Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Oct. 20, 2020

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State seeks policy feedback on Willapa Bay salmon management, hatchery reform


OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public feedback on two salmon management policies.

Both policies, the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy and draft revisions to the Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy, were up for public discussion at the Fish and Wildlife Commission’s meeting in September. The department will now accept comments for both policies through Oct. 12 after the public comment period for draft revisions to the Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy has been extended by request of the commission.

“Public input is critical to our work,” WDFW Fish Policy Director Ron Warren said. “We want to provide additional opportunity for people to weigh in so that we ultimately adopt policies that have benefited from the knowledge of those most invested in their implementation.”

Based on commission guidance, any Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy language revision will be submitted for additional public review and will be discussed with tribal co-managers in advance of a final decision at the commission’s meeting Dec. 3-5. Commission meeting times and agendas can be found online at wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/meetings/.

In June 2018, the Fish and Wildlife Commission directed WDFW to review and update its Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy, which was originally adopted in Nov. 2009. The policy is intended to advance the conservation and recovery of wild salmon and steelhead by promoting and guiding the implementation of hatchery reform. To view the Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy draft revisions and instructions for providing comments, visit wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/management/hatcheries/hatchery-reform-policy-review/.

WDFW staff will present a summary of public feedback at the commission at the commission meeting Oct. 22-24.

The commission is interested in hearing public feedback on whether the Willapa Bay policy should be modified and what sort of modifications are needed.

Adopted in June 2015, the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy is designed to help restore natural salmon runs, reduce conflicts between commercial and recreational fisheries in Willapa Bay, and enhance the economic well-being and stability of the fishing industries in the state. To view the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy and provide comments, visit wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/policies/willapa-bay-salmon-management/.