LETTER:Salmon in Washington

Regarding the PDN reader poll on the California salmon season closure; the salmon seasons in California and Oregon are based on Klamath and Sacramento River chinook populations.

Due to the prolonged drought in California, both of those salmon runs have been suffering.

As a result, the ocean populations of both rivers’s fall chinook are predicted to be below minimum spawning escapement goals, even without fishing.

The sport and commercial fishermen of both California and Oregon decided to close their summer fisheries for chinook to allow as many spawners as possible to enter the rivers this fall.

I want to emphasize the fishermen stood up and asked for the closure to conserve future fishing opportunity by foregoing fishing this year.

In Washington, the salmon runs that are the basis for ocean fisheries are at least in moderate shape.

This is because of the state and federal hatchery system that mitigates habitat destruction in the state.

There is no threat of a closure in Washington in 2023.

To have hope of continued fisheries in Washington, we must finance hatcheries while continuing to restore natural salmon habitat across the state.

Hatcheries have the dual benefit of feeding orca whales and providing for fisheries.

Habitat restoration helps both wild and hatchery salmon in their rivers.

As long as we do these things we’ll have some sort of a season in Washington.

Joel Kawahara