Tag Archives: Washington

Inslee issues emergency order for green crab infestation, a danger to clams, Dungeness crabs, and salmon

Gov. Jay Inslee has issued an emergency order urging immediate action and legislative funding to address the population growth of the invasive European green crab after the Lummi Nation reported 70,000 counted in its sea pond in 2021 and the Makah reported a count higher than any since 2017. The emergency order issued Wednesday is aimed at eradicating the invasive species, which competes with native life and preys on juvenile clams, to prevent its permanent establishment in the state. >click to read< 10:54

Off Washington state’s coast, Dungeness crabbers get early start to season, haul in bounty

Some 60 vessels in Washington’s oceangoing crab fleet worked through a stormy December to bring in more than 4.69 million pounds of Dungeness in a strong start to the annual harvest. The ocean harvest has unfolded in a stretch of coastal waters from Klipsan Beach south to the Columbia River. Fishers also have had to endure some tough, chilly weather during the final weeks of 2021. “We’re all from Alaska so it seems pretty normal to us,” said Daniel Crome, who was raised in Petersburg, Alaska, and fishes out of Westport with a five-person crew that as the catch rates dropped off, was cut to four. Back at the docks, these Dungeness have fetched $4.75 a pound or more. >click to read< 08:23

Fire guts commercial fishing boat but spares injury

A man escaped injury in a boat fire last week in the Ilwaco marina. The F/V Tlingit Princess was billowing smoke from the cabin as authorities descended on the scene early Sunday afternoon at the Port of Ilwaco. Owner Earl Soule was the lone occupant on board at the time of the fire and was able to safely evacuate. “Everything I’ve got is in there,” Soule said as he watched the Ilwaco Fire Department douse flames flickering through the cabin windows. photos, >click to read< A GoFundMe campaign has been established. – Help Earl Soule rebuild after the fire – Please, donate if of you can and help them meet their goal. >click here< 14:46

Western Flyer takes another step in restoration

The first phase of restoring the Western Flyer fishing boat is nearing completion in Port Townsend, Washington, The 76-foot purse seiner was chartered by author John Steinbeck and marine biologist Ed Ricketts for a biological collecting trip to the Sea of Cortez in 1940. The nonprofit Western Flyer Foundation plans to base the boat in Monterey and use it as a floating classroom for scientific studies. On Dec. 4 the cabin, or wheelhouse, of the Western Flyer was reattached. >click to read< ,,, From 2013, John Steinbeck boat rusts in Anacortes – Time has been less kind to the Western Flyer. The battered old tub, which has been called one of the most famous boats in American nonfiction, has sunk twice in the past six months and was still underwater off a dock in Anacortes as of two weeks ago. >click to read< For everything in between, >click here< 14:47

Recently released salmon eggs likely bore the brunt of record breaking rains in the Pacific Northwest.

Standing outside his house in Blanchard, Washington, water up to his thighs, Kevin Morse watched in awe as a few salmon, usually found in a nearby creek, swam across his driveway. Morse is just one of thousands of people across western Washington and British Columbia who experienced severe flooding in mid-November.,, As communities turn to cleanup efforts and brace themselves for yet more rain, experts say that the flooding could have both positive and negative ecological impacts on salmon. >click to read< 22:01

Coast Guard, good Samaritan’s rescue 3 from fishing vessel taking on water near Cape Flattery, WA

The Coast Guard and a good Samaritan vessel crew rescued three people aboard a 48-foot fishing vessel taking on water Friday one mile north of Tatoosh Island near Cape Flattery. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound command center received a report at 1:15 a.m. Friday that the 48-foot commercial fishing vessel F/V Garda Marie began taking on water within the Olympic National Marine Sanctuary with three adults aboard. >click to read< 12:17

Calamitous West Coast commercial albacore tuna season nears end

With only weeks remaining in the commercial season, some fishermen have already declared it one of the worst in decades.  It’s simply been a ‘bad’ tuna season, according to Western Fishboat Owners Association Executive Director Wayne Heikkila, who monitors the tuna fishing season coastwide from California to Washington as part of the nonprofit group representing 400 albacore fishermen on the West Coast.,, “Effort was down this season as most fish were farther offshore. There are still some larger vessels 200 miles out catching some,,, >click to read< 10:02

