OLYMPIA - Anglers, commercial fishers and others interested in Washington state salmon fisheries can get a preview of this year's salmon returns and potential fishing seasons during a public meeting here March 3.
Kicking off the annual salmon season-setting process, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will present initial forecasts - compiled by state and tribal biologists - of 2014 salmon returns.
The meeting is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington Street S.E., in Olympia.
Those attending the meeting will have an opportunity to talk to fishery managers about the pre-season forecasts and participate in work sessions focusing on possible salmon fisheries and conservation issues.
WDFW has also scheduled additional public meetings focusing on regional salmon issues through early April. This series of meetings - involving representatives from federal, state and tribal governments and recreational and commercial fishing industries - is known as the North of Falcon process.
A meeting schedule and more information about the salmon season-setting process for Puget Sound, the Columbia River and the Washington coast is available on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/.
The North of Falcon process is held in conjunction with public meetings conducted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), responsible for establishing fishing seasons in ocean water three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.
Final adoption of the 2014 salmon fisheries is scheduled for April 10 at the PFMC meeting in Vancouver, Wash.