Archive for April, 2018

Salmon Technical Team to Hold Webinar May 17, 2018

Friday, April 20th, 2018

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council’s) Salmon Technical Team (STT)  will hold a planning session to discuss the development of salmon rebuilding plans.  This meeting will be held via webinar, which is open to the public.  The webinar will be held on Thursday, May 17, 2018, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. (Pacific Time), or when business is completed for the day.

Webinar Agenda

Purpose of the Webinar

The purpose of this planning session is to discuss the schedule and workload associated with the development of five salmon rebuilding plans in 2018.  The STT will discuss a tentative timeline and meeting schedule for completing the plans and contributions of entities outside the STT in the development of rebuilding plans.  This webinar is intended to address the logistics of developing the plans; detailed discussions of actual content will occur at future meetings.  A proposed agenda will be posted once available.  If time and interest allows, additional pertinent topics may be discussed, including, but not limited to, future Council agenda items.

Three coho stocks (Queets coho, Strait of Juan de Fuca coho, and Snohomish coho) and two Chinook stocks (Sacramento River fall Chinook and Klamath River fall Chinook) were found to meet the criteria for being classified as overfished in the Pacific Council’s Review of 2017 Ocean Salmon Fisheries, released in February 2018.  Under the tenants of the Salmon Fishery Management Plan (FMP), a rebuilding plan is required for each of these stocks.  Among other requirements stipulated in Chapter 3 of the FMP, the STT is to propose a rebuilding plan for Council consideration within one year.

To Attend the Webinar

  1. Join the webinar by visiting this link: https://www.gotomeeting.com/webinar/join-webinar
  2. Enter the Webinar ID: 457-307-347
  3. Please enter your name and email address (required)
  4. You must use your telephone for the audio portion of the meeting by dialing this TOLL number (1-213-929-4232)
  5. Enter the Attendee phone audio access code (421-973-026)
  6. Enter your audio phone pin (shown after joining the webinar).

NOTE: We have disabled Mic/Speakers as on option and require all participants to use a telephone or cell phone to participate.

Technical Information

System Requirements

  • PC-based attendees: Required: Windows® 7, Vista, or XP
  • Mac®-based attendees: Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer
  • Mobile attendees: Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet (GoToMeeting Webinar Apps)

You may send an email to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt or contact him at 503-820-2280, extension 411 for technical assistance.

Public Listening Station

A public listening station will also be provided at the Council office.

Pacific Fishery Management Council
7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101
Portland, OR 97220-1384
503-820-2280
Driving Directions

Additional information

This 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 503-820-2411 at least ten days prior to the meeting date.

Public comments during the webinar will be accepted from attendees at the discretion of the chair of the STT.

If you have additional questions regarding the webinar, please contact Ms. Robin Ehlke at 503-820-2410; toll-free 1-866-806-7204, extension 410.

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Salmon Preseason Report III, Council Adopted Management Measures and EA Part 3 for 2018 Ocean Salmon Fishery Regulations available online

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Notice of Availability

The following document: Preseason Report III Council Adopted Management Measures and Environmental Assessment Part 3 for 2018 Ocean Salmon Fishery Regulations; Regulation Identifier Number 0648-BH22, published April 2018, is available on the Council’s Preseason Report III (2018) webpage.

Preseason Report III contains the 2018 ocean salmon fishery management measures adopted by the Council at their April 2018 meeting for submission to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and characterizes their expected impacts on ocean salmon fisheries and the stocks which support them.

For further information regarding the salmon management documents, or the salmon management preseason process, please contact Ms. Robin Ehlke at 503-820-2410 or toll free 1-866-806-7204, ext. 410.

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Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team to Meet Via Webinar Tuesday, May 8

Monday, April 16th, 2018

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team (CPSMT) will hold a public meeting, via webinar, on Tuesday, May 8, 2018, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time), or until business for the day has been completed.

Webinar Agenda

Purpose of the Webinar

The purpose of the meeting is for the CPSMT to develop materials, including a proposed purpose and need statement, to assist the Council in establishing the scope for a potential action to revise the Pacific sardine live bait provisions in the Council Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan, when the Pacific sardine biomass is in an overfished condition.  The Council established a process that includes scoping at the June 2018 meeting, adopting a range of alternatives at the September 2018 meeting, and final action at the November 2018 meeting.

To Attend the Webinar

  1. Join the webinar by visiting this link: https://www.gotomeeting.com/webinar/join-webinar
  2. Enter the Webinar ID: 168-585-091
  3. Please enter your name and email address (required)
  4. You must use your telephone for the audio portion of the meeting by dialing this TOLL number (1-631-992-3221)
  5. Enter the Attendee phone audio access code (245-429-810)
  6. Enter your audio phone pin (shown after joining the webinar).

NOTE: We have disabled Mic/Speakers as on option and require all participants to use a telephone or cell phone to participate.

Technical Information

System Requirements

  • PC-based attendees: Required: Windows® 7, Vista, or XP
  • Mac®-based attendees: Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer
  • Mobile attendees: Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet (GoToMeeting Webinar Apps)

You may send an email to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt or contact him at 503-820-2280, extension 411 for technical assistance.

Public Listening Station

A public listening station will also be provided at the Council office.

Pacific Fishery Management Council
7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101
Portland, OR 97220-1384
503-820-2280
Driving Directions

Additional information

This 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 503-280-2411 at least ten days prior to the meeting date.

Public comments during the webinar will be accepted from attendees at the discretion of the chair of the CPSMT.

If you have additional questions regarding the webinar, please contact Mr. Kerry Griffin at 503-820-2409; toll-free 1-866-806-7204, ext. 409.

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April 2018 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Friday, April 13th, 2018

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met April 5-11, 2018 in Portland, Oregon. The April 2018 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document contains the highlights of significant decisions made at that meeting. Results of agenda items that do not reach a level of highlight significance are typically not described in the Decision Summary Document.

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June 2018 Council Meeting

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory bodies met June 7-13, 2018 in Spokane, Washington to address issues related to groundfish, coastal pelagic species, and highly migratory species.

Meeting Documents and Recordings

Meeting Location

DoubleTree by Hilton Spokane City Center
322 N. Spokane Falls Court
Spokane, WA 99201
Phone: 509-455-9600

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Pacific Fishery Management Council Adopts Major Changes to West Coast Groundfish Fishery     

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

Portland, OR—On Monday the Pacific Fishery Management Council added new protections for deep sea coral areas, modified areas that protect priority bottom habitat areas for groundfish, and reopened fishing in some areas that have been closed to groundfish fishing.

The Council is required by Federal law to identify and protect important fish habitat, while balancing the needs of coastal communities and the fishing industry.

The actions span the Federal waters off the U.S. West Coast. They establish protection for over 136,000 square miles of corals, rocky reefs and undersea canyons important to over 100 groundfish species such as rockfish, flatfish, and sablefish. The new protections include 135,000 square miles of deep water habitat to protect corals off the coast of California, in depths too great for most bottom fishing activities. The actions also reopen over 3,000 square miles of historical fishing grounds that were established to reduce harvest on overfished rockfish stocks. Nearly all of those stocks have subsequently been rebuilt to sustainable population levels, and the remaining stocks are rebuilding quickly. The combination of new closures and reopenings ensures important habitat protections while allowing added fishing opportunity for the bottom trawl fleet.

“This decision demonstrates the Council’s commitment to protecting important fish habitats including rocky reefs, corals, and sponges. The decision was informed by sound science and further informed by the fishing industry and environmental community who are to be commended for their important contribution to the Council’s decision. The result provides an increase in habitat protection while providing greater opportunity for our trawl fleet to more efficiently harvest target stocks,” said Council Chair Phil Anderson. “The West Coast trawl fishery has been reduced in size and transformed into a sustainable fishery including full accountability that provides the public with high quality fish products.”

The changes were made as part of a review which the Council and NOAA Fisheries initiated seven years ago. Many of the selected changes originated in a unique collaboration of fishing industry members and environmental advocates working together.

Seth Atkinson, a collaborative group member representing the Natural Resources Defense Council, said, “By listening to each other and building trust, we worked together to improve fishing opportunity and increase protection for sensitive habitat areas. We built on fishermen’s deep knowledge of the seafloor, cross-referencing it with the latest scientific data, and pulled together a package of changes that would achieve both goals. This was possible only because of fishermen’s willingness to sit down and share their knowledge.”

The decision also considered input from Federal, Tribal and State agencies, and the general public. It included extensive analysis of the biological, social, and economic effects of the actions.

Bottom trawling is the practice of using a vessel to drag a net through the water, close to the seafloor, in order to catch fish. Most groundfish trawlers off the West Coast are relatively small, family-owned vessels. Trawling differs from trolling, which uses hooks and lines and is typically used to target salmon and tuna on the West Coast.

