Fish Program, 360-902-2700
Media Contact: Eryn Couch, 360-890-6604
OLYMPIA – Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is inviting the public to a 5 p.m. Nov. 29 coastal steelhead virtual town hall, wrapping up the Department’s four-part series of meetings this fall to gather public feedback ahead of the 2021-2022 coastal steelhead season. The meeting is slated to include discussion of co-manager agreed-to fishing plans for the season.
“The amount of thoughtful and constructive feedback we've heard throughout this pre-season planning process is truly impressive,” said Kelly Cunningham, WDFW fish program director. “Public feedback is at the core of how we move forward toward a plan for next season and this final town hall is a critical part of this process.”
WDFW fishery managers will spend the weeks ahead of the Nov. 29 town hall finalizing management plans alongside tribal co-managers that will guide the approach to the 2021-2022 coastal steelhead season. WDFW staff will also update the Fish and Wildlife Commission's Fish Committee on the anticipated approach for the 2021-2022 coastal steelhead season during a Nov. 17 special meeting.
WDFW fishery managers will consider final public feedback received during the Nov. 29 meeting ahead of a December announcement of the final approach for the 2021-2022 season.
The outlook for coastal steelhead is poor, with the most recent returns in 2021 failing to meet escapement goals, which reflect the number of steelhead surviving to the spawning grounds. Furthermore, the 2021 total returns to the Washington Coast were the lowest on record.
To help achieve conservation objectives, last season’s fishery restricted the use of bait and fishing from a boat, ultimately ending in an early closure to help increase the number of wild steelhead that return to the spawning grounds. Tribal governments took similar steps to help support coastal steelhead conservation.
WDFW continues to operate under its Statewide Steelhead Management Plan, which requires the Department to prioritize the sustainability of wild coastal steelhead runs by focusing on healthy levels of abundance, productivity, diversity, and distribution.
For more information about the Nov. 29 town hall, previous meetings and other opportunities to share feedback, please visit wdfw.wa.gov/coastal-steelhead. The meeting will be recorded and posted online so people can also watch the meeting afterwards at their convenience.
For more information about upcoming Commission meetings, please visit wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/meetings.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.