2012 NOF CHINOOK HARVEST
To properly do this post I must walk through the following paragraph so stay with me and you will see the reasons in a bit. To start I urge all to view this video Video Link that shows the harvest prior to the Grays Harbor Management Plan and after implementation in 2007. It really helps one get a understanding what of the end results have been for Chinook harvest in the Chehalis Basin in recent years. In addition the link for 2012 Chinook Impacts, 2012 Chinook Impacts take the time to view as it is a real eye opener!
So here we go. As we head into NOF considerable effort has gone into developing a true picture of just how salmon are managed for harvest in Grays Harbor and it's tributaries. We chose Chinook and began to assemble something that average reader could understand. As outlined in my previous NOF Update post first WDF&W utilizes a Power Point presentation for the public participation. NOF Presentation Then the proposed season impacts are next presented at the NOF meeting in Olympia Read FRAM with the Grays Harbor Management Plan Tiers. 2012 Tiers I realize this process is highly technical and difficult to fully grasp but these are the tools WDF&W utilizes like it or not. The end results of this is the fact that WDF&W will consistently state in public the harvestable number is split 50 / 50 state and QIN but not more than a 10% total impact on escapement. ( spawners ) This is then split to allow 5% each for the state and QIN by harvest on the projected returns on any of the three salmon species. WDF&W staff repeats this time after time and is the limiting factor for harvest. Then WDF&W meets with the QIN to finalize the harvest plan for both State and QIN fisheries based upon the Grays Harbor Management and Tiers.
So to the heart of the matter. I believe much of what I outlined above is not true. It may be what WDF&W would prefer, hope for, even work for but simply is not what happens. Why, because the QIN has never supported or agreed to WDF&W's GH Management Plan. The QIN does not accept 10% impact cap on non-harvestable stocks or accept segregation of the basin into separate Hump and Chehalis sub stocks, only an aggregate GH Chinook stock. Simply put at the entrance to Grays Harbor the QIN gets 50% of the harvestable salmon, period. The end result? