Hatchery programs need to grow more

Has the state of Washington “co-managed” our fisheries to the point of extinction?

I have never met Bob Heirman, but his Sunday commentary, “The Golden Age of Steelheading,” makes so much sense that I would hope all officials of the Department of Fish and Wildlife and every sportsman in Washington will read and heed it.

The hatchery programs which are, or were, paid for by license fees, should be enhanced, not cut back. The frustration that all fishermen feel over the lack of fishing opportunity causes many to just not fish anymore. The more fishermen quit the sport, the less impact we have on any policy change with the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Want to be frustrated? How about the 7,000-fish limit in areas 9 and 10 in the July 16-Aug. 15 window for “hatchery” blackmouth? When it was determined that 4,360 fish had been caught, the remaining 2,640 were not available to catch because the agreement with the tribes ended the fishery on Aug. 15 without the quota being caught.

Again, these are hatchery fish that are being managed to be caught in Puget Sound. Or are they?

I’m voting for Bob Heirman for fisheries manager.

Gary Ostlund


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