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NW Fishletter #229, April 16, 2007

[5] Management Council Picks Ocean Harvest Option

On April 5, the Pacific Fishery Management Council picked it's mid-range option of three potential choices for this year's chinook harvest off the Washington Coast. That means the total allowable catch for non-Indians above Cape Falcon, Oregon will be 32,500 chinook, with commercial trollers allowed to harvest about 18,000 of them. The quota is lower than recent years due to a combination of less abundance in general, and a recommendation from NOAA fisheries to cut the harvest rate on lower Columbia tules, which are listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Recreational fishers will be allowed the lion's share of 140,000 marked coho, about 118,000, and half of the non-Indian chinook quota.

The treaty Indian share of the offshore chinook fishery will be capped at 35,000 chinook and 38,000 coho.

Along the south coast, off Oregon and California, fishing effort will be greatly increased from last year, because of much improved numbers of Klamath River fall chinook.

Puget Sound sportfishers will be able to take part in seven new marked chinook fisheries this year -- four in the summer and three next winter. Pinks are expected to return to the Sound in large numbers as well -- 3.3 million, 1.3 million more than came back two years ago. -B. R.

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