In case you missed the news, there was a high tide event that happened along with Monday's eclipse that cause a major environmental disaster.

Near the San Juan Islands there are apparently "aquaculture" farms raising nonnative fish such as Atlantic Salmon.

In response, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife enacted an emergency fishery appealing to the public to mitigate some of the environmental damage that can happen if they breed with native chinook or other salmon species.

The one problem with this plan is that Atlantic Salmon do not behave like our local fish and anglers using the same fishing methods are not having any luck.

Cooke Aquaculture notified the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) of a net pen failure on Aug. 19 that caused the release of Atlantic salmon from the Cypress Island location. About 305,000 salmon were in the net pen at the time, though the company initially estimated that only 4,000-5,000 fish have escaped.

That estimate is now being revised according to reports....

The escaped fish are estimated to be eight to 10 pounds in size and are safe to eat.

There is no size or catch limit on Atlantic salmon. However, anglers may only fish for Atlantic salmon in marine waters that are already open to fishing for Pacific salmon or freshwater areas open for trout fishing. Anglers also must stop fishing for Atlantic salmon once they've caught their daily limit of Pacific salmon.

To help anglers identify Atlantic salmon, WDFW has posted a salmon identification guide.

Anglers must have a current fishing license and must also observe gear regulations identified in the 2017-18 sport fishing rules pamphlet. Anglers do not have to report Atlantic salmon on their catch record cards.

Some environmentalists and wild fish advocates are saying that this event is a native fish disaster, but state biologists aren't so sure. To date, there is no record of Atlantic salmon successfully reproducing with Pacific salmon in Washington's waters, WDFW biologists say.

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