The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) of Washington presented Sen. Kirk Pearson of Monroe this past week with its 2014 Legislator of the Year Award for his efforts toward Washington’s fisheries and support for recreational fishing, according to a CCA news release.
“Senator Pearson has been a champion of the immense economic, social, and conservation benefits of recreational fishing here in Washington, efforts to restore the popular sockeye fishery to Lake Washington, and defending the important role that well-managed hatcheries play in sustaining our salmon and steelhead fisheries,” Nello Picinich, executive director of CCA Washington said in a news release.
In the release it was noted that Pearson was instrumental in helping secure funds for the 2013-15 supplemental operating budget to study in-lake predation on juvenile sockeye salmon – a possible cause for the significant decline in Lake Washington sockeye population in recent years.
This study could lead to management actions that would significantly improve the frequency and magnitude of Lake Washington sockeye fisheries, which hasn’t seen a sockeye fishing season since the summer of 2006.
Pearson also conducted a work session to discuss the recent settlement between state Fish and Wildlife and the Wild Fish Conservancy concerning the state’s early-winter hatchery-steelhead program.