Columbia River Fishery Policy review process

In January 2013, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission (WFWC) adopted Policy C-3620. The policy was amended in 2017 and 2019 and expires in 2023. The objectives of the policy "are to promote orderly fisheries (particularly in waters in which the states of Washington and Oregon have concurrent jurisdiction), advance the conservation and recovery of wild salmon and steelhead, and maintain or enhance the economic well-being and stability of the fishing industry in the state." The policy recognizes uncertainty in implementation, so depends on continued economic and biological analysis, and relies on an adaptive management approach.

As required by Policy C-3620, staff conducted a five-year policy performance review during 2018 with stakeholder input and issued a final report. Oregon and Washington Commissions held a joint meeting in November, 2018 to discuss Columbia River issues and indicated interest in reaching policy and regulatory concurrency between the two states for 2019 in time for the North of Falcon salmon season setting process and, as soon as possible thereafter, for 2020 and beyond. The two commissions agreed to create the Joint-State Columbia River Fishery Policy Review Committee (PRC) consisting of three Washington and three Oregon commissioners to develop recommendations to the full commissions in each State.

Seven PRC meetings were held in 2019. In January 2020, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission suspended activity in the PRC process. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is continuing the review of Policy C-3620 and has established a Columbia River Policy Workgroup composed of three commissioners with the intent to conclude the review process by summer of 2020.

Meeting materials prepared for the 2020 meetings of the Columbia River Policy Workgroup and the 2019 PRC meetings are listed below. Written public comment has been solicited as part of the workgroup and committee process and is included at the bottom of this page under "additional materials."

At the June 12, 2020 Commission meeting, the Commission approved release a draft of revised language for Policy C-3620 for public review.  The materials under the Commission meeting agenda item at that time are shown below.

Public Review Draft of Policy C-3620 Revisions

Workgroup and Committee meeting materials

Reference Document 1. Policy C-3620: Columbia River Basin Salmon Management 
Reference Document 2. February 26, 2019 PRC Recommendation Transmission Document 
Reference Document 3. March 11, 2020 Meeting Working Draft of Policy Language 

Additional materials

Submit comments to the workgroup