Tag Archives: Department of Fish and Wildlife

More Atlantic salmon coming to Puget Sound despite objections

The company that spilled thousands of invasive salmon into Puget Sound is sending 1 million more into local pens despite objections from state officials. “We are very concerned about Cooke Aquaculture’s plan to transfer up to 1 million Atlantic salmon smolts to a in Clam Bay across from Bainbridge Island. This is disappointing and frustrating, coming on the heels of the August collapse of Cooke’s net pen near Cypress Island that held 305,000 fish,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee said. click here to read the story 10:15

State gives OK to new salmon farm permit – The state found, however, that Fish and Wildlife didn’t have the authority to deny a permit to transfer fish into an existing pen, according to the joint release from Inslee and Franz. click here to read the story 10:42

Commercial Fishers and Fish Sellers Affected by the 2015 Refugio State Beach Oil Spill in California are Part of Class Action Lawsuit

Notice has been issued to Fishers and Fish processing businesses confirming that their claims are now part of a class action that has been certified by the United States District Court. Information has been mailed to each identified class members and additional information is available on-line, through various trade associations, and various publications. The Class Action arises from the May 15, 2015 rupture of a corroded underground pipeline owned by Texas-based Plains All American near Refugio Beach. As a result of the spill, the Department of Fish and Wildlife imposed a ban on fishing in a 138-square-mile zone from Gaviota State Beach to Isla Vista. click here to read the press release 09:24

North Coast seasonal crab haul above average

North Coast crabbers are set to end this year’s crab season Saturday on a high note after bringing in an above average haul of more than 11 million pounds of Dungeness crab worth $34 million between November and June, according to preliminary state data. “This is sort of an upswing in landings for that area,” Department of Fish and Wildlife environmental scientist Christy Juhasz said Friday. “Overall, it’s a good season.” The 10-year average haul for the North Coast is about 8.7 million pounds, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Juhasz said the final landing data will likely increase by a few hundred thousand over the coming weeks as more data is collected.  click here to read the story 08:30

Sonoma Coast Dungeness crab season delayed

crabber-dick-ogg-bodega-bayThousands of crab traps, stacked six feet or higher, line the sides of Westshore Road surrounding the Spud Point Marina, a clear indication this year’s commercial Dungeness crab season along the North Coast is off to another rocky start. “Look at what’s happening at Spud Point — there’s probably 10,000 pots sitting out there. Those are guys who aren’t going out,” said Charlie Beck, a Bodega Bay fisherman who has been crabbing in the waters off the Sonoma Coast nearly 40 years. “Our small fishing fleet is getting destroyed. Last year was the worst season that we’ve ever seen, and this year it’s looking pretty bleak, especially for the smaller boats.” State health officials last week recommended an indefinite delay for Dungeness along a 180-mile stretch of coastal waters along Northern California, from Point Reyes in Marin County to Humboldt Bay in Mendocino County, dealing another blow to the North Coast’s lucrative wintertime crabbing season following last year’s 4½-month delay. Read the story here with 12 images 10:01

State of California officials optimistic for crab season: Coast Guard to begin safety inspections

dungenesscrabThe upcoming Dungeness crab season appears to be headed in a good direction and authorities are reminding fishermen to begin checking their safety equipment in preparation for the season, according to the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Coast Guard. Coast Guard officials are set to being inspecting crab-fishing vessels next month on Nov. 8, 9 and 10 at commercial fishing ports from Monterey to Crescent City. The safety checks are part of the Coast Guard’s Operation Safe Crab, an outreach initiative intended to reduce fatalities and accidents during the season. During the safety checks, Coast Guard personnel check vessels for the required lifesaving equipment, pot-loading practices affecting stability and vessel watertight integrity, according to the Coast Guard. Commercial crab fishing is an inherently dangerous job and West Coast crabbing vessels reportedly have a high fatality rate, Coast Guard officials said. Read the story here 08:32

Delayed Dungeness crab season sinks catch, sales for California fishermen

A historic delay in the 2015-16 Dungeness crab season reduced statewide commercial landings by more than a third this year and cut into gross sales off the boat by about 44 percent, according to preliminary figures from the state. Bodega Bay, one of nine key commercial ports between Morro Bay and Crescent City, mirrored the sharp statewide downturn, with Dungeness landings down 37 percent from the previous season, to 1.8 million pounds, according to early calculations. The figures, from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, offer the first postseason look at a grim year for the normally lucrative commercial Dungeness fishery — the state’s second-most valuable, worth about $60 million in most years. Gross sales last season for the crab fleet topped $33 million, about 45 percent of the 5-year average, according to state Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, chairman of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture. Read the story here 19:56

California’s confidential fishing rights leave millions of dollars in mystery.

