Voluntary Trip Report (VTR) Program
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Anglers, We Need Your Help!

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Voluntary Salmon Angler Trip Report

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Removed adipose fin (hatchery salmon) and intact adipose fin (wild salmon)
Thank you very much for your assistance with this VTR collection effort! Your cooperation will help provide the information needed for selective Chinook fishery planning into the future. VTR data are crucial for maximizing salmon fishing opportunities and for overall recreational salmon fisheries management in Puget Sound.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is working to increase angler participation in our Voluntary Trip Report (VTR) program in all selective Chinook fisheries occurring in the Strait of Juan de Fuca (Areas 5 and 6) and Puget Sound (Areas 7, 8-1, 8-2, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13). Returned VTR's have been instrumental in providing critical information used by WDFW to maintain and increase salmon fishing opportunities in Puget Sound.

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

Your cooperation is very much appreciated and will help provide the information that is needed for recreational salmon fisheries management in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the rest of Puget Sound. With the loss of our dockside sampling in Willapa Bay this information is incredibly valuable for management of fisheries in Willapa Bay.

WDFW staff stationed at boat ramps will ask anglers if they would be willing to fill out a VTR form while on their salmon fishing trip. Anglers are asked to record the date, number of anglers, target species, Catch Record Card Area, encountered species (if you positively identified the fish), including each Chinook or coho salmon, whether the fish was kept or released, total length to the nearest 1/8th inch, and whether the fish was adipose fin-clipped (marked) or not clipped (unmarked).

The Importance of Your VTR Data

Your VTR data is critically important to enable evaluation of selective Chinook fisheries and planning of future selective Chinook fisheries. We use a combination of test boat data and VTR data to estimate the mark rate of legal-size (22 inches total length and larger) and sublegal-size (less than 22 inches total length) Chinook.

Our objective is to obtain the most accurate estimates possible of the number of marked and unmarked Chinook salmon encountered by anglers in each selective Chinook fishery. From previous year's results, we have demonstrated that fewer fish are caught and released in selective Chinook fisheries than previously thought. The VTR data have increased our ability to maximize recreational salmon fishing opportunities each year. Without selective fishing and the VTR program, fishing seasons would have been shorter.

How You Can Help

  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 the selective Chinook fisheries:

    • Marine Area 1 - June 9 – June 22, 2012
    • Marine Area 2 – June 9- June 23, 2012
    • Marine Area 3 – June 16 – 30, 2012
    • Marine Area 4 – June 16 – 30, 2012
    • Marine Area 5 – July 1 – Aug 15, 2012
    • Marine Area 6 – July 1 – Aug 15, 2012 and Dec 1, 2012 – Apr 10, 2013
    • Marine Area 7 – Dec 1, 2012 – April 30, 2013
    • Marine Area(s) 81/82 – Nov 1, 2012 – April 30, 2013
    • Marine Area 9 - July 16 through August 31, 2012; November 1 through November 30, 2012; and January 16 through April 15, 2013.
    • Marine Area 10 - July 16 through August 31, 2012 (excluding Elliot Bay) and October 1, 2012 through January 31, 2013.
    • Marine Area 11 - June 1 through September 30, 2012; February 1 through April 30, 2013
    • Marine Area 12 – July 1 – Oct 15, 2012 (South of Ayock point) Oct 16, - Dec 31, 2012 and February 1 through April 30, 2013
    • Marine Area 13 - May 1 through September 30, 2012

  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, but cannot be brought inside the boat.

  7. Do not sacrifice the health of the fish to collect the data.

  8. Pencil works best on the data forms.

What to do with 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 three convenient methods;

  1. Give the form directly to a WDFW ramp sampler stationed at the boat ramp.
  2. Return it in the mail (pre-addressed and postage paid).
  3. Insert the form into a VTR collection box located at the boat ramp or in the fishing resort office, if available (e.g., in Areas 5 & 6 in summer of 2008).

If You Have Questions

Call Steve Thiesfeld at (360) 902-2715 or Mark Baltzell (360) 902-2807 if you have any questions or need additional forms.