Salmon Fishing Seasons Set For 2013

fishWA_2.jpg State and tribal co-managers yesterday agreed on a package of salmon fisheries that meets conservation goals for wild salmon populations and provides fishing opportunities on healthy stocks. Washington’s 2013 salmon fishing seasons, developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and treaty tribal co-managers, were finalized yesterday during the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (PFMC) meeting in Portland. The regulations cover salmon fisheries in Puget Sound, Washington’s ocean and coastal areas and the Columbia River. In developing salmon seasons, the first priority for state and tribal fishery managers is to meet conservation goals for wild salmon, said Phil Anderson, WDFW director. “This comprehensive package of salmon fisheries is consistent with ongoing efforts to protect and rebuild wild salmon stocks,” Anderson said. “Meeting those goals is key to ensuring the long-term sustainability of Washington’s salmon fisheries, which are important to the economy of many communities throughout the state.” Conservative harvest management by the tribes and state is making a substantial contribution to the recovery of wild salmon, but protecting and restoring salmon habitat is essential to rebuilding these populations, said Lorraine Loomis, fisheries manager for the Swinomish Tribe. “Salmon habitat continues to be lost and damaged at an alarming rate, and this trend shows no signs of improvement,” Loomis said. “Every year it is increasingly difficult to develop fisheries that meet the needs of Indian and non-Indian fishermen while still protecting weak wild stocks. Conservative fisheries, such as those developed for this year, must go hand-in-hand with protecting and restoring habitat to return salmon to abundance.”