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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

February 26, 2011 at 2:22 PM

2010 ocean salmon fisheries review is now available

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Just took a look on the Pacific Fishery Management Council Web site and found the Review of 2010 Ocean Salmon Fisheries booklet document is out.

This 347 page is a wealth of information related to the West Coast salmon fisheries in Washington, Oregon and California.

One thing that caught my attention was the total West Coast income impact associated with the recreational and commercial ocean salmon fisheries for all three states combined for $25.5-million, which is 46-percent above the $17.4-million in 2009. 2010 had the third lowest income impacts on record, with 2008 having the lowest on record at $7.5 million and 2009 the second lowest (adjusted for inflation).

Here is a look at the Washington ocean salmon fisheries:

In 2010, 80,827 ocean angler trips were taken on vessels on the Washington coast, a decrease of 18 percent from the 98,926 trips taken in 2009, but 12 percent above the recent five year (2005-2009) average. About one third of Washington angler trips were taken on charter vessels in 2010, up slightly from 30 percent in 2009, but tied with 2004 for the second-lowest charter trip share observed since 1979.

The angler success rate (in terms of retained fish per angler trip) was 0.905 in 2010, down from 1.52 in 2009 and slightly lower than 0.92 recorded in 2008. Between 1979 and 1990, the retention rate averaged 1.49 salmon per trip. Since that period it has averaged 1.26 salmon per trip. Note that these figures do not include angler effort that occurs from the ocean side of the Columbia River jetty, or angler effort in the state managed Area 4B add-on fishery, when open.

In order to increase angler participation in non-salmon recreational fishing (e.g., bottomfish trips) and to extend the length of the salmon season, partial-week closures were instituted in the recreational fishery north of Cape Falcon beginning in 1985. Sunday through Thursday salmon openings were used beginning in 1996 in the Westport and Columbia River port areas. Neah Bay and La Push were generally open seven days a week, until more recently. In 2010 the recreational salmon fishery was open seven-days-per-week in the Columbia River area (south of Leadbetter Point). All open ports north of Leadbetter Point started the year with partial week openings but switched from partial week openings to a seven-day-per-week fishery in late-July. In 2010, north of Cape Falcon there were 39,600 bottomfish trips, an increase from 37,200 trips in 2009. All port areas with the exception of Westport experienced an increase in bottomfish trips compared with 2009.

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Buoy 10 and Area 4B Add-On Fisheries:

In 2010 anglers made a total of 52,000 trips in the Buoy 10 fishery, fishing from private and charter boats. This effort level is down 28 percent from 73,000 trips in 2009. Angler retention rates decreased from 0.75 salmon per angler day in 2009 to 0.29 salmon per angler day in 2010. This is the second-lowest retention rate on record since 2002.

In 2000, about 3,400 trips were made in the late-season Area 4B add-on fishery. Since that time there have been no late season Area 4B add-on fisheries (Table IV-15), with the exception of 2008, during which there were an estimated 782 private trips and no charter trips. There was no Area 4B add-on fishery in 2010.

There were numerous other inside recreational salmon fishing opportunities in Puget Sound and coastal streams and estuaries that are not discussed in the review.

Here are some other notes in the summary:

Total 2010 exvessel value of the Council-managed non-Indian commercial salmon fishery was $7.15 million, which is the fifth lowest on record, but more than four times above its 2009 level of $1.5 million.

California had its first commercial salmon fishery since 2007. The 2010 exvessel value of

the commercial fishery was 28 percent below the 2005-2009 inflation-adjusted average of $10 million and 88 percent below the 1979 through 1990 inflation-adjusted average of $59.3 million.

The coastwide average exvessel price for chinook in 2010 was $5.54 per pound. This was four percent below the 2009 level. At $2.17 per pound, average 2010 West Coast coho prices were six percent higher than in 2009.

The preliminary number of vessel-based ocean salmon recreational angler trips taken on the West Coast in 2010 was 182,900 a decrease of three percent from 2009, and 70 percent below the 1979 through 1990 average.

In general, the recreational fishery has tended to have a more stable harvest than the commercial fishery (in both absolute and relative terms). The majority of the annual variation in available ocean harvest is usually taken up in the commercial fishery.

However, both fisheries have suffered substantial declines relative to harvest levels of the 1980s, the effects of which are amplified within specific geographic areas.

To obtain a copy of the document, go to Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Web site.

If you plan on printing this remember it is a monster-sized booklet, and could eat up that small toner on your computer’s printer.

(Photos taken by Seattle Times staff)

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