Terminal Areas vs Migration Highways

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Terminal Areas vs Migration Highways

Postby grizz80 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:28 am

Can someone explain to me why a terminal area can have less fishing restrictions in some case than do the so called "highways" leading to that area?
I cannot grasp why a restriction is placed on a fishery many miles away from a terminal area (e.g. MA5,6 and 7) where a fish might not be returning to the area of concern but then allow eased fishing at the terminal end.
To me if the concern is for a terminal river, stream, bay etc... the strictest restriction would be in the vicinity of that terminal to allow the fish to migrate without dodging hooks and nets and NOT for fish that are many miles away where a majority do not end up in the concerned terminal area. bangheadwall
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Re: Terminal areas vice Highways leading to

Postby Nelly » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:28 pm

Hey Grizz,
Great question and the rub is that, at least in the Straits of Juan De Fuca, one man's terminal area is another's mixed-stock fishery (aka "highway").

In Marine Area's 5 & 6 the critical or "driver stock" was the Dungeness River chinook.

In this instance, 5&6 the terminal area for the Dungeness stock but is also the migratory path for virtually all the central and south Puget Sound chinook, coho and pink salmon.

This year's NOF was a bitter pill for Straits and San Juan anglers (and I am most certainly in this group) and I'm hoping that these restrictions will be a memory and not a fact of life in the coming seasons cheers
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Re: Terminal areas vice Highways leading to

Postby rrenick65 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:13 pm


I think the your question opens a very large can of worms. The biggest gap in knowledge of our fisheries is in the marine and estuary environments. We can monitor and study juveniles out migrating in the river and we can do the same when fish return to spawn. But once these fish hit the saltwater fisheries managers struggle with tracking migratory patterns and life histories. Some studies have been done and are in progress to learn more about Puget sound survival and estuary life histories (which on a side note, a seal and sea lion scat study was done in 2007-08 showing over population and large amounts of predation on particular sizes of salmonids in Puget sound, nothing has been done, same study done again in 2014-15 with similar results).

The truth is state and tribal managers rely on the CWT program to track catch rates on particular stocks in most marine areas, some test fisheries as well, but neither of these means of tracking stocks in the marine environment is efficient, especially with bias in CWT tagging rates in some hatcheries. Essentially, you can't tag 100% of fish from one hatchery, and 10% from another hatchery and expect to see similar recoveries. Canada plays a large role in our inefficiency of tag recover and tracking marine migratory patterns in the saltwater. Hence, why the southern end of Vancouver island has nearly a year round fishery in the essentially the same waters that we are limited to a few months a year.

I understand where you are coming from. Why should 5 have a summer fishery and not East 6 when based on WDFW logic other protected stocks, like the stillaguamish summer chinook, have to navigate through more boats and hooks than the Dungeness stock. There's got to be a change in our management practices and research, which will be expensive, which requires our politicians to allocate funds more appropriately, AKA quit putting our fish and wildlife money into the state general fund and re-allocating for other purposes...
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