Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Bill
Washington's Governor Gregoire recently signed House Bill 1698, which was passed by the Legislature to reform the Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Program to better focus on increasing angler opportunity in Puget Sound. This program is funded through Puget Sound recreational fishing license purchases, so the legislation recognizes that program activities should benefit anglers and angling opportunity. Many improvements to the program may be needed in light of poor fish survival within Puget Sound and the establishment of clear, outcome-based goals is the first step. HB 1698 and its Senate companion bill, SB 5291, were sponsored by Rep. Kristine Lytton (D-Anacortes) and Sen. Dan Swecker (R-Rochester).
The Enhancement Program is also
referred to as the “blackmouth program.” Members of the Program oversight
committee are appointed by the WDFW Director to represent anglers in Puget
Sound. The sports section is well represented here, as four of these committee members represent PSA as well as
from CCA & one Poagie Club member as well.