Over years of writing about and working in the fishing industry, I (Nick Rahaim) have often found it difficult to substantiate many things told to me – often as gospel – on fishing boats and in salty bars. Many of those stories aren’t of much consequence – that most fishermen found dead in the water have their fly unzipped, or that whistling in the wheelhouse will blow up a storm. But another story represented enough potential injustice that I had to learn more. A year ago, while working as a fisherman and freelance journalist in Alaska, I heard California seafood companies that buy and sell product were buying up squid permits – permanent fishing rights, limited in number, bought and sold on a market – from independent fishermen. The implication: They were trying to corner the market, creating squid cartels where they could control prices paid to fishermen, causing ripples down the supply chain to the consumer. (More on the system of fishing rights later.) Read the story here 10:45

Humboldt commercial crab season to open, but with an exception

dungenesscrabPress release from Department of Fish and Wildlife: Except for one area within Humboldt County, the California coast is open for recreational Dungeness crab fishing. The commercial crab fishery will follow in the same areas, opening May 12. The recreational Dungeness crab fishery is open north of 41° 17.6’ N latitude at the southern boundary line of Reading Rock State Marine Conservation Area (near Redwood Creek), Humboldt County to the California/Oregon border, however the recreational fishery remains closed between 40° 46.15’ N latitude (a line extending due west from the west end of the north jetty at the entrance of Humboldt Bay) and 41° 17.6’ N latitude. Read the rest here 21:28

Talks break down again between state, tribes to develop a joint plan for Puget Sound salmon fisheries

NOAA-LogoState and tribal fishery officials are again at an impasse over efforts , and it is uncertain when — or even if — a new season might open this year for sport anglers and nontribal, commercial fishermen. The talks this year have been complicated by forecasts for extremely poor returns of wild coho, which require harvest cuts to protect the weak runs. Rather than submit a joint plan for federal approval as in years past, both state and tribal officials now say they plan to submit separate management plans to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Fisheries. Tribal officials expect they could,,, Read the rest here 10:53

Oregon eyes Cathlamet Channel as gillnet site

State officials are hopeful they can open a second lower Columbia River off-channel commercial fishing location in 2016, this one in Cathlamet Channel of Wahkiakum County. Establishing additional off-channel commercial fishing areas, where gillnets can be used, is a key component of the Columbia River fishing reforms adopted by the Washington and Oregon fish and wildlife commission in 2013. Oregon has off-channel sites in Youngs Bay, Blind Slough-Knappa Slough and Tongue Point-South Channel, while Washington’s only site is in Deep River, a location which works for coho, but not well for chinook. Read the rest here 15:07

Court taking another look at higher commercial fishing fees for nonresidents

The state will get another chance to defend its former practice of charging nonresidents two to three times as much as Californians for commercial fishing licenses. A panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled 2-1 in September that the California laws discriminated unconstitutionally against nonresidents by making it harder for them to pursue their occupation. But on Friday, the court said a majority of its judges had granted the state’s request to refer the case to an 11-judge panel for a new hearing. Read the rest here 20:42

Sidetracked salmon rescued, released into Sacramento River

Operation Salmon RescueOperation Salmon Rescue is in full swing in Yolo County, where hundreds of the endangered fish are getting a second shot at life. Since as early as this past September, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has teamed up with both local and regional organizations to capture hordes of fully grown along the Colusa Basin Drain in the Yolo Bypass, who have strayed from their natural migration patterns into dead-end drainage canals. Read the article here 08:21

