08/06/2016 – John Snyder – Northwest Fishing News
Normally this time of year, you would see determined anglers lined up along the beach at Salsbury point fishing for the Coho that are on their journey to spawning grounds within several Hood canal estuaries.
Today the beach remains empty because the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has decided to no longer allow fishing in this once exclusive section of Marine area 9. In prior years Salsbury point was the only place you could fish for Coho within closure area 6 of marine area 9. On the map this is the area before the hood canal bridge at the entrance of marine area 12.
For years this has been one of my favorite places to pitch herring or toss buzz bombs for Coho. It saddens my heart that we will no longer be able to fish this area and no justification has been given for the closure as well. The negative impact upon Coho populations in minimal yet they have still closed this area to retention even fishing from the bank. This has become a reoccurring pattern within our state and it appears that it will only get worse.
Tribal influence and conservational fanaticism have taken control of our fishing rights and now we’re no longer able to fish in areas with more than abundant fish populations.
Over the past few years Washington anglers have been victim of massive closures to several of the most popular fishing destinations in the state. The sport fishing community is in uproar as well due to the fact that tribal netting has been allowed to continue on these same rivers where the supposed conservational outcry resulted in the area being closed.
As a long time patron of Kitsap county’s various fishing destinations, I have seen some of my favorite fishing spots closed to fishing. The Tahuya river was a go to for Coho, now closed to retention. The mouths of Chico creek and Gorst creek have been closed to fishing and now Salsbury closed.
This year has been one of the worst in regards to closures in the Puget sound region. The Puyallup has been closed during prime salmon season as well as the Skokomish.
These closure all initiated as a result of the dismal forecast on this year’s estimated Coho returns. Now reports are coming in that Coho numbers are stronger than ever and these area’s are not being open based on hard data versus inaccurate predictions.
In the end it appears these closures are nothing more than tribal political manipulation rather than conservation and the sport fishing community stands on the side lined waiting for a turn. Even better, the WDFW is proposing increased fees for fishing licenses, which will result in paying twice as much for the right to fish with significantly fewer fishing opportunities.
Across sport fishing communities, we are seeing many who have elected to take up illegal fishing practices and others who have found even worse forms of retaliation. The tensions are high and I don’t see it getting better anytime soon. As an avid angler, and media person in the sport fishing industry, I will weather the storm and strive to keep people aware of the happenings taking place that affect the industry. I am truly grateful to all those who support our efforts, thank you all.
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