January 25, 2007
Contact: Pat Pattillo, (360) 902-2705
Public meeting scheduled February 27
on 2007 salmon forecast
OLYMPIA – Anglers will have their first opportunity to preview this year’s proposed salmon fishing seasons during a public meeting here Feb. 27.
During the meeting, which kicks 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 – for 2007 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 be able to ask questions about the pre-season forecasts and participate in work sessions focusing on key salmon-management issues in the region.
Public review of WDFW’s pre-season salmon forecasts marks the start of the annual “North of Falcon” process. During that process, state, tribal and federal fisheries managers will meet throughout March and early April to establish salmon seasons for Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington coastal areas.
Although restrictions will continue in some areas to protect wild salmon stocks listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, anglers once again will have numerous fishing opportunities this year throughout the region, said WDFW Director Jeff Koenings.
“Conservation is our first priority as we go about shaping these salmon fisheries,” Koenings said. “We will continue to work with the public and the tribes to develop fisheries that provide anglers the best fishing opportunities without jeopardizing the protection and recovery of weak wild salmon stocks.”
The North of Falcon process is held in conjunction with public meetings conducted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), which establishes fishing seasons in ocean water three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.
“It’s important that the public participate in these discussions,” said Koenings. “Input from anglers and others interested in salmon is a vital part of the season-setting process.”
Final adoption of the 2007 salmon fisheries is scheduled for April 6 at the PFMC meeting in SeaTac.
More information about the North of Falcon process is available on WDFW’s North of Falcon website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/northfalcon/index.htm, which will be updated to include the pre-season salmon run-size forecasts after the Feb. 27 meeting.
Other key North of Falcon meetings, all open to the public, are as follows:
- March 5-9 – Pacific Fishery Management Council, DoubleTree Hotel, 2001 Point West Way, Sacramento, Calif.
- March 7 – Puget Sound fisheries discussion, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., WDFW Mill Creek Office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd., Mill Creek.
- March 12 – Columbia River fisheries discussion, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Vancouver Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver, Wash.
- March 13 – North of Falcon meeting, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Lacey Community Center, 6729 Pacific Avenue, Lacey.
- March 19 – Grays Harbor fisheries discussion, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Montesano City Hall, 112 N. Main Street, Montesano.
- March 21 – Willapa Bay fisheries discussion, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Willapa Harbor Chamber of Commerce Community Center, 916 West 1st Street, South Bend.
- March 26 – Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor fisheries meeting, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington Street S.E., in Olympia.
- March 27 – North of Falcon meeting, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Embassy Suites Hotel, 20610 44th Avenue West, Lynnwood.
- April 2-6 – Final Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting, Seattle Marriot Hotel, 3201 S. 176th Street, SeaTac.