Next Steps

The Council’s recommended actions and amendments to its Groundfish Fishery Management Plan will be transmitted to the National Marine Fisheries Service for development of enacting regulations.

Council Role

The Pacific Fishery Management Council recommends management measures to the National Marine Fisheries Service for fisheries off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington under its fishery management plans for groundfish, salmon, highly migratory species (such as tunas), and coastal pelagic species (such as sardines and anchovies). The Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 to manage fisheries 3-200 miles offshore of the U.S. coastline.

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On the web:

Management action details: https://www.pcouncil.org/groundfish/fishery-management-plan/groundfish-amendments-in-development/#a28

Fact Sheet: Groundfish: http://www.pcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/13-Groundfish-August-2017.pdf 

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2018 West Coast Salmon Season Dates Set

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

Portland, Or. – This week the Pacific Fishery Management Council adopted ocean salmon season recommendations that provide recreational and commercial opportunities for most of the Pacific coast, and achieve conservation goals for the numerous individual salmon stocks on the West Coast.

The recommendation will be forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service for approval by May 1, 2018.

“It has been another challenging year for the Council, its advisors, fishery stakeholders and the public as we strive to balance fishing opportunities with the conservation needs we are facing on Chinook and coho salmon stocks, both north and south of Cape Falcon,” said Council Executive Director Chuck Tracy. “The Council has recommended ocean salmon seasons on the west coast this year that provide important protections for stocks of concern, including Lower Columbia River natural fall Chinook, Puget Sound Chinook, Washington coastal coho, and Sacramento River fall Chinook.”

“This year’s package includes some very restrictive seasons in both commercial and recreational fisheries along the entire coast. Low abundances of Chinook and coho are in part due to the poor ocean conditions the adult fish faced as juveniles when they entered the ocean, and poor in-river habitat and water conditions. Tribal, commercial, and recreational fishers continue to bear a large part of the burden of conservation,” said Council Chair Phil Anderson.

Washington and Northern Oregon (North of Cape Falcon)

Fisheries north of Cape Falcon (near Nehalem in northern Oregon) depend largely on Columbia River Chinook and coho stocks. Overall, Columbia River fall Chinook forecasts are considered low to moderate compared to the recent 10-year average. Hatchery coho stocks originating from the Columbia River together with natural stocks originating from the Queets River and Grays Harbor are expected to return at low levels resulting in very low harvest quotas as was the case in 2017.

North of Cape Falcon, the overall non-Indian total allowable catch is 55,000 Chinook coastwide (compared to 90,000 last year) and 47,600 marked hatchery coho (the same as last year). Fisheries are designed to provide harvest opportunity on healthy Chinook returns primarily destined for the Columbia River, while avoiding coho stocks of concern.

Commercial Fisheries

Non-Indian ocean commercial fisheries north of Cape Falcon include traditional, but reduced, Chinook seasons in the spring (May-June) and summer season (July through mid-September). Non-Indian ocean commercial fisheries in this area will have access to a total of 27,500 Chinook (compared to 45,000 Chinook last year), and a marked coho quota of 5,600 (the same as last year).

Tribal ocean fisheries north of Cape Falcon are similar in structure to past years, with quotas that include 40,000 Chinook and 12,500 coho (the same as last year).

Recreational Fisheries

The recreational fishery north of Cape Falcon opens to all salmon on June 23 in most areas (July 1 in Westport) and ends September 3 or when Chinook or coho quotas are reached. Recreational fisheries in this area will have access to total of 27,500 Chinook (compared to 45,000 Chinook last year), and a marked coho quota of 42,000 (the same as last year).

California and Oregon South of Cape Falcon, Oregon

Fisheries south of Cape Falcon (in northern Oregon) are constrained primarily by Klamath River fall Chinook, Sacramento River fall Chinook and Oregon Coastal Natural coho. The commercial fishery consists of modest Chinook fisheries, particularly in California. Recreational fisheries in Oregon contain both Chinook and coho opportunity, with coho opportunity including both mark-selective and non-mark-selective fisheries.

Commercial Fisheries

Commercial fisheries from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt. will open on May 4 and will and continue through August 29 with intermittent closures. This area will also be open continuously in September and October, with weekly limits and a depth restriction in October.

