From The SSFF President:
My name is Don Freeman. As an adviser for the last 5 years to WDFW Puget Sound recreational fishing board, I am gathering data to quantify the impact of sea run cutthroat fishing on license sales and economic importance to the region. The information that I get from shops, guides, fishing clubs, manufacturers and private anglers will be used to support the study, enhancement and protection of this fishery. Friends of the SRC, both volunteer and agency scientists are proposing a study that for the first time will provide information on the abundance, distribution and genetic attributes of this species.
Citing low participation numbers and negligible economic importance, a very low priority has been given to SRC historically, but there is a potential for a fresh and promising change in that status. With figures and testimony from this group that illustrate the actual popularity and range of this sport we can influence the board to support this important work. Prior to the next advisory board meeting this spring, I hope to provide input from our group to show how your businesses benefit from the fishery and rough numbers of anglers that participate.
For those who reply to this message, I will provide a short survey to establish whether this fishery affects your business and to what extent, number of customers and clients participating and estimates of how many fishing trips this might generate. There will be no prying into your finances, where you fish nor any other sensitive information. As a side note, there is also a group working to provide financial support for the studies, but that issue is separate from this request.
The results will not be presented as definitive results, but used to illustrate that this is indeed a viable recreational and commercial activity. Frankly, there are skeptics on the board that dismiss this fishery as too small and unimportant to merit support from the PSREF OC (Puget Sound Recreational Enhancement Fund Oversight Committee). They prefer that all attention and financial support be allocated to hatchery salmon production. This will remain the highest priority, but others interests must be represented as well. I was appointed to this committee to promote our interests and need your help to do so.
If you support this effort, please respond to this message and I’ll add you to the supporters group. If you know of others who share our interests, please forward this to them, including clients, products reps, etc.