U.S. Customs & Border Patrol CBP-Roam App Is What CBP Wants Anglers To Use When Returning From Canadian Waters

SquidPro Tackle's Halibut Fishing Chronicles

After several calls to U.S. Customs & Border Patrol regarding fishing in Canadian waters and returning to U.S. waters I have some answers for anglers. First off, the U.S. CBP officers I have spoken with said the following.

“We recommend anglers returning to U.S. waters either call us by phone or use the CBP-Roam App. If you don’t make the call or use the app and are contacted by the U.S. Coast Guard or WDFW they will require a clearance number. And, if you go fishing, crabbing or shrimping and acquire anything it is required that you MUST call us or use the CBP-Roam App.”

CBP Roam-1In other words, if you are successful in Canadian waters you MUST call 1-800-562-5943 or use the new CBP-Roam App. The app is awesome and uses your phone’s GPS, which must be turned on to allow the app to know where you are. You can…

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Fisheries Managers In Washington & Canada Continue Mismanaging Salmon Stocks!

BC Fish MapFisheries managers on both sides of the border continue to mismanage our fisheries. This week WDFW announced massive Draconian cuts throughout Puget Sound. Meanwhile, British Columbia Fisheries managers announced massive no fishing zones that will have untold negative effects to the sport fishing community and tourism to the tune of 100s of millions of lost dollars to the province.

“Trust us,” says the fisheries managers on both sides of the border. “We know what we are doing, and doing what we must to save endangered expected low runs of key Chinook runs.”

I’m sorry, but I have no trust in this bunch of idiots. These fisheries managers are nothing more than bureaucrats protecting fiefdoms of fisheries control and power. These same fisheries managers on local, state and federal levels as well as politicians are responsible for the following.

In Washington State

  1. Dam rivers
  2. In 1972 they created Marine Mammal Protection Act without reasonable measures to reverse or eliminate this protection. Pinnipeds are now overpopulated by a factor of six. A recent study concluded pinnipeds are eating more than 600 metric tons of Chinook salmon every year in Washington state waters.
  3. Allowed commercial over harvest of salmon
  4. Mixed hatchery stocks throughout the Puget Sound basin virtually destroying genetics for individual river stocks.
  5. Between 1962 and 1973, allowed capture of Orcas for aquariums. At least 263 were caught or killed in the waters of Washington and British Columbia (Bigg and Wolman 1975).
  6. Prior to current WDFW two agencies controlled fish and wildlife, Department of Fisheries (saltwater) and Game Department (freshwater & game). On the saltwater side fisheries managers favored commercial fisheries. When the agencies combined each group had their own power bases and focus of effort. As you can imagine sports anglers got the short end of the stick before and after.
  7. Feds declare some runs of Chinook salmon as “Endangered” giving them and ESA listing
  8. Close or drastically reduced hatchery Chinook production because of ESA. As a result Orca numbers declined at the same rate as Chinook numbers.
  9. In 2006 NOAA fisheries managers declared 14 Puget Sound rivers have extinct runs of wild Chinook. This is largely due to mixing stocks by our fisheries managers
  10. Federal Fisheries managers do an end around to maintain control and create an ESU listing, “Evolutionary Salmon Unit.” Fisheries managers want to keep their jobs, power and control over man, land, water and fish. This new listing maintained control. This means when two “natural spawn” hatchery Chinook spawn without the aid of the hatchery they are essentially now wild and must be protected. This new listing maintains power and control, nothing more.
  11. Fisheries managers and state bureaucrats continue to allow salmon net pens

In British Columbia fisheries managers face many of the same issues listed above. And like Washington they must deal with Federal fisheries managers as well as First Nations fisheries managers and politics.

Orca and salmon decline graph


The Orca problem is one of the key issues across the border. And like Washington, Canadians don’t want to do anything meaningful to help the Orcas and instead focus on sports anglers. A recent report says a complete Chinook sport closure will only amount to less than 2% more Chinook for Orcas to eat.

In my opinion Washington and British Columbia needs to do the following to help increase Chinook numbers as well as feed the Orcas.

Sealions-11. Reduce numbers of seals and invasive California sea lions. Yes, this means “lethal” removal. This means getting Feds to eliminate or drastically change Marine Mammals Protection Act

2. Increase hatchery production

3. Decrease or eliminate commercial harvest of herring

4. Eliminate ALL non-selective gill nets

5. Force NOAA to reduce by-catch of Chinook in Alaska. Hundreds of thousands of Chinook are killed as by-catch in the mid-water trawl fishery in Alaska

6. Clip ALL hatchery Chinook

7. Manage overpopulation of cormorants and mergansers. These birds eat millions of smolts and should be controlled

We should all remember, there’s no money or continued control and power to restore our Chinook. From a bureaucrat’s point of view maintaining “status quo” maintains their jobs, power and control. The Chinook and Orca crisis is a multi-billion dollar industry that fisheries managers want to continue because it is profitable. Let’s end years of failed fisheries management policies and help the fish!

Below are some of the major changes for Washington State Salmon 2019 to 2020 salmon seasons.

Notable changes compared to 2018-19 season:

Ocean Marine Areas 3 La Push & 4 Neah Bay

June 22 to September 30 — Open for Chinook and hatchery coho. Areas will close when quotas are met. La Push has a 1,300 Chinook quota and 4,150 hatchery coho. Neah Bay has a 5,500 Chinook quota and 16,600 hatchery coho. Daily limit 2 salmon both areas.

Marine areas 5 (Sekiu) and 6 (East Strait Juan de Fuca) are closed to salmon fishing in February.

Area 5 — Sekiu open for Hatchery Chinook July 1 to Aug. 15 Hatchery coho and pinks open July 1 to Sept. 30. Daily limit of two salmon with no extra bag limit for pinks this season — there will be no bonus bag limits for pinks in any marine area in 2019.

Marine Area 7 is closed to salmon fishing in August, October, and January.

Marine Area 8-1 is closed to salmon fishing in December and January but open for coho fishing in October.

Marine Area 8-2 will be open from Aug. 16 through Sept. 15 for hatchery coho from the Mukilteo/Clinton line south and west towards Marine Area 9. Similar to 8-1, this area will be closed to salmon fishing in December and January.

Marine Area 9 opens slightly later (July 25) this year with a lower quota for Chinook (3,500 fish) and is closed in January.

Elliott Bay in Marine Area 10 is scheduled only to be open the first weekend in August, however, additional openings could be added during August.

Marine Area 10 will open July 25 for chinook fishing. The Area 10 summer quota is 3,057 chinook.  Last year it was 4,743.

Marine Area 11 is closed in June and then again from October through December. The area quota for the summer (July through September) is 2,800 chinook. In order to maximize opportunity for chinook, boat fishing will be open five days per week (Saturday through Wednesday) while shoreline fishing will be open daily.

Marine Area 12 (north of Ayock) will open in August (a month earlier than 2018) for coho fishing.

In Marine Area 13 there will be a 20-inch minimum size for chinook July through September.

Columbia River

The summer salmon fishery will be closed to summer Chinook (including jacks) and sockeye retention due to low expected returns this year.

Fall salmon fisheries will be open under various regulations. Waters from Buoy 10 upstream to the Hwy. 395 Bridge at Pasco will open to fall salmon fishing beginning Aug. 1.

Posted in 2019 Puget Sound Chinook Salmon Seasons, British Columbia Salmon Fishing Closure, Canadian Salmon Fishing Regulations, Chinook Salmon Recovery Plans, ESA Salmon Policy, ESU Salmon Policy, Orca Salmon Closures, Puget Sound 10 Year Salmon Plan, Puget Sound Salmon Seasons, Salmon Fishing, Salmon Fishing in Canada Rules, Uncategorized, Washington Salmon Fishing, Washington State Gill Net Ban, Washington State Salmon Politics, Wild Chinook Salmon Policy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Washington Fisheries Managers Not Standing Up For Recreational Anglers!

