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Washington State fisheries closures: comments

You may have seen news that WA Fish & Wildlife will close all Chinook and coho fisheries this summer, affecting salmon fishermen all along the coast that catch those WA fish as they pass by. This closure includes sport fishing! Cause is effects of drought in part, but also "conditions in Bering Sea" the salmon feeding grounds. Lack of their forage fish there is blamed in part on warming waters. Whatever it is out there also has likely affected long-term the drop in Chinook runs on the Yukon and Kuskokwim, where there has been no drought.

  Salmon bycatch by industrial pollock trawlers is another possible cause. It may not be the main problem, but it is one which federal managers and NP Council do have some control over, which brings us to the on-going political battle of industrial fleets v. small salmon fishermen. What have been the results of trawlers' demand for self-control? Closure of a whole AK-BC-NW coast is pretty serious wouldn't you say? Sportsmen and commercials need to see a common cause.

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