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September 12, 1997
Contact: Margaret Ainscough, (360) 902-2408

Fish and Wildlife Commission to meet with tribes on wild salmonid plan

OLYMPIA The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet with western Washington treaty tribes Sept. 17 to discuss a joint Wild Salmonid Policy.

The public meeting will begin at 10 a.m. at the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission headquarters, 6730 Martin Way E., in Olympia.

No public comment will be taken at the session, which is aimed at reaching agreement over aspects of the proposed policy including balancing conservation and harvest; managing hatchery fish to protect wild fish, and protecting habitat to support restoration of wild fish stocks.

The proposed policy, developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at the direction of the Legislature, is aimed at protecting and restoring fragile wild fish populations. The policy recommends changes in harvest and hatchery operations, as well as establishment of watershed-based citizen councils to reach local decisions on how to provide wild salmon with necessary habitat.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission plans to consider adoption of the policy Oct. 3 in Ellensburg. In the meantime, two public hearings on the policy are scheduled later this month on both sides of the state. The hearings will be from 7 to 11 p.m., Sept. 25 at the Mountaineers' Club, 300 Third Ave. W. in Seattle, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sept. 27 at Cavanaugh's at Yakima Center, 607 E. Yakima Ave., in Yakima.