Peter Pan Seafoods to require employees to be vaccinated

A seafood processing company with operations in Alaska and Washington state will require its employees to be vaccinated,,, The policy will be enacted in tiers. The first tier includes employees at company headquarters in Bellevue, Washington; the Seattle warehouse; Alaska processing facilities in Valdez, Port Moller, Dillingham, and Alaska support centers in Dillingham, Sand Point and Naknek. >click to read< 09:54

Tribal fisheries advocate Lorraine Loomis of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community has passed away

Loomis spent the last about 40 years serving the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, most recently as chairperson. She began her career in fisheries working in fish processing in 1970, and then became fisheries manager for her home tribe following the 1974 Boldt decision that reaffirmed tribes’ treaty-protected fishing rights.,, Chairperson of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission is the lead negotiator for tribes in the North of Falcon salmon fisheries planning process with the state of Washington. Loomis was also involved in developing the Pacific Salmon Treaty between the U.S. and Canada, served on the Fraser River Panel that manages sockeye and pink salmon, and encouraged local restoration and research for salmon and shellfish. >click to read< 09:13

James (Jimmy) Omegna, a retired commercial fisherman. has passed away in Tacoma, Washington

James (Jimmy) Omegna 04-05-1946 to 02-21-21 – Jim was born in Tacoma, grew up in the Fife Valley and lived his whole life in Washington State. Jim was an avid fisherman, bird hunter, journeyman plumber, entrepreneur, and boat captain; the best father and a kind and generous friend and neighbor to many people, from Alaska to Baja, Mexico. Jim was a popular and successful charter captain based in Westport, WA where he operated his boats the Cold Spaghetti I and II during the 70’s and 80’s. As the industry declined, he switched gears to commercial fishing in Bristol Bay, AK during the summer herring and salmon seasons. When not in Alaska, he fished the San Francisco Bay herring runs and worked The Great Salt Lake brine shrimp season, he was never one to sit still. >click to read< 14:45

Northwest tribes unite over GOP congressman’s pitch to breach Lower Snake River dams

The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians unanimously approved a resolution Thursday calling for breaching of the Lower Snake River dams to rebuild salmon runs, save endangered orcas and secure funding from Congress to replace the benefits of the dams. The group represents 57 Northwest tribal governments from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Northern California, Southeast Alaska and Western Montana. A plan proposed by Congressman Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, to do just that was panned by key leaders in Washington state earlier this month.  >click to read< 20:48

Multiple challenges hamper commercial Dungeness crab season

The commercial Dungeness season in California opened late because the state’s Risk Assessment Mitigation Plan (RAMP), which is in full-force for the first time this season,,, “It’s a little bit tough right now,” said Dick Ogg, who has fished commercially out of Bodega Bay for more than 20 years. “That’s kind of an understatement.” Ogg is a member of the Dungeness Crab Gear Working Group, which contributed to the RAMP. Ogg says he and other vessel operators have come up with a variety of strategies to reduce the chances of migrating whales or endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtles getting tangled up in gear. Ogg pulled his crab gear out early this year, deciding to put his energy into prepping for the salmon season. But he said for the vessels still at it, the higher market prices made up for low catches.  >click to read< 14:08

Probe in fatal boat fire still active

City police and federal arson investigators continued to search for clues Monday into the death of man on a fishing boat at the Port Angeles Boat Haven. The man, who has not been named by authorities, was found after a suspicious fire aboard the 30-foot Karen L early Sunday. Port Angeles police have not ruled out homicide or arson. The Port Angeles Fire Department said two people were sleeping on the boat when the fire was reported at 5:57 a.m. Sunday. One person escaped the fire without injury,,, Police interviewed the person who was on the boat when the fire started. >click to read< 15:29

National Marine Fisheries Service designates critical whale habitat areas in Alaska and the West Coast

The National Marine Fisheries Service Wednesday published a final rule designating critical habitat for three populations of humpback whales including some areas in Alaska. The federal ruling affects the eastern Aleutians, Kodiak, Prince Williams Sound, as well as the coastlines of Washington, Oregon, and California. The rule establishes about 116,000 square nautical miles of protected area for the endangered Western North Pacific and Central American populations of humpback whales and the threatened Mexico population. >click to read< 09:14

Washington State making a muddle of saving salmon

Local experts connected in various ways with salmon fishing and conservation must be ready to blow a gasket over the Washington Legislature’s latest clumsy efforts to “help.” In legislators’ defense, saving salmon is a supremely messy business, with more murky cross currents and furious undertows than a dangerous outer coast beach.,, Intentional confusion is added by outsiders whose only interest is in grabbing salmon for themselves or using the issue merely as a means to generate financial donations from well-wishing urbanites. And as if all that wasn’t enough, salmon management is also bound up with the need to help Washington’s endangered resident orcas, and with the obligation to coordinate some policies with Oregon and Canada. >click to read< 18:31

