Sportfishing in Washington State is in Jeopardy! It is time to stand up for what is right and let the WDFW Commissioners know something has to change! Take Action Now! We could have world class fishing her in Western Washington, but apparently sportfishing anglers are the only group with conservation in mind.
For those of you who do not know, there is a process here in Washington State that is called North of Falcon. Each year state, federal and tribal fishery managers gather to plan the Northwest’s recreational and commercial salmon fisheries.
This does not appear to have a legitimate basis in conservation, policy, or law, and ignores the significant conservation measures adopted over the past ten years by the recreational fishing community, including the widespread implementation of mark-selective sport fisheries. This year’s state-tribal North of Falcon agreement will shut down Chinook fisheries in Marine Area 10 while Marine Area 9 will be limited to a one-to-two week Chinook season this summer.
At the same time, tribal and non-tribal commercial fisheries, nearly all of which are non-selective (means they can retain wild fish), will again see little-to-no actual reductions.
Washington residents and businesses that rely on sport fisheries in the central Puget Sound, from Seattle to Port Townsend, will be hit hard by these reductions and other policies. In 2010 these Marine Areas supported 51,000 angler trips during a short six-week season.
At the same time WDFW is looking to raise recreational license fees again this year, by as much as 22%. You have to ask yourself, why would we (sportfishing anglers) support increased license fees when fishing opportunities are taken away?
GrowSportfishing.com will help you communicate with your representative or senator. GrowSportfishing.com is a coalition of recreational fishing organizations, businesses and individuals working together to conserve and enhance our fisheries and prioritize and grow sportfishing across Washington.
GrowSportfishing.com Mission – It is time to change the management of Washington’s fisheries to truly recognize and prioritize the economic, social, conservation, and agency revenue benefits of recreational fishing in Washington.
- Conservation – Sportfishers are the strongest supporters of fisheries conservation through selective fisheries, hours volunteered, and funding.
- Community – Sportfishing is an important part of the heritage of our state. Father to son. Grandfather to Granddaughter we pass this legacy and appreciation for the outdoors on.
- Economy – From equipment to boats to fishing guides the recreational fishing industry generates hundreds of millions of dollars a year for Washington’s rural and urban economies.
There are 800,000 recreational anglers in Washington State. Yet our state’s policies often fail to recognize the economic, social and conservation benefits of sportfishing and instead favor non-selective, subsidized commercial fisheries.
Sportfishing anglers are the largest single source of WDFW funding. WDFW’s priorities should reflect this reality. Non-selective commercial salmon fisheries threaten the future of our salmon and steelhead fisheries.