WHAT ROUND ARE WE IN?
The annual slugfest we’ve come to know as North of Falcon (NOF), the process for setting salmon fishing seasons between sport anglers, commercial slaughter and tribal greed, has finished this 2017 round with a few less swollen knuckles, broken noses and cauliflower ears than last year. But by no means does that indicate the fight is over.
Last year it all came down to a bloody draw with no real winners. Anglers were left off the water in many cases while the tribes went about their indiscriminate “usual and accustomed” taking of just about anything anywhere they chose.
This ’17 version is slightly better for certain areas but leaves others in an empty ring. To some anglers it will be somewhat palatable and to others it was a punch below the belt. Without getting into the details, just be sure to make yourself aware of the seasons, limits, areas and changes that happen during in-season. By going to the WDFW website you should be able to stay abreast of any changes as they occur. Maybe.
As you’ve read in this space over the past few months, there has been a petition going around to encourage open-door or video sessions during NOF. That didn’t happen (this year) but it is early in the fight. The report from the petitioners to TRN is this:
“After digging as deep as we can into the Tribes relentless objection to even having a small video camera in the room, there is one reason that continues to be echoed. They want to protect their public image at all cost!
Many sources close to, and people who actually attend the negotiations, have all said the same thing. Once the doors are closed, the attitude of some of the Tribal members completely change from their public persona. Admission by some of WDFW’s staff, some tribal members become very confrontational, and even racist in their remarks.
The Mucklshoot tribe was expressly singled out by several.
There are some tribes which have a more cooperative reputation, and are often times the victims of verbal attack by other tribes during the negotiations. The Tribes certainly don’t want that broadcast, and they don’t want to curtail that behavior either, it seems.”
WOW! They are even throwing punches at each other?
You can read more about this in Terry Sheely’s Columbia River Region on page 12 of this issue.
In my opinion, one of the major questions is…is it time for WDFW management to take off the gloves and come out swinging or continue dancing around the ring playing rope-a-dope.
COMMERCIAL ON CCA
Well, an old commercial fishing nemesis has popped up once again. Pete Knutson of commercial industry Loki Fishing Company in Seattle has written a letter to his elected representative about his disappointment of the reps signature of a “sports priority” letter on the Columbia River fisheries. Then he notes (in his opinion) that the Costal Conservation Association (CCA) is the primary sport fishing organization pushing for reallocation on the Columbia River, claiming that CCA national, pushes the interest of wealthy sport fishermen against “working communities.”
He went on to write, “The primary mission of CCA has been to destroy commercial fishing communities, use short-sided sport-fishing groups, while greenwashing their underlying motives.”
Wow Pete! Thanks for the entertainment. LOL.
I’m thinking that this letter has more holes in it than a rotten boat hull and a few wraps of bailing-wire aren’t going to keep the boat afloat.
If you missed the openings of trout season last month be aware that there are still a huge amount of fish to be caught. Some of the plantings were enormous and with the winter-like spring weather many anglers decided to take a short hiatus.
Those fish are still in the water and getting larger by the day. If you aren’t taking the family out for lingcod, rockfish, halibut or shrimp, then a few evenings or weekends on the local lakes is well worth your while, and maybe a great fish-fry along the way.