Archive for September, 2014

Request for nominations for an at-large position on the Scientific and Statistical Committee

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) is seeking qualified candidates to consider for an at-large position on its Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC). The successful candidate will serve out the remainder of the 2013-2015 Council advisory body term. At this time the Council is particularly interested in candidates experienced in groundfish stock assessments, ecosystem analyses, or economic/social analyses. To ensure consideration, nominations should be received at the Council office no later than Tuesday, October 21, 2014.

Please visit the Council’s “Current Advisory Body Vacancies” webpage to get the full vacancy announcement and instructions on how to submit nominations.

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Solicitation Notice for EFPs for swordfish and other highly migratory species

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The Council is soliciting applications for an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) to test alternative gear as a substitute to the large mesh gillnet gear currently used to target healthy highly migratory species (HMS), or to test new approaches or methods for using large mesh gillnets to fish with a significant reduction in bycatch. Download the full solicitation letter that describes the purpose, process, and evaluation critieria.

The Council announces a deadline of 11:59 p.m., Pacific Time, February 9, 2015, to submit EFP proposals to the Council office, addressed as follows:

By mail:
Dr. Donald O. McIsaac, Executive Director
Attn: HMS EFP Proposal
Pacific Fishery Management Council
7700 NE Ambassador Pl. Suite, 101
Portland, OR 97220

By fax: 503-820-2299

By email: pfmc.comments@noaa.gov or Kit.Dahl@noaa.gov

On envelope, fax cover sheet, or email subject line, please enter “Attn: HMS EFP Proposal.” In the event an EFP proposal does not meet the above deadline, it does not necessarily mean the Council will not consider the proposal; however, lack of inclusion in the advance Briefing Book for the March 2015 Council meeting may mean no advisory review and dramatically reduced chance of the Council advancing the proposal to the next step.

Should you have any questions on this matter, please contact Dr. Kit Dahl at Kit.Dahl@noaa.gov or telephone: 503-820-2422.

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NMFS recommended proposals

Monday, September 29th, 2014

NMFS Recommended, as summarized from Agenda Item K.1.b, NMFS Report 2

  1. Amend language for the directed commercial fishery to allow earlier transfer of unused quota to the salmon troll fishery. Current language refers to the “fall salmon troll fisheries”; however, salmon regulations do not have a defined “fall” fishery. The goal of this change is to allow flexibility for inseason transfer of the unused portion of the directed commercial halibut allocation.
  2. In the CSP and regulations, update references to Northwest Region and Northwest Administrator to West Coast Region and West Coast Administrator due to the recent merger and name change.

Return to the main Proposed changes to the 2015 Pacific halibut regulations and Catch Sharing Plan blog

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California recreational fisheries

Monday, September 29th, 2014

California Recreational Fisheries, as summarized from a Council motion

1.  Season Dates and Inseason Action

No Action: A fixed season that is open from May 1 through July 31 and September 1 through October 31. No inseason adjustments will be made.

Alternative 1: Revise the season length so that the fishery is open for one month during the timeframe May 1 through October 31. Selection of the month would occur under final action in November. Inseason adjustments may be made.

Alternative 2: Revise the season length so that the season is open for a 15 consecutive day period during the timeframe May 1 through October 31. Selection of the 15 consecutive day period would occur under final action. Inseason adjustments may be made.

The Council also provided the following guidance to NMFS: In establishing the California sport fixed season, NMFS should work with CDFW to use a formula similar to that used in the Puget Sound area, which is to calculate a projected catch per day and number of days to achieve the subarea quota.

Return to the main Proposed changes to the 2015 Pacific halibut regulations and Catch Sharing Plan blog

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Oregon recreational fisheries

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Oregon Recreational Fisheries, as summarized from the ODFW Report

Options for the Columbia River and Southern Oregon Subarea Allocation

1. Increase the Southern Oregon subarea allocation; reduce the Oregon contribution to the Columbia River allocation.


No Action Alternative 1 Alternative 2
Columbia River equal to WA contribution 75% of WA contribution 50% of WA contribution
Central Oregon Coast 96% 96%
Spring All-Depth 61% 63% 63%
Summer All-Depth 25% 25% 25%
Nearshore 12% 12% 12%
Southern Oregon 2% 4% 4%

Shaded cells are percentages of the Central Oregon Coast allocation

Rationale: In recent years the Columbia River allocation has not been attained and reallocating the quota would increase overall attainment of the Oregon sport quota.

