600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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December 28, 2007
Contact: Susan Yeager, (360) 902-2267

Commission invites public comments
on Columbia River chinook allocation

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission invites public comments on the allocation of Columbia River spring and summer chinook salmon between sport and commercial fisheries at its January meeting in Vancouver, Wash.

The commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will meet Jan. 11-12 at the Red Lion Hotel, 100 Columbia St. in Vancouver, starting at 8 a.m. both days. Public comments on the salmon-allocation issue are scheduled the morning of Jan. 12.

With current allocation policies for Columbia River spring and summer chinook salmon set to expire Dec. 31, 2007, the commission is seeking public comments as it considers new guidelines that are likely to govern the next two fishing seasons. The commission will not take action on that issue at its January meeting, but is scheduled to adopt new allocation guidelines at a meeting Feb. 1-2, 2008 in Olympia.

The commission is also scheduled to meet Jan. 10 with the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to discuss allocation policies for Columbia River chinook salmon, predation by sea lions and other issues of mutual interest. That meeting, also scheduled at the Red Lion Hotel in Vancouver, is open to the public, although no public comments will be taken.

Copies of the 2005-07 allocation policy for spring chinook (C3615) and summer chinook salmon (C3616) are available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/com/policies.htm on the commission’s website. Information about a new stakeholder group of recreational and commercial interests convened by WDFW and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to develop a joint plan for those fisheries is available at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/CRSFVP/index.asp.

Other issues scheduled for consideration by the commission during its Jan. 11-12 meeting are adoption of new rules for the state’s Master Hunter Program and a proposal to reclassify the bald eagle as "sensitive" - rather than "threatened" - under state law. In addition, WDFW staff will brief the commission on several other issues, including:

  • Progress in reforming the state’s hatchery system
  • Razor clam growth and natural mortality
  • North of Falcon policy for setting salmon seasons
  • The Enforcement Program’s role in homeland security and emergency management

A full agenda is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/com/meetings.htm.