
Loc: elma washington
years ago we caught wild steelhead in the Chehalis in December. was usually my best month plunking for them. now they are gone. the late coho on the Satsop [February] are gone. just saying
_________________________
don't push the river it flows by itself
Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.
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#942432 - 11/01/15 11:57 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: larryb]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3265
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope

Just rescued a dog floating down the river and shower is need. Larry the Native run had a early component but it got mowed down rather harshly with the Dec returning early plants. Still some around not nearly as many as before the old Game plants. They more or less got two for the price of one.
_________________________
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#942433 - 11/01/15 12:05 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
FleaFlickr02 Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/28/09
Posts: 2873
I posted a picture here of a hatchery steelhead, about 7 or 8 pounds, that I caught last New Year's Day on the Nooch. Nothing much special about the fish, but I hoped more people would notice the obvious net marks that this average-sized steelhead had in its dorsal region (the thickest part of the fish). That an average hatchery steelhead can slip through the mesh being used in the QIN "Winter steelhead fishery" leaves a bit of doubt in my mind that hatchery steelhead were the target species.

That particular gillnet fishery, running 5 full days a week from mid-November through the Spring closure, is the one QIN fishery that I loudly complain about. 5 days a week, leaving just 2 days a week for unmolested passage, is representative of neither 50% of the opportunity nor anything that can be called sustainable. I will never understand or condone it. Fortunately for the QIN, my approval is never sought.

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#942434 - 11/01/15 12:06 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
FleaFlickr02 Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/28/09
Posts: 2873
Nice work on the dog rescue, Rivrguy! You truly are a man of the people.

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#942443 - 11/01/15 06:41 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: Rivrguy]
fish4brains Offline
Dah Rivah Stinkah Pink Mastah

Registered: 08/23/06
Posts: 6210
Loc: zipper
Originally Posted By: Rivrguy


In nearly every fishery in the Chehalis Basin ( Spring Chinook possibly the exception ) the dishonesty in quantifying the true harvest impacts by run components in not just troublesome but downright glaring. It exist everywhere but the QIN Steelhead harvest is simply the most obvious and damaging to the fish at the moment.



This.
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Propping up an obsolete fishing industry at the expense of sound fisheries management is irresponsible. -Sg





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#942539 - 11/02/15 08:56 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: Rivrguy]
Moravec Offline


Registered: 03/27/08
Posts: 1040
Loc: Snoqualmie WA/Cordova AK
Originally Posted By: Rivrguy

And this and this should not surprise anyone, well anyone who understands the system.

Hi Everyone,

I want to bring you up to speed on the coho situation in Grays Harbor. We were called this morning by Quinault Indian Tribe with concerns about hooking mortality of coho in our steelhead and gamefish seasons that are still open in the Chehalis and Humptulips basins, and the conservation need for wild coho. After a long and difficult day of coordinating with the Director, acting AD Norman, and soon to be AD Warren, and 2 conference calls with QIN, we decided to close the steelhead and gamefish seasons in the harbor and tributaries to ensure continued support for conservation actions. We have relayed to QIN by voicemail this afternoon that: 1) we will be closing the gamefish fisheries, 2) that we will be hard pressed to keep hatchery coho closed in rivers with hatchery production once egg take is met, and 3) we want to continue to have a conversation about when is an appropriate time to open winter steelhead fisheries while minimizing coho impacts.

You should expect the closure to take place at 12:01 am on Friday.

I’m sorry to be the one bringing more bad news. As always, please give me a call if you have any questions or just need to yell at someone.

Steve Thiesfeld
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Region 6 Fish Program Manager
48 Devonshire Road, Montesano, WA 98563
Steven.Thiesfeld@dfw.wa.gov
360-249-1201


In the spirit of conservation, I assume the QIN will not open their directed Steelhead fishery since Coho bycatch exceeds their Steelhead catch?
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