In January 2013, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission (WFWC) adopted Policy C-3620. The policy was amended in 2017 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.
The intention of these meetings was to determine the process, goals, and review fishery information, and then develop recommendations to each state’s commission to consider for adoption. The two primary focuses of the PRC were to, first, provide recommendations that will achieve concurrency for 2019, and secondly prioritize the list of ideas generated during the five-year review and PRC process and make recommendations for potential modifications in the long-term. It is expected the PRC meetings will continue into summer 2019 to continue working on possible recommendations.