Not every salmon derby survived the closure of Area 7 as well as the Roche Harbor Classic. The Anacortes Fishing Derby, scheduled for March 21-22, has been cancelled, according to Anacortes Derby Chairman Jay Field.
“The Board of Directors have decided to take the hatchet to the derby this year. An uncertain season, now and in the future, just might have struck a death knell for this classic event,” wrote Field in a decidedly downbeat tone in a press release. He added that other derbies in the area are also being affected.
Field wrote further: “It appears that recreational anglers were a victim of their own success by meeting pre-season quotas modeled around encounters with wild and Endangered Species Act listed stocks. As the result of sampling data collected by a WDFW winter test fishery (hook and line), creel counts, trip reports, and aerial surveys, it was determined that an emergency, in-season closure was required in order to comply with the Puget Sound ESA (Endangered Species Act) Salmon Recovery Plan.
Echoing the thoughts of Tony Floor, Director of Fishing Affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association, Rob Endsley, ESPN Radio co-host said “Until all stakeholders can agree to manage the winter Blackmouth fishery in a more holistic manner – viewing the fish in Puget Sound and Northern Inland waters as a roving biomass – it is likely we’ll see emergency closures again unless we can manage quotas as an aggregate, across adjacent marine areas.”