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May 22, 2013
Contact: John Weinheimer, (360) 906-6746

Steelhead planning on four rivers begins
with public meeting, work group nominations

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will host a public meeting June 4 in Vancouver, Wash., to begin the process of developing steelhead management plans for four tributaries to the Columbia River.

The department is also seeking nominations for a citizens work group to assist in that effort.

The plans will address steelhead management in the North Fork Lewis, East Fork Lewis and Washougal rivers and Salmon Creek – together known in the planning process as the Cascade Stratum.

The meeting is scheduled June 4 from 6-8 p.m. at the WDFW Region 5 Office at 2108 Grand Blvd. in Vancouver.

Cindy Le Fleur, WDFW regional fish program manager, said the department hopes to enlist 10 to 15 people to participate in the planning process, which will involve a series of meetings over the six-month period beginning in July.

“The upcoming meeting will provide a forum to discuss the goals and the context of the planning process,” Le Fleur said. “We encourage anyone with an interest in the future of steelhead in the four rivers to attend.”

Le Fleur said WDFW is currently developing regional management plans for steelhead in watersheds throughout the state, including the Columbia River Basin. One work group has already provided input to the department on a management plan for tributaries in the Gorge, and another is developing recommendations on a separate plan for the Toutle, Coweeman and Kalama rivers.

The plans are designed to ensure steelhead management in Washington’s rivers are consistent with goals outlined in the statewide Steelhead Management Plan and other applicable guidelines, Le Fleur said. Each plan will consider natural production goals, hatchery production, fishing regulations, monitoring and other factors.

The statewide Steelhead Management Plan is posted on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisheries/steelhead/management_plan.html.

Nominations for the work group are due to WDFW by June 30. A nomination form and address for submission are available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/attach/may2213a.doc.

WDFW will select the membership of the work group by July 15.