Fish Northwest has begun the process of initiating a legal action on behalf of recreational anglers in the Puget Sound region. Our attorneys are currently advising us of our legal options, however we can say we plan to seek an outcome that compels the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the treaty tribes and the State of Washington to adhere to the sharing and equity requirements of the Boldt decision. The North of Falcon (NOF) season-setting process was originally created to achieve these goals but it is our belief this process is broken and has become one-sided.
We believe the stakeholders have ignored the myriad contributions of recreational anglers to salmon conservation, sustainable harvest of hatchery fish and the Washington State economy. Instead, fishing opportunity is continually reduced because anglers have no stake at the negotiating table yet are unreasonably expected to accept their fate while still being asked to protect the resource, pay increasing license fees and somehow continue to fuel the economy through activities that are now prohibited. This legal action represents an opportunity for recreational anglers to unite and restore equity and opportunity. Simply put, we need your help.
The generosity of several private donors has enabled this process to begin in earnest but we need the financial help of passionate anglers like yourself to carry this forward through the entirety of the legal process. In light of the rapidly declining fishing opportunity observed over the last decade as well as the devastating closure of the entire winter blackmouth fishery starting in 2020/2021, we respectfully suggest that you consider redirecting a portion of the money you may have otherwise spent in support of fishing (fuel, lodging, boat maintenance, gear, trip costs, derbies, etc.) toward this cause.
We will post progress updates on this site as the process moves forward.