State seeks policy feedback on Willapa Bay salmon management, hatchery reform 

Date
Contact

Fish Program, 360-902-2700 

Public invited to submit comments online through Oct. 12

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public feedback on two salmon management policies.  

Both policies, the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy and draft revisions to the Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy, were up for public discussion at the Fish and Wildlife Commission’s September meeting. The public comment period for draft revisions to the Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy has been extended by request of the Commission. WDFW will now accept comments for both policies through Oct. 12.

“Public input is critical to our work,” said Ron Warren, WDFW fish policy director. “We want to provide additional opportunity for people to weigh in so that we ultimately adopt policies that have benefitted from the knowledge of those most invested in their implementation.” 

Based on Commission guidance, any Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy revised language will be submitted for additional public review and will be discussed with tribal co-managers in advance of a final Commission decision at its December 3-5 meeting. Commission meeting times and agendas can be found online at wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/meetings.

In June 2018, the Fish and Wildlife Commission directed WDFW to review and update its Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy, which was originally adopted in November 2009. The policy is intended to advance the conservation and recovery of wild salmon and steelhead by promoting and guiding the implementation of hatchery reform. To view the Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy draft revisions and instructions for providing comments, visit wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/management/hatcheries/hatchery-reform-policy-review

WDFW staff will present a summary of public feedback on the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy and draft revisions to the Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy to the Commission for consideration at its Oct. 22-24 meeting. Comments on the Willapa Bay policy will inform Commission discussion in October about possible modifications to policy language. The Commission is interested in hearing public feedback on whether the Willapa Bay policy should be modified and what sort of modifications are needed.

Adopted in June 2015, the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy is designed to help restore natural salmon runs, reduce conflicts between commercial and recreational fisheries in Willapa Bay, and enhance the economic well-being and stability of the recreational and commercial fishing industry in the state. To learn more about the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy and provide comments, visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/willapa-bay-policy-review.

WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation opportunities.  

Persons with disabilities who need to receive this information in an alternative format or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact Dolores Noyes by phone (360-902-2349), TTY (360-902-2207), or email (Title6@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation.