Thursday, March 02, 2006

salmon fisheries off the Washington coast

OLYMPIA Cuts of about 50 percent are looming for the summer and fall sport and commercial salmon fisheries off the Washington coast, at Buoy 10 and in the lower Columbia River.
In June, the National Marine Fisheries Service listed wild coho in the lower Columbia as "threatened'' under the federal Endangered Species Act.
That designation came too late to affect the 2005 fisheries, but it will be a major factor this year and into the future, Phil Anderson of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said Tuesday.
The Pacific Fishery Management Council begins the process of crafting salmon seasons off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California on Monday in Seattle. Final adoption will come April 3-7 in Sacramento.
The exploitation rate (which adds harvested salmon and incidental deaths occurring in catch-and-release) on unmarked Columbia River coho in the ocean and at Buoy 10 averages 28 percent. Buoy 10 is the popular August-September sport season in the lower 16 miles of the Columbia.

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