Columbia River and Central Oregon Subareas

2. Groundfish Retention Options

Status Quo: During all-depth Pacific halibut days, most species may not be taken along with Pacific halibut except for salmon, sablefish, Pacific Cod, tuna, and offshore pelagic species

Alternative 1:  All groundfish, with the exception of rockfish and lingcod, could be retained during all-depth halibut days

Alternative 2: Same as Status Quo but also include other flatfish species

Rationale:  The proposed groundfish retention options are intended to increase utilization and reduce regulatory discards while staying within the overfished species limits for groundfish (e.g., yelloweye rockfish).

Central Coast Subarea

3. All-Depth Seasons

No Action: The spring all-depth season opens the second Thursday in May, three days per week (Thursday –Saturday), until the quota is caught. Weeks can be skipped due to adverse tides.  The summer all-depth season opens the first Friday in August, two days per week (Friday and Saturday), every other week until the quota is attained.

Alternative 1a: Combine the spring and summer all-depth quotas and seasons. Open May 1, every other Friday and Saturday, until the entire all-depth quota has been attained.

Alternative 1b:  The same as Alternative 1a, except begin on the first weekend in May, which avoids dates with large negative tides, especially in the spring.

Rationale: The proposed options are designed to extend the season, avoid negative tides, and provide halibut opportunities prior to salmon and tuna.

Southern Oregon Subarea

4. Season Dates

No Action:  Open May 1, seven days per week, until the quota is attained

Alternative 1:  Open June 1, seven days per week, until the quota is attained

Alternative 2:  Open July 1, seven days per week, until the quota is attained

Rationale: The proposed options are designed to provide a greater chance of halibut opportunities later in the summer, when salmon opportunity slows.

Return to the main Proposed changes to the 2015 Pacific halibut regulations and Catch Sharing Plan blog

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Washington recreational fisheries

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Washington Recreational Fisheries, as summarized from the WDFW Report

Columbia River Nearshore Allocation Option

  1. Reduce the nearshore set aside from 1,500 pounds to 500 pounds.

Rationale: The amount of halibut caught in the nearshore fishery was very low in 2014. The proposed allocation amount would still accommodate catches in the nearshore area when the all-depth fishery is closed.

Columbia River Season Allocation Option

  1. Manage the fishery to one season by removing the early (80 percent) and late season (20 percent) splits.

Rationale: Since 2008, fishing effort has significantly declined during the late season off Washington and Oregon. Managing to one season in the early period will ensure the quota is available during the peak of halibut fishing effort and allow the all-depth fishery to continue uninterrupted

Columbia River Nearshore Days of the Week Option

  1. Increase the number of days that the nearshore area is open from Monday through Wednesday to Monday through Friday. This would include two days (Thursday and Friday) when both the nearshore and all-depth fisheries are open.

Rationale: Increasing the number of days per week is expected to increase attainment of nearshore quota and provide greater groundfish retention.

Return to the main Proposed changes to the 2015 Pacific halibut regulations and Catch Sharing Plan

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Final approved Salmon Amendment 18 available

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

We have posted the final approved Salmon Amendment 18 to the Pacific Coast Fishery Salmon Management Plan. See the “Salmon Amendment 18” webpage to download the approved amendment and supporting documents.

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Scientific and Statistical Committee’s Salmon Subcommittee, Salmon Technical Team, and Model Evaluation Workgroup to Hold a Joint Methodology Review Meeting October 21-23 followed by an STT Meeting October 24

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Salmon Subcommittee of the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) will hold a joint methodology review meeting with the Salmon Technical Team (STT) and Model Evaluation Workgroup (MEW), which will be open to the public. The joint methodology review meeting will be held Tuesday, October 21st, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, October 22nd, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday, October 23rd, from 9 a.m. to noon, or until business is completed. The STT will continue with a one-day meeting on Friday, October 24th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All of the meetings will be held at the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel, Portland, Oregon.

