"Salmon Kill Fishery on the Upper Yakima River"
Director Koenings and Commissioners:
In regards to the Spring Chinook Salmon test fishery, that was conducted during the June 2000 season by the Department of Fish & Wildlife on the Upper Yakima River, John Farrar and Worley-Bugger Fly Co. write to object.
John Farrar (NW Flyfishing) and Worley-Bugger Fly Co, (Ellensburg, Washington) operate professional fly fishing guide services in Eastern and Western Washington.
This coming season we demand:
The Department propose special fly fishing only regulation for any proposed salmon fishery on the Upper Yakima
The proposal be submitted to the Commission for formal review
The public be duly involved.
The Department operate by laws that it has proposed and enacted on this fishery
The Department adequately inform all anglers on the rules and regulations regarding all native game species that reside in the Yakima.
The Department implement enough enforcement officer to patrol the regulated area.
If a season is opened for salmon this year, area's below the Roza Dam should be considered for gear fishermen, leaving the protected upper sections alone.
The Upper Yakima River has been a protected fishery since the early 90's.
The opening of a "Kill Fishery" on the Yakima (for a fish listed as endangered) demonstrates the inability of the Department of Fish & Game to manage this existing fishery.
We write to protest any further openings of a "Chinook Salmon kill season" on the protected sections of the upper Yakima River.
Emergency opening of a fishery was not an option in the former Department of Game. After an emergency opening of the Drano Lake Fishery on the Columbia in the early '80's, and public outcry objecting to such action, the Game Department Director was restricted by regulation to using "emergency" as a cause to close, not open, a fishery.
Since then former Departments of Game and Fisheries have been merged and reconstituted as the present Department of Fish and Wildlife. Perhaps no such restriction applies to today's Director. Never the less, what was wrong in the past is wrong today. We cry "wolf" only to weaken the alarm. Citing an "emergency" the Director authorized, on the Upper Yakima, a test fishery that ignored and countermanded published regulation as adopted by the Commission some ten years previous. As we hope you’re aware, the trout fishing public that enjoys the Yakima was confused, upset, even angered by such action. Let us correct this mistake and take steps to prevent its occurrence this year.
Again, we respectfully request that
the Department propose special regulation for any future such fishery
the proposal be submitted to the Commission for formal review
the public be duly involved in the decision
You may fill out our online form to join us in voicing our opinions on the proposed upcoming salmon season on the upper Yakima. If you have not read the email response to fly fishers from the WDFW you can do so here. To voice your opinion directly on the Yakima river salmon fishing click on the links below to send an email to the directors of the Washington Fish & Wildlife. Let's all demand better management practices of our Yakima River!