Humboldt Currents Winter 2015

Casey AllenHumboldt Currents, Marine Protected Areas

I would like to thank HASA member Rick Urban, “the fishing mortician,” for providing the great photo on this issue’s cover. You can see more of Rick’s photography work on his Facebook page, Majestic Encounter Photos. We hope to see more of Rick’s work in future editions.

Although it seems we are getting unnecessary cuts to the Pacific halibut season, consider what is happening in Washington. According to an article in the Seattle Times, anglers out of Westport can fish Pacific halibut starting May 3rd on Sundays and Tuesdays only. The season is expected to last 5 or 6 fishing days until the quota of 42,739 pounds are caught. Fishing off Neah Bay will be open May 14, 16, 21, and 23 or until the quota of 108,030 pounds is reached. Ilwaco will open May 1st with fishing open Thursday through Sunday until the quota is reached. Though not finalized the quota is expected to be 11,895 pounds. It also said the average size fish out of Westport was improved to 19-20 pounds and fish further north averaged under 15 pounds. The article made all this sound like good news, that the seasons were status quo. They did not suffer further cuts because of their dedication to stay within the quotas, their work to reduce bycatch, and their ability to show the socioeconomic importance of recreational Pacific halibut fishing to local communities.

Many kudos to new HASA president Scott McBain, who thought we were working with California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to develop season options for Pacific halibut. After much work gathering input from local anglers, charter captains, and affected businesses (see letter page 22) it appeared to be considered as one public comment from one of the many stakeholders. Scott traveled all the way to Sacramento to present our recommendations to the CDFW Commissioners and only got three minutes to speak. Then it was learned, there was not enough time allocated for the Commissioners to weigh in on the season options as they needed to be provided to NOAA for approval in the coming weeks. Woops. Hopefully we can learn from our experience this year and have a better collaborative process with CDFW in the coming years. I can remember when all we had to do was get the boat and tackle ready, find some bait, mow the lawn, and go fishing.

HASA would like to ask all Pacific halibut anglers to support this year’s catch survey by HSU student Miki Takada (see page 8). The previous survey by Liz Perkins was a huge success largely because of the participation by local anglers. Of course, that survey sparked many more questions and with your help Miki will be able to provide some more answers. It is most important for us to learn as much as we can about Pacific halibut to be able to sustain a quality fishery.

Charlie Holthaus announced that the Samoa Fire Department will host the perch fishing tournament again this year. They used the solunar tables to pick Saturday April 18th. It will be a new moon with high tide at 12:30 pm. It should be good fishing if the wind does not blow. Charlie said the rules will be the same as past years with an earlier check-in deadline. Look for more information soon on how to support Samoa Fire during this fun fishing event. My wife, Marlene, will be out of town, so we will all have a better chance to win.

HASA and Coast Central Credit Union jointly contributed $500 to the Moonstone Beach clean up of the huge pile of fishing nets and gear thought to have drifted from the tsunami in Japan. Aaron Ostrom of Pacific Outfitters is managing the clean up effort and this donation will help pay for the containers needed to haul the stuff off.

The Humboldt Fisherman’s Marketing Association is sponsoring a NOAA Marine weather class that will take place on March 21, 2015 from 9AM to 3PM at the Harbor District conference room on Woodley Island, Eureka. NOAA will discuss important weather items with many useful safety tips. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP at 707-443-6484 x2, or for more information, please call Bob at (707) 845-8288 or email at

The MPA Collaboration is an interested group of government agencies and NGOs that are working together to educate the public on Marine Protected Areas. Since many of the MPAs are inaccessible the Collaboration is working toward bringing the network of MPAs to the public. This will be done though signage, brochures, and videos. The sign below is a draft created by the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation and will be placed near the Eureka Waterfront Trail. It is agreed that success for MPAs will depend on a wide understanding of how the network of protected areas work and support for the monitoring projects. HASA is a member of the North Coast MPA Collaboration and we will keep you informed on developments and results of MPA monitoring.

MPA sign to be posted at area launch ramps

MPA sign to be posted at area launch ramps

What? Dude! You can now view this newsletter on your phone. My son, Sean Allen, has developed an app where you can view all our newsletters on your Iphone, Ipad, or any PC. Here is the link, . Check it out and send your comments to me at Of course you can always see them on your PC on the Humboldt Tuna Club discussion board,