Fish checkers counted 24 halibut Friday, May 25th for the Strait of Juan de Fuca Areas 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9. That’s the “Puget Sound Inside” waters halibut fishery. Weather was less than desirable and down right miserable. Many halibut anglers, including me, opted to stay ashore and not fight wind, waves and currents. I spoke with several anglers that did go halibut fishing and they reported four foot seas which made it difficult to anchor or drift.
Approximately 632 anglers braved the wind swept rough seas with dismal catch rates equaling just 3.8 percent catch rate. Let’s face it, that’s less than terrible, it’s a complete failure for Day 3 of our inside waters halibut fishery.
Let’s do the math to figure out how the WDFW’s “Mystery Math” will account for Day 3.
Here’s the math with the increase factor “multiplier” WDFW uses to grossly “guesstimate” our halibut catch.
24 halibut x 2.4266 = 58.2384 halibut x 23 pounds = 1,339.4832 pounds.
Prior to Day 3 we had 45,116 pounds of halibut left in the sport quota. After subtracting May 25th’s catch plus multiplier factor it leaves 43,776.52 pounds of quota going into Day 4 May 27th. Given low catch rates I’d wager we should get more days to fish halibut. I can’t imagine the WDFW fisheries managers could possibly justify not giving us more days, but I’m constantly flabbergasted at the level of incompetency at the WDFW.
If you think I’m wrong, ask yourself how this department has managed our fisheries resource over the past 30 years. I could name dozens of examples of wrong guesstimates, wrong policy, hidden agendas and commercial over harvest.