Negotiations are under way between WDFW & Washington Treaty Tribes regarding salmon fishing seasons for 2019 & Winter/Spring 2020. According to Gage Little, Sport Fishing Advocate, “It’s an all out attack on recreational fisheries from the Tribes!”

“And this year’s fishery process and agreement is just another example of their intent,” explains Gage. “Unless we can blow this up on Social Media and expose the obvious intent we will lose.”

Recreational anglers, take note here. Our salmon stocks are co-managed by WDFW and Washington Treaty Tribes. While some of the Tribes work great with Recreational Anglers, others do not or try to take advantage of the situation. I’m not pointing fingers at any particular Tribe, but we as sports anglers need to let our WDFW Fisheries Managers and WDFW Wildlife Commission know your thoughts.

Contact the Commission via this link: https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/contact

Several runs of “Wild” stocks of Chinook are fueling the fire and causing issues with the negations. As mentioned in previous posts, in 2006 NOAA found that 14 Puget Sound Basin rivers had extinct runs of wild Chinook, yet the Feds continue to manage and force Draconian fisheries measures that are pointless. Add the Co-manager between WDFW and Tribes factor and you have a real nightmare trying to manage these stocks. Also remember that any lost opportunity for Recreational Anglers could be taken advantage of by some Tribes via the “Forgone Opportunity” clause in the Treaty. In other words,  if they get 1/2 and we are suppose to get 1/2 of harvestable salmon but are prevented from fishing who gets the fish? The only other group that has the right to fish, Treaty Tribes for that area.

While this seems complex it is really simple. Recreational Anglers can be shut down and prevented from fishing to save just a handful of fish mathematically.

Please share your thoughts about this important issue and stand together as Recreational Anglers and let your WDFW Commissioners, Senators and Reps know your thoughts.

House Contact e-mail links here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/memberemail/Default.aspx?Chamber=H

Senate Contact e-mail links here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/memberemail/Default.aspx?Chamber=S


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2019-2020 Puget Sound Recreational Chinook Seasons Modeling Proposal

Salmon Season Proposals

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WDFW Increases Area 6 Salmon Limits to 2 Starting March 15th through April 15

eZ Spoon Two Fish LimitYesterday the WDFW increased the daily salmon limit from one to two because just 34% of the quota had been caught. The increase will be in effect from March 15th 2019 through the end of the season as long as there’s enough quota.


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WDFW Reduces Salmon Limit to 1 in Area 6 Effective Immediately

EZ Spoon King Salmon-1Today I went fishing and launched in Port Angeles. Before going fishing I checked limits and checked the WDFW app map which showed Area 6 still had a two fish daily limit. By the time I got home the app still said two fish limit but an Emergency Order had been released by WDFW lowering the Area 6 limit to 1 fish effective immediately. Luckily we only had two fish on the boat today.

February 28, 2019

WDFW reduces daily catch limit to 1 salmon in Marine Area 6 Action: Reduces the daily limit for salmon to one fish in Marine Area 6 (east Juan de Fuca Strait).

The 2018-19 Washington Sportfishing Rules pamphlet erroneously states that anglers can keep two salmon daily.

Effective date: Immediately.

Species affected: Salmon.

Location: Marine Area 6 (east Juan de Fuca Strait).

Reason for action: This corrects an error in the 2018-19 Washington Sportfishing Rules pamphlet. These regulations were agreed to with co-managers during the annual North of Falcon salmon season-setting process.

State fishery managers set the daily salmon limit at one fish to meet conservation objectives and increase the likelihood the winter fishery would remain open for the entire season.

Additional information: Anglers are reminded to release wild coho and wild chinook.

Information contact: David Stormer, Puget Sound recreational salmon manager, 360-902-0058; Mark Baltzell, Puget Sound salmon manager, 360-902-2807.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW “Fishing in Washington” rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.


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Former WDFW Fisheries Manager Says I’m Highly Misinformed. Sorry, I won’t Drink The WDFW Kool Aid

Response by Pat Pattillo, retired WDFW Salmon Resource Manager Policy Lead.

