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Volunteer Anglers Needed for WDFW Neah Bay Assessment

Volunteer Anglers Needed for WDFW Neah Bay Assessment

Certain species of rockfish in Puget Sound and the Straits of Juan de Fuca are depressed, and three species are protected under the Endangered Species Act.  Rockfish are very susceptible to being caught by recreational bottom-fishers, and often die even when caught and released.

In 2011, WDFW reduced recreational bag limits for rockfish and aggregate bottomfish in Area 4B (Neah Bay, the west end of the Straits of Juan de Fuca) to provide additional conservation protection for rockfish and other bottomfish there.  This summer, WDFW is conducting a 'test fishery' in Neah Bay to evaluate whether the new rules result in the anticipated reductions in rockfish mortality.  Specifically, there is concern that certain species of rockfish may be caught and released dead while recreational anglers fish their way to fill their 10 bottomfish aggregate bag limit.

Wild Fish Conservancy is helping to identify volunteer anglers who would like to participate in the WDFW test fishery at Neah Bay.  Volunteers are responsible for travel to and from Neah Bay and their lodging should they choose to stay overnight. WDFW has established a camp at Snow Creek Resort for this project.  Parking is available there for volunteers.  Volunteers will be fishing from one of two WDFW vessels moored at Snow Creek.  Each vessel will have four persons onboard, occasionally five.  Volunteers will be provided a rod and tackle, or bait as needed per the study design. WDFW is not able to reimburse for mileage or provide accommodations. Volunteers should bring their own rain gear and boots and a lunch.  There are some extra life jackets, but volunteers are encouraged to bring their own.

All the fishing is done between Tatoosh Island and the Seiku River and the boat departure schedule is dictated by tides both on a weekly and daily basis. One or two volunteers are needed each day from Aug. 11 – Aug. 13 and from Aug. 18 through  Aug. 27. For each day, there is a low tide and high tide start time. See the attached schedule .

Interested or have questions, call Lorna Wargo at WDFW - (360) 249-1221 or (360) 489-4679.

See the attached Neah Bay Bycatch Studies Summary for more details.

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