Historic Ancich netshed nearly ready for commercial fishboat use

The City of Gig Harbor is within weeks of making the historic Ancich net shed and pier available for use by commercial fishermen,,, Fisherman Peter Ancich built the net shed in the 1920s. It was acquired by the city as part of Ancich Park in 2012. It is one of only 17 netsheds remaining in Gig Harbor, most of them in private hands. Seven remain working net sheds. Fishing vessel owners, especially those with smaller boats without home sheds, have been lobbying the city for several years to reopen the Ancich pier and shed for shared used among commercial boats. >click to read< 16:41

Oregon commercial crab fishery to open north of Cape Falcon Feb. 16

This area has remained closed to commercial crabbing to coordinate an orderly start with the Washington coastal Dungeness crab fishery. Results from recent domoic acid testing of crab viscera (guts) conducted by the state of Washington indicate that levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid are still elevated in the viscera of crab. Until further notice, all crab harvested from Point Chehalis, Wash. to the Washington/Oregon border will be required to have the viscera (guts) removed ,,,  Prior to the opener, crab vessels in this area will be allowed to set gear from Feb. 13 onwards, >click to read< 07:43

A life-long fisherman – Lawrence “Larry” Edward Goodell Sr., 71, of Aberdeen, Washington, has passed away

Larry was raised within a commercial fishing family where the Columbia River provided a way of life that sustained Larry and his family for generations. Larry’s childhood home, located at Pillar Rock, Washington, was part of a small but historic fishing community where the tide ruled and salmon provided. Prior to graduating from Naselle High School in 1968, at the age of 14, Larry took ownership of his first gillnet boat and fished for Point Adams Packing Co. as a young commercial fisherman. At 14, Larry also became a member of the Altoona Snag Union and fished among his dad, relatives and other comrades for over 50-years. >click to read< 12:28

Meet the Merchant: Kurt Englund, Englund Marine & Industrial Supply

Describe what Englund Marine & Industrial Supply does and who it serves. “We supply fishing gear and boat parts for commercial and recreational fishermen and marine applications. We also stock a full line of industrial supplies. A lot of it goes to our local mills, loggers, construction companies, fabricators, municipalities and so on. And we get a lot of general residents in for home projects as well.” Tell me about the history of Englund Marine,,,  >click to read< 11:05

“Challenging,” “Inconsistent,” “Strange” – Rotten tuna season comes to a close

It’s been a stinky season for Washington and Oregon commercial tuna fishermen. The final albacore tuna landings are offloading at local ports this week, ending was has been a tough overall 2020 fishery. “Challenging,” “Inconsistent,” “Strange” and “Worst ever” are some of the words used to sum up the season by local processors, commercial and recreational fishermen. Catch coast wide this season has been about two-thirds of the 20-year average, according to Western Fishboat Owners Association Executive Director Wayne Heikkila, who monitors the commercial tuna fishing season coast wide from California to Washington as part of non-profit group representing 400 albacore fishermen on the West Coast. photos,  >click to read< 18:25

Lars Petter Austnes: Longtime commercial fisherman was known for his big heart, Viking spirit, has passed away

Lars Petter Austnes of Edmonds, Washington passed away on April 29, 2020 at the age of 64. Lars was born October 2, 1955 in Ålesund, Norway, the third child of four to his parents Edvin and Henrikke Austnes. In 1985, he moved to Ballard in Seattle, Washington to work with other Norwegian fishermen in the growing Alaskan Pollock industry in the Bering Sea. Upon arrival, he began his long employment for Glacier Fish Company, owned by the heroic leader and friend, Erik Breivik. He started on the company’s Northern Glacier Catcher/Processor as a Bosun. Lars Lars married Kim Starwich of Ballard October 19, 1991. Lars and Kim have been residents of Edmonds since 1990 and have two daughters, Annika (25) and Kristin (24). He loved and cherished his wife, girls, and dogs dearly. >click to read< 21:20

Dungeness crab: Central California numbers rise to average of five times that of past decades

