OLYMPIA – An additional public workshop has been scheduled Dec. 9 to discuss how annual seasons are set for recreational salmon fisheries, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
The workshop, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lacey Community Center, 6729 Pacific Ave., is a continuation of an earlier meeting that took place in October, said Pat Pattillo, salmon policy coordinator for WDFW. During the October meeting, WDFW staff discussed legal, technical and policy issues regarding the annual salmon season-setting process, known as North of Falcon.
“We’re going to continue our discussion from the earlier meeting and talk about several other issues, including potential 2009 salmon fisheries and plans for expanding selective fisheries,” said Pattillo.
Selective fisheries allow anglers to catch and keep abundant hatchery salmon – marked with a missing adipose fin – but require that they release wild salmon, many of which are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Pattillo said WDFW is considering a third public workshop in February. That workshop would allow for a continued discussion of the salmon season-setting process and give department staff an opportunity to elaborate on potential 2009 salmon fisheries, he said.
Each year state, federal and tribal fishery managers gather to plan the Northwest's recreational and commercial salmon fisheries. This series of public meetings, usually scheduled from late February through early April, involves federal, state and tribal fisheries managers, as well as industry representatives and other citizens.
Fishery managers generally refer to the entire set of pre-season meetings as North of Falcon. The name refers to Cape Falcon in northern Oregon, which marks the southern border of active management for Washington salmon stocks.
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.