OLYMPIA – Future allocations of salmon and sturgeon in the Columbia River will be the focus of a public meeting Oct. 20 in Cathlamet, hosted by the Washington and Oregon fish and wildlife departments.
Washington and Oregon fish and wildlife commissions will decide this winter how to allocate salmon and sturgeon between recreational and commercial interests in both states for the next several years. The meeting Oct. 20, like one held earlier this month in Vancouver, Wash., will allow people to learn about, and comment on, the issues.
“We want to give the public a chance to learn about these issues and provide input before we go to the commission,” said Cindy LeFleur, Columbia River policy coordinator for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “There are so many Columbia River issues we wanted to wrap them all together.”
The public meeting is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 20 at Julius Wendt Elementary School, 265 South Third St., in Cathlamet.
Washington and Oregon fish and wildlife commissions will be briefed on Columbia River fish-allocation issues at a joint meeting Nov. 3. No public testimony will be taken at that that meeting, although both states’ commissions will schedule public comment periods during each of the meetings that follow.
In early December, each commission will decide on commercial and recreational allocations for sturgeon. The Washington meeting is scheduled Dec. 2-3 in the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. on the capitol campus in Olympia.
In January, the commissions will approve allocations for spring chinook and consider wild winter steelhead impacts in Columbia River spring chinook fisheries. In February, the commissions will consider allocations for summer chinook and fall chinook.
WDFW will publicize the time and location of those public meetings once they are available.