Joint Methdology Review Meeting (October 21-23)

(SSC Salmon Subcommittee, STT, and MEW)

The purpose of the methodology review meeting is to discuss and review proposed changes to analytical methods used in salmon management. Recommendations from the methodology review meeting will be presented at the November 14-19, 2014 Council meeting in Costa Mesa, California where the Council is scheduled to take final action on the proposals. The following topics were adopted by the Council at their September 12-17, 2014 meeting in Spokane, Washington for consideration at the methodology review meeting:

  • Willapa Bay natural coho conservation objective, annual catch limit and status determination criteria.
  • Southern Oregon coastal Chinook conservation objective.
  • Standardized method for calculation of age-2 Fishery Regulation Assessment Model (FRAM) stock scalars.
  • Progress report on new Chinook FRAM base period.
  • New conservation objective for Grays Harbor Chinook.
  • Estimated non-local Chinook stock impacts in terminal fisheries.
  • Review of fishery impact estimation methodology relative to the Cape Flattery Control Zone.
  • An update on the review of new methods for salmon economic analyses.

“Next Day” Salmon Technical Team Meeting (October 24)

The STT will hold a one-day session following the methodology review to discuss items on the Council’s November 2014 meeting agenda. Major topics include: the salmon methodology review, the Lower Columbia River coho harvest matrix, and the preseason salmon management schedule, process, and documentation for 2015.

Meeting Location

Both meetings will be held at the following location:

Sheraton Portland Airport
Mt. St. Helens D Room (Methodology Review) and Garden C Room (STT)
8235 NE Airport Way
Portland, OR 97220
Telephone: 503-281-2500
Driving Directions

The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at 503-820-2280, at least five days prior to the meeting date.

For further information, please contact Mr. Mike Burner at (503) 820-2414; or toll free 1-866-806-7204, ext. 414.

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Salmon Advisory Subpanel and Ad Hoc Lower Columbia River Natural Coho Workgroup to Hold Joint Session in Portland, Oregon October 15, 2014

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Salmon Advisory Subpanel (SAS) and ad hoc Lower Columbia River Natural Coho Workgroup (LRC Workgroup) will hold a public work session Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel in Portland, Oregon. The meeting is open to the public, but is not intended as a public hearing. Public comments will be taken as time allows.

The work session will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 and will proceed until 5 p.m. or until business for the day is completed.

The meeting will be held in Portland, Oregon at the following location:

Sheraton Portland Airport
Cascade A and B Rooms
8235 NE Airport Way
Portland, OR 97220
Telephone: 503-281-2500
Driving Directions

The SAS and LRC Workgroup will discuss proposed revisions to the Lower Columbia River natural (LCN) coho harvest matrix and prepare for the November 2014 Council meeting. Focus topics include; a review of Council guidance from the September 2014 Council meeting, the assessment of coho impacts in Columbia River tributary fisheries, and recommendations on a final range of alternative harvest strategies for LCN coho. The SAS and LRC Workgroup may also address one or more matters on the Council’s November 2014 agenda. The SAS and LRC Workgroup reports and recommendations are scheduled to be presented to the Council at its November 2014 meeting in Costa Mesa, California.

The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at 503-820-2280, at least five days prior to the meeting date.

For further information, please contact Mr. Mike Burner at (503) 820-2414; or toll free 1-866-806-7204, ext. 414.

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Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team to Hold Meeting October 8-9, 2014

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

The Pacific Fishery Management Council will convene a meeting of its Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team (CPSMT), which is open to the public. The primary purpose of the meeting is to further develop the draft environmental assessment (EA) for Pacific sardine harvest fraction.

The CPSMT will continue work on the description of the alternatives, work on the analysis of alternatives, as well as other parts of the EA. In 2013, the Council initiated a process to consider using a new temperature index as well as a new temperature-recruitment relationship, in sardine harvest control rules. The analysis in the draft EA will help the Council make an informed decision when it takes final action at its November 2014 meeting.

The meeting will begin at 12:00 p.m. October 8, 2014, and at 8:00 a.m. on October 9, 2014. The meeting will adjourn each day at 5:00 p.m. or when business for the day has been completed. Public comment may be accommodated if time allows, at the discretion of the CPSMT Chair.

The meeting will be held at the following location:

National Marine Fisheries Service’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Pacific Conference Room
8901 La Jolla Shores Drive
La Jolla, California 92037
Telephone: 858-546-7000
Driving Directions

The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Dale Sweetnam at 858-546-7170, at least five days prior to the meeting date.

For further information, please contact Mr. Kerry Griffin at 503-820-2409; or toll free 1-866-806-7204, ext. 409.

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