Voluntary Trip Report (VTR) Program
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Voluntary Salmon Angler
Trip Report Forms

Puget Sound / Strait of Juan de Fuca

Ocean / Pacific Coast

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Photo illustrating removed adipose fin (hatchery salmon) and intact adipose fin (wild salmon)

What is the VTR Program?

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is working to increase angler participation in in our Voluntary Trip Report (VTR) program in all selective Chinook and coho fisheries occurring on the Coast (Marine Areas 1-4), in the Strait of Juan de Fuca (Marine Areas 5 and 6) and the Puget Sound (Marine Areas 7, 8-1, 8-2, 9-13). Returned VTRs have been instrumental in providing critical information used by WDFW to maintain and increase salmon fishing opportunities.

Willapa Bay
Beginning in 2011, the VTR program was initiated in Willapa Bay at Tokeland and South Bend. More information

Why is this data important?

Your VTR data is critically important in the evaluation of selective Chinook and coho fisheries, and planning of future selective fisheries. We use a combination of test boat and VTR data to estimate the mark rate and encounter rate of legal-sized and sublegal-sized Chinook and coho salmon.

Our objective is to obtain the most accurate estimates possible of the number of marked and unmarked Chinook and coho salmon encountered by anglers in each selective fishery. VTR data has increased our ability to maximize recreational salmon fishing opportunities each year. Without selective fishing and the VTR program, fishing seasons would be shorter. The information collected from your VTR does not count towards your daily catch and is not used in quota estimation.

How can you help?

WDFW staff stationed at boat ramps will hand out VTR forms. Anglers are asked to record the date, number of anglers, target species, Catch Record Card area, encountered species, whether the fish was kept or releases, total length, and whether the fish was adipose fin-clipped(marked) or not clipped (unmarked).

  1. Please use one VTR form (or more if needed) per day to record fishing information
  2. Write in the date and number of anglers fishing on the boat for that day
  3. Collect data only during selective Chinook and coho fisheries. Use the most recent WDFW Sportfishing Pamphlet, or visit wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations to determine season dates
  4. Record data for Chinook and coho only
  5. Measure fish from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. Measure to the nearest 1/8th inch.
  6. Fish can be brought up to the gunnel of the boat to determine if it is legal to retain; illegal fish cannot be brought inside the boat
  7. Do not sacrifice the health of the fish to collect data
  8. Pencil works best with these data forms

How to handle the finished form

Anglers are asked to return their VTR forms to WDFW as soon as possible upon completing their fishing trip. Anglers can return the completed VTR form by 3 convenient methods:

  1. Give the form directly to a WDFW ramp sampler stationed at the boat ramp
  2. Return in via US mail (the VTR forms come pre-addressed with postage paid)
  3. Insert the form into a VTR collection box located at the boat ramp or in the fishing resort, if available

Questions?

Please contact Mark Baltzell (360-902-2808, Mark.Baltzell@dfw.wa.gov) for Puget Sound/Strait of Juan de Fuca fisheries, or Erica Speidel (360-249-1220, Erica.Speidel@dfw.wa.gov) for Coastal fisheries.