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Increased funding to expand monitoring of fishing
In 2022, Governor Jay Inslee proposed several actions to address monitoring and enforcement of salmon fishing regulations with the goal of increasing the amount of Chinook salmon available to Southern Residents. The Legislature gave the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife funding for the following actions:
- Monitor Freshwater Salmon Harvest: $3.8 million to monitor salmon, steelhead, and other fish caught in freshwater rivers and streams in the Puget Sound area and along the Coast.
- Monitor Ocean Salmon Harvest: $158,000 for additional monitoring staff to ensure precise, timely, in-season harvest estimates.
- Monitoring Puget Sound Salmon Harvest: $1.9 million to expand capacity to interview recreational anglers about their catch to better estimate impacts to wild salmon.
- Marine Fisheries Compliance Liaison: $226,000 for a law enforcement captain to serve as a liaison with federal, state, tribal, and other law enforcement partners on large, marine-focused strategies to increase compliance with fishing rules and reduce poaching.
- Increase Fisheries Enforcement: $1.2 million for additional law enforcement officers to ensure public safety, enforce fishing rules, and protect the state’s natural resources from illegal profit. Department officers are essential to maintaining safe and properly managed commercial and recreational fishing. Preventing illegal activity protects habitat and reduces over-fishing of salmon.