Don’t Allow Fishing of Depleted Salmon Population

Coho salmon_By_Bureau of Land Management

Target: Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) Acting Executive Director, Chuck Tracy

Goal: Shut down recreational and commercial salmon fishing season in Washington state in 2016.

State, tribal, and federal fishery managers are all predicting extremely low salmon runs this year in Washington state. In an effort to protect salmon from continued degradation of their populations, it has been proposed that the state not allow any recreational or commercial fishing of salmon during 2016. With salmon populations showing significant decline last year, it is essential that we do everything in our power to help these fish return to healthier population numbers.

Last year, the number of coho salmon that returned to the Columbia river was extremely disconcerting as only 242,000 of the predicted 770,000 returned. In 2016, officials are not hopeful for improved numbers as the ocean is still a few degrees too warm for ample survival of plankton, which is the primary food source that salmon need to grow and survive.

Salmon are a crucial species, playing an important role not only in the Northwest ecosystem, but also culturally and economically for local Native American tribes and fisherman. While closing the 2016 fishing season would be difficult for many local fishing communities, the continued decline of salmon populations poses a far bigger risk to local communities in the long run.

Salmon are facing a population crises, in large part due to human activity that has resulted in increased ocean temperatures and destruction of their natural habitats. With the massive drop in numbers we saw last year, it would be foolish for us to allow the already diminished population of salmon to be further decreased through fishing. Please show your support for coho and chinook salmon by urging the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) to close the 2016 salmon fishing season in Washington state.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Tracy,

I am writing to request that you and the PFMC please shutdown the 2016 recreational and commercial salmon fishing season in Washington state. Salmon populations are in a steep decline, as is evidenced by last year’s extremely low number of fish that returned to Washington rivers to spawn. With much of this population decline due to human activity, it is essential that action be taken to help salmon rebound their numbers.

Salmon are an essential part of the Northwest ecosystem and play a crucial role both culturally and economically to local Native American tribes and fisherman. It is therefore extremely disconcerting that salmon numbers are decreasing at such a rapid rate. Last year, only 242,000 of the predicted 770,000 salmon returned to the Columbia river, and officials are predicting extremely low numbers again this year. If we allow this trend to continue, there eventually won’t be any salmon left.

While it is possible that closing the salmon fishing season could be detrimental to local fishing communities, allowing salmon populations to continue to decline each year poses a much longer term risk to these same communities. It is obvious that salmon are struggling to survive, and we must do everything we can to help them regain their populations. Allowing people to further deplete an already decreased population of salmon by fishing only adds to an already massive problem. Please protect the struggling salmon population by closing the 2016 fishing season.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Bureau of Land Management

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One Comment

  1. sally dickens says:

    We do not have the right to take what ever we want when ever we want!

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