Fishermen from California to Washington caught almost all the available legal-size male Dungeness crab each year in the last few decades. However, the crab population has either remained stable or continued to increase, according to the first thorough population estimate of the West Coast Dungeness stocks. “The catches and abundance in Central California especially are increasing, which is pretty remarkable to see year after year,” The secret to the success of the Dungeness crab fishery may be the way fishing regulations protect the crab populations’ reproductive potential.  >click to read< 14:34

Feds reject removal of 4 US Northwest dams

The four dams on the lower Snake River are part of a vast and complex hydroelectric power system operated by the federal government in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The massive dams, built in eastern Washington between 1961 and 1975, are at the center of a years-long battle that pits the fate of two iconic Pacific Northwest species — the salmon and the killer whale — against the need for plentiful, carbon-free power for the booming region.,, Snake River sockeye were the first species in the Columbia River Basin listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1991. Now, 13 salmon runs are listed as federally endangered or threatened. Four of those runs return to the Snake River. >click to read< 08:17

Sea lions are cash cows in the Bay Area. Farther south, fishermen say, ‘Shoot ‘em’

Sea lions are increasingly living in parallel universes along the California coast, a disparity best observed amid the noisy, stinking spectacle that rolls out daily at San Francisco’s Pier 39 shopping center. There, hundreds of these enormous, mostly male California sea lions bark, defecate, urinate and regurgitate, but are immensely popular with tourists.,, Officials in Washington, Oregon and Idaho are so irate at marauding sea lions that they have asked for federal permission to shoot certain ones identified as feasting on salmon and steelhead,,, >click to read< 10:01

Four Washington Dams Again on Chopping Block

Farmers, fishermen and environmentalists sparred Thursday over a proposal to breach four dams on the Snake River to prevent extinction of salmon born there. The time could be ripe for the proposal long favored by environmentalists, with requirements under decades-running litigation dovetailing with measures called for by a state task force bent on saving endangered killer whales. The government is preparing to take an official position in February on whether breaching the four dams is necessary.  >click to read< 20:31

Crab-price talks set to continue Saturday – processors initially pushed for an open ticket

A fleet leader said Friday night that “We have only one price offer on the coast of $2.75. Fishermen will be continuing talks tomorrow [Saturday] with hopes the processors will come out with a more realistic price offer under current market conditions.” Crabbers are urging an opening price of $3.25, while processors initially pushed for an open ticket, meaning they could pay whatever they determine to be appropriate after crab are delivered. In Northern California, where the season opened on Dec. 15,,, >click to read< 10:09

NOAA Argues to Allow Makah Tribe to Hunt Gray Whales off Washington Again

More than two decades ago, Makah tribal members killed a 30-foot gray whale in the waters off the Olympic Peninsula amid bitter protests from animal-welfare activists. The tribal hunt in May 1999 touched off a protracted legal battle that on Thursday took center stage inside a Seattle federal building. The proceedings over the tribe’s treaty right to hunt gray whales are expected to last more than a week in the courtroom-like setting. >click to read< 23:12

Dungeness crab ‘meating up’ at slowest rate in years; also slow to harden

Dungeness crab in Long Beach Peninsula waters have the lowest percentage of meat in at least five years of late-October testing. More than 85% of local crab also are too soft to harvest. This is bad news for the traditional Dec. 1 opening date, which has often proved illusory in the past two decades.,, All areas must be at least 23% before a commercial crabbing season can commence under terms of the Tri-State protocol that governs crabbing in the waters of Washington, Oregon and California. In another potential problem for a timely season start, Washington coast crab are especially slow to harden this autumn. >click to read< 11:47

Feds seek expanded habitat protection as salmon, orcas battle climate change, habitat degradation

Advocates for the designation say it provides another layer of review and more legal protection for the whales. “We are thrilled,” said Steve Jones, spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity,,, However, Lynne Barre, head of killer-whale protection for NOAA, said she did not anticipate big changes if the designation is approved after a public comment period, because activities such as dam operations and fishing already are subject to review by the agency for their effect on endangered species. >click to read<  13:32

Proposal would kill more sea lions to protect fish

More than 1,100 sea lions could be killed annually along a stretch of the Columbia River on the Oregon-Washington border to boost faltering populations of salmon and steelhead, federal officials said Friday. The National Marine Fisheries Service said it’s taking public comments through Oct. 29 on the plan requested by Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Native American tribes. The agency says billions of dollars on habitat restoration, fish passage at dams and other efforts have been spent in the three states in the last several decades to save 13 species of Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead protected under the Endangered Species Act. >click to read<  13:43