Well, fishing season has finally begun, and initial results have been pretty good for north coast anglers, The Pacific halibut bite for the May opener was very good for most (except me!), and opening week of salmon season has been good as the salmon have been cooperative in biting and being located near shore (so I’ve heard). And importantly, we are finally able to catch crab along the entire north coast! Keep in mind that because the commercial crab season also just opened, the density of crab pots is extremely high right now, so be careful in navigating and trolling through the crab traps. I hope everyone has a successful fishing season this year.
I think that most everyone considered the new venue for the annual fundraiser to be a great improvement, as the Arcata Community Center was much more spacious, the ability to mingle and catch up with our friends was much easier (less noise), and parking was much better. We plan on having the 2017 event there too. See Cliff’s summary on Page 18 for more details, but I wanted to extend another thanks to all who attended and contributed to the event (including sponsors!). The annual fundraiser provides nearly all of the resources for our annual operations, including representation at fishery management meetings, economic surveys, HSU research, and other efforts to support our saltwater angling opportunities.
One of the HASA priorities for 2016 was to better manage and organize our membership process. A new process was initiated this year, and has resulted in over 300 members on our membership rolls! If you weren’t able to attend the annual fundraiser or have not signed up to become a member this year, please consider doing so at http://humboldttuna.com/mfi/HasaApp.php or at our new website humboldtasa.com/shop as it really helps us in having a stronger voice in representing north coast anglers at fishery management meetings.
We will be soliciting input and letter writing assistance from north coast anglers soon on several important issues in the coming weeks via on-line surveys, so please help us by providing input. First, we will be soliciting input on priorities issues for HASA to focus on (strategic planning). Second, we will be soliciting input on the 2017/2018 rockfishing season structure and regulations (see Tom’s article on page 15). Finally, we will be asking for your assistance to help HASA’s efforts to obtain a fairer and more equitable allocation of Pacific halibut for California anglers. The upcoming PFMC meetings in June, September, and October will be critical for this effort. We will be sending out a request soon, seeking your assistance in preparing letters to the PFMC to support increasing California’s Pacific halibut allocation. A number of us will also be attending the PFMC meetings to help make our case, and your letters will greatly help our collective efforts.
Lastly, best of luck in the coming year, and hope to see you out on the water!