Fisheries from Humbug Mt, Oregon to Humboldt South Jetty, California will be open intermittently from May through August. Monthly quotas will be in place for the Oregon portion of the Klamath Management Zone (KMZ) from June through August. In the California portion of the KMZ, monthly Chinook quotas will be in place from May through August. The quotas all feature landing and possession limits, and the Californian portion of this area will be open five days a week.

Between Horse Mountain and Pigeon Point (Fort Bragg and San Francisco areas), the area will be open for a week in late July, most of August and all of September. From Pigeon Point to the Mexico border (Monterey), the Chinook season will be open during the first week in May and the last two weeks of June. There will also be a season from Point Reyes to Point San Pedro (subset of the San Francisco area), consisting of two five-day periods in October.

Recreational Fisheries

Recreational fisheries from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mt will allow Chinook retention from now through October. Coho fisheries consist of a mark-selective quota fishery of 35,000 in mid-summer (compared to 18,000 last year) and a non-mark-selective quota fishery of 3,500 in September (compared to 6,000 last year).

Fisheries from Humbug Mt, Oregon to the Oregon/California border will be open from mid-May through late August. The area from the Oregon/California border to Horse Mountain, California will be open from June through Labor Day.

Fisheries from Horse Mountain to Pigeon Point (Fort Bragg and San Francisco areas) will be open from mid-June through October. The area from Pigeon Point to the U.S./Mexico border (Monterey area) is open now through early July.

For details on all seasons, please see the season descriptions on the Council website at http://www.pcouncil.org.

Management Process

The Council developed three management alternatives in early March for public review and further analysis. The review process included input from federal, state, and tribal fishery scientists and fishing industry members; public testimony, and three public hearings in coastal communities. The Council received additional scientific information and took public testimony at its April Council meeting before taking final action. The decision will be forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service for their review of consistency with the Endangered Species Act and other applicable law, and promulgation of federal regulations.

In addition, the coastal states will take independent actions through state processes that will include adoption of fishery regulations under state authority that are compatible to the Council’s actions and include state water fisheries.

Council Role

The Pacific Fishery Management Council recommends management measures to National Marine Fisheries Service for fisheries off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington under its fishery management plans for groundfish, salmon, highly migratory species (such as tunas), and coastal pelagic species (such as sardines and anchovies). The Council is one of eight regional fishery management councils established by the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 to manage fisheries 3-200 miles offshore of the U.S. coastline.

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On the Web

• Pacific Fishery Management Council: http://www.pcouncil.org
• Season recommendations for 2018 salmon management: https://www.pcouncil.org/?p=53627
• Preseason Report III Council Adopted Management Measures and Environmental Assessment Part 3 will be posted on the Council web page in the near future (on or about April 20).
• Description of 2018 salmon management process: http://www.pcouncil.org/salmon/current-season-management/
• Fact sheet: Salmon: https://tinyurl.com/yatybp6h
• Fact sheet: Common Terms Used in Salmon Management: https://tinyurl.com/ycbo4qbb

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DRAFT Council-Adopted Salmon Management Measures for May 2018-April 30, 2019 Ocean Salmon Fisheries (Tables)

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

The following DRAFT salmon management measures tables were adopted by the Council at their April 2018 meeting and will be published in Preseason Report III (tentatively scheduled for April 20). Please keep in mind the tables are DRAFT until implemented as Federal Regulations.

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PRELIMINARY APRIL DRAFT MOTIONS IN WRITING

Friday, April 6th, 2018

Cautionary Note — These preliminary motions do not represent the final official administrative record. The motions and amendments contained in this blog are as projected on the screen at the Council meeting at the time of the Council vote and often use expedited language and references without the benefit of any final editing or proofing. They may use short-hand language or abbreviations that may not be clear without the context of verbal comments and clarifications made during their development at the meeting, or may contain inadvertent transposition errors. They have not been approved by the Council to represent the final official record of Council action. The final official record will be posted on the Council website after the Council approves the full meeting record at a future Council meeting.

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Availability of an interactive web tool designed to support decision making on Amendment 28

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

The Pacific Fishery Management Council announces the availability of an interactive web tool designed to support decision making on Amendment 28 (essential fish habitat and rockfish conservation area modifications for Pacific Coast groundfish).

Go to http://www.soundgis.com/efh/efh2018-metrics/ then click on “How To” for instructions on how to use the web tool.

The Council is scheduled to take final action on Amendment 28 at the April Council meeting, on Monday April 9, 2018.

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