California delays opening of crab season amid toxic scare

dungenesscrabThe California Fish and Game Commission voted Thursday to delay opening of the crab-fishing season as officials scramble to deal with a coastal algae bloom that’s left Dungeness crabs with a potentially fatal toxin called domoic acid. Meeting by conference call, the commission voted 3-0 to delay the recreational crabbing season, which was supposed to begin Saturday. The opening of the commercial crab fishing, which is supposed to open Nov. 15, is up to the director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Read the rest here 12:41

Four men charged in Anacortes crab poaching case

dungenesscrabFour Anacortes men are facing criminal charges in an illegal crabbing case the state Department of Fish & Wildlife has been investigating for months. In mid-April, Fish & Wildlife authorities seized property believed to be connected to the case from multiple homes in the city.  They are accused of organizing crab poaching in Similk Bay. According to a Fish & Wildlife probable cause record, 38-year-old Ricky Lee Guttormson, 24-year-old Hank Berent Knutson, 19-year-old Logan Allan Eby and 45-year-old James Emmett Montour were involved in harvesting and selling Dungeness crab to undercover officers. Read the rest here 17:07

Fishing resumes in 138 square miles of oil fouled waters off the Santa Barbara coast

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife allowed fishing to resume on Monday that was closed following last month’s huge oil spill. Fish and Wildlife officials said decided to reopen the area following word from scientists that consuming fish caught in those waters poses no threat to human health. They said their scientists worked with their counterparts from the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to test a broad range of finfish, shellfish,,, Read the rest here 08:00

The history of salmon in Marin

The unfunny vaudeville show playing out around silver salmon in general—and their existence in Marin County in particular—is appalling. I am disgusted with the self-serving nature of some who claim to be defenders of the fish, and with the ill-informed Department of Fish and Wildlife, which has ignored and played fast and loose with the species,,, Read the rest here 16:39

Oakland couple fined, sentenced to jail for poaching dozens of Dungeness crabs in Half Moon Bay

A pair of poachers was sentenced to jail time and fined more than $20,000 Wednesday for smuggling dozens of Dungeness crabs in hidden compartments on their boat off the coast off Half Moon Bay.  Read more here  10:03

About 14,000 young salmon die in Elwha River release of 2.6 million fish

PORT ANGELES — About 14,000 dead 6-month-old salmon were counted in the rearing ponds of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Elwha River rearing facility after 2.6 million were released Tuesday afternoon. About 14,000 dead fish out of 2.6 million total represents a 0.5 percent mortality rate. Read more here  18:29

It’s back: dead whale turns up on shore

The dead whale had been towed out to sea starting Wednesday by a vessel working on behalf of the Fallbrook-based Marine Conservation Science Institute, but the carcass never made it quite far enough to escape the strong currents that brought it back to shore at Border Field State Park. Read more here  09:16

Two Suspected Fish Thieves Caught in Santa Barbara – Video

Two Santa Ynez Valley men have been arrested for allegedly stealing fish from the Santa Barbara Harbor area as part of a reselling scheme in Hollywood. The Department of Fish and Wildlife said the arrests came after an extensive investigation. Read more here keyt.com 01:13

Unprecedented experiment to revive chinook salmon

chinook smolt rio vista 2014Three hundred thousand juvenile chinook with tiny coded chips lodged in their heads were released in Rio Vista and under the Golden Gate Bridge over the past two days in an experiment to determine optimal conditions for hatchery-raised salmon to survive and imprint on their native rivers. Read more here  09:47

Department of Fish and Wildlife reviews Puget Sound commercial and recreational smelt regulations

“These forage fish are essential to the health of Puget Sound, where over the last several years we have seen an increase in the harvest of smelt,” Burley said in a news release. “So we’d like to discuss the current regulations to help ensure we have the appropriate harvest levels to continue to sustain the population. Read more Pew here  the newstribune.com 13:26

New salmon plan would restrict gill-net fishing on lower Columbia

The state Fish and Wildlife Commission is expected to approve phasing out commercial gill nets on the lower Columbia River, except in a few spots. While winning praise from sport fishermen, the plan is strongly opposed by gill-netters. Read more