About wild salmon and hatchery reform.

I think this view (My last post) is highly misinformed, but may be prevalent within the sport fishing community. While I support expanded hatchery production that is under consideration by WDFW, the Tribes, and NOAA Fisheries, I also strongly support the principles of hatchery reform. I look forward to the WDFW staff review of hatchery reform requested by the Fish and Wildlife Commission, with respect to the science that forms the basis of a proper balance between hatchery and natural origin fish.

I started my career with WDFW at a time when hatchery production was at its peak throughout the Columbia River, Washington Coast and Puget Sound. The agency made a lot of mistakes under the assumption there was no limit to the potential for hatchery fish to provide for ever-expanding fishing. But a few problems were encountered along the way. Survival of hatchery produced Chinook and coho in the 1990’s dropped to 10% or less than levels of the 70’s and early 80’s. Ocean fisheries that were defined by Columbia River coho production were nearly closed due to failures of hatchery coho produced by ODFW, WDFW and federal facilities. Production of yearling Chinook that supported the incredible year-around sport fisheries in Puget Sound essentially disappeared as the delayed release program showed that fish had changed their migration pattern and no longer produced a significant “resident” population. Funding of state and federal production certainly took a hit in the 80’s, and the cuts were made based on the poorest performing hatcheries reflecting those low survival rates and poor fishery contributions.

And then there was the increasingly dire status of our wild populations. Hatchery fish made a major contribution to spawning numbers but we really didn’t have a handle on those estimates until we began to fin-clip hatchery produced Chinook and coho beginning in Puget Sound with the 1996 brood. Once those hatchery fish began returning in 2000, we were able to make accurate estimates of the hatchery contribution to spawning populations and we discovered that the “wild” spawners in many of our rivers were mostly hatchery fish, leading to the conclusion that our wild fish were in much poorer shape than we had assumed. Where we thought we were meeting spawning escapement goals, we found that those management objectives were not achieved, and we were compelled to reconsider those spawning goals realizing that the balance between wild and hatchery fish was not what we had thought.

We (Tribes and WDFW) developed new objectives for each river system that would lead to self-sustaining natural spawning populations while continuing to support hatchery production that would be the backbone of our fisheries. Those new objectives also are the basis for justifying “take” of naturally produced Chinook and coho listed under the ESA and allowing the permitting required for our fisheries to be opened. Hatchery Genetic Management Plans are also required in order to produce any hatchery fish under the ESA, since “take” is broadly defined to include the effects of too many hatchery fish mixing with naturally produced fish on the spawning grounds. Those effects are real, as scientific studies have repeatedly shown, but the impact on wild populations varies greatly and the hatchery management approaches that will achieve a robust, self-sustaining, natural spawning population in the future are different for each river system.

Natural processes including ensuring diversity of these wild fish with respect to spawn timing, distribution throughout watersheds, age structure and many other characteristics of healthy populations take a long time – many generations and decades, not just a few years. So it is entirely unrealistic to expect that policies and programs developed to address the very real problem of poor health with our naturally produced Chinook and coho will achieve their intended outcomes in as short a period of time as ten years.

Reviewing the FWC policies for operating our hatcheries is a good thing. It is entirely appropriate to question periodically the scientific foundation of those policies and programs, and to make adjustments where new or improved scientific findings apply. But abandoning the overarching principles of hatchery reform and our fishery management plans, such as has been proposed by proponents of the “a fish is a fish is a fish” view of the world is not an alternative worthy of our consideration and would lead to an unacceptable future with closure of our hatcheries and closure of our fisheries.

Thanks for considering my thoughts on this important matter.

Posted in Chinook Salmon Recovery Plans, ESA Salmon Policy, ESU Salmon Policy, Orca Salmon Closures, Puget Sound 10 Year Salmon Plan, Salmon Fishing, Uncategorized, Washington Salmon Fishing, Washington State Salmon Politics, Wild Chinook Salmon Policy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment