WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

September 09, 2008
Contact: WDFW Region 5 Office, (360) 696-6211

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New bi-state advisory group will meet
to discuss Columbia catch-sharing plan

VANCOUVER, Wash. - A new bi-state advisory group created by fish and wildlife commissions in Washington and Oregon will hold a public meeting here Sept. 15 to begin developing recommendations on a catch-sharing plan for two popular Columbia River salmon fisheries.

The new Columbia River Fish Working Group will meet from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the southwest regional office of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), 2108 Grand Boulevard.

The group's first charge is to recommend a new plan for apportioning harvest opportunities for spring and summer chinook salmon between sport and commercial fisheries in the lower Columbia River.

That plan is due in mid-November, prior to a vote on a catch-sharing agreement by the full commissions of both states in December. Once the advisory group has made its recommendations, it will be directed to consider a broader range of issues - including salmon recovery, selective fisheries and hatchery reform - on the Columbia River.

Three fish and wildlife commissioners from each state will serve as voting members of the advisory group. Non-voting members include two fishery managers and six citizen representatives from each state.

The group's three voting members from the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission are Gary Douvia, Conrad Mahnken, Ph.D., and Jerry Gutzwiler, who chairs the citizen panel that sets policy for WDFW. Non-voting representatives from the department are Phil Anderson, deputy WDFW director, and Guy Norman, WDFW southwest regional director.

All six citizen advisors chosen to serve on the group by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission are from southwest Washington. Two are affiliated with commercial fisheries, two represent sportfishing associations and two represent local governments. Those members are:

  • Irene Martin, a fishery historian from Skamokawa.
  • Robert Sudar, of Longview, a member of the Columbia River Commercial Advisory Group.
  • Ed Wickersham, of Ridgefield, a member of the Coastal Conservation Association and the Clark Skamania Fly Fishers.
  • Jim Harmon, of Vancouver, Wash., a member of the Southwest Washington Anglers.
  • George Trott, of Cathlamet, a Wahkiakum County commissioner.
  • Axel Swanson, of Kelso, a Cowlitz County commissioner.