As warmwater anglers, we should be very concerned about this: a lobbying group convinced our lawmakers that the biggest threat to the orca population is bass, catfish, and walleye. Their threat is greater than dams, pollution, climate change, development, predatory birds, and overfishing. The Commission got feedback letters from a little more than a thousand citizens, and we were outnumbered by a ratio of nearly seven to one.
This anti-warmwater group is organized, and they have the ear of some very important people, including the governor. About a third of the Commission members were leaning toward abolishing all limits, since that seemed to be the preference of the majority.
This should be a wake-up call for all concerned. Their efforts basically doubled the limits of most species. Considering the amount of money we spend on boats, tackle, tournaments, and licenses, we should be more in tune with what's happening in Olympia.
The warm water fishery will be attacked again and again. I remember being at a conference years ago where Bruce Walker said that 80% of the warm water budget is spent dealing with misinformation generated by the likes of Salmon and Steelhead Unlimited, and the Audobon Society, to name a few. We need to be aware of this, and to take more aggressive action when the fishery is threatened.
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