PSA needs your feedback

To all chapters, I really would like your feedback on this issue. I went to the WDFW Commission meeting that was about Cabezon and the Giant Pacific Octopus issues. This was Commissioner David Jennings last commission meeting before he was removed.

We were successful in stopping any additional restrictions on the Cabezon. David Jennings wrote a floor amendment to restrict the divers on Cabezon. One of the Commissioners printed it out and brought it to me asking my opinion. I replied with absolutely not. There is no scientific data showing that the Cabezon is depleting. Craig Burley of WDFW was asked by the Commission what his powerpoint graph showed. His response was that it was flat and not going up nor down.

Testimony of users said no change. When we put out the PSA Cabezon Votervoice, it had language saying to put restrictions on the divers as they were the only ones that actively target them. They are a bycatch for hook and line angling. I was contacted immediately by the spearfishers saying not to divide us. They were right. This proposal would have been effective in dividing and conquering us had we stayed with that avenue. I did a formal apology at the start of the Commission meeting repairing this.

I had some very healthy talks with some spearfishers that are telling me the same thing. They are seeing thousands of Black Seabass back in the sound, as well as lots of large Copper and Quillback rockfish. This is not being published anywhere! In fact, it is still being publicized as dying off.

The commission has told me that the spearfishers have no voice and are not being heard.  They want to hear from them.  So this is what I am asking of you. How would you feel if we offered the spearfishers for them to start a PSA spearfishing chapter?  We can provide them some sort of protection from the anti fishing/take groups,as we are the only ones holding them back. We could use their support and  videos to prove that our rockfish are coming back. Our NOAA Puget Sound Rockfish Group, members represent all of the environmental groups and they are all set to start designing and installing Marine Reserves. They are all over this and yours truly is about the only one standing ting their way. Kevin and I have talked to some of the higher ups at  NOAA in Oregon and we have their ear. There is an agenda forming to shut down many areas of the Puget Sound to fishing. These federal fishing closures are forever. If yo do not know most of the Puget Sound bottom is mud, so the rocky areas where the rockfish are will be where they shut it off to us.

Some of the spearfishers are offering to supply us with videos of the rockfish coming back. I have seen one where a diver has to swim through the sebass to get down to a wreck here in the Puget Sound. He is telling me that he sees just as many seabass here now as he does when he dives Neah Bay! This is remarkable and I am only hearing I from a few spearfishers that I have had conversatiosn with.

The Giant Pacific Octopus is up next for decision making. There are 4 options. They are listed below. See this link for more options.

Option A:

Status Quo – no changes to current regulations

Option B:

Marine Preserve – no recreational harvest of all species

  • Redondo Beach (map)
  • Seacrest Park Coves 1, 2 and 3 (excluding fishing pier) (map)

* Option C:

Marine Preserves – no recreational harvest of Giant Pacific Octopuses

  • Redondo Beach (map)
  • Three Tree Point North (map)
  • Seacrest Park Coves 1, 2 and 3 (excluding fishing pier) (map)
  • Les Davis (map)
  • Alki Beach Junk Yard (map)
  • Days Island Wall (map)
  • Deception Pass (map)

Option D:

Puget Sound closure to recreational harvest of Giant Pacific Octopuses.


I want everyone to know how dangerous this octopus issue can be for us. This is a push to gain more closures of our fishing grounds, one step at a time. By installing any type of new areas, they can easily be turned into other closures or even expanded at a later date. Remember we never try to push the non consumptive divers out of anywhere, but they are trying to take our grounds away from us. Remember that David Jennings tried to turn Neah Bay into a dive park. We have always shared with them, but they do not have the same outlook. Many of them are willing to try to remove us. In August the decision will be made on this issue. Craig Burleys powerpoint presentation to the commission only showed 50 pounds of GPO harvested annually. Really? We are going to shut down fisheries over two to three octopus taken a year? We are going to prepare a votervoice at the end of this month to stop any changes on this issue. We do not need to give away any more of our fishing rights.  These 7 areas on option C are some vast areas. If any of these areas were to change to Rockfish conservation areas, we could lose major fishing grounds. The Deception Pass area is huge.

So I want to hear from you about my idea of getting the spearfishers on board with us and them possibly starting their own PSA Spearfishing Division Chapter. We need all of the help we can get as the rebuilding plan is getting ready to start for the Puget Sound Yelloweye, Bocaccio, and Canary Rockfish. Marine Reserves might be part of the plan if we do not get involved. Our NOAA Rockfish Group lead Dan Tonnes will be leading the charge with this. PSA was invited to help in the rebuilding process.

With what is in our fisheries futures, we cannot afford to let our guard down and need more support more than ever.

Please get back with me

Ron Garner


206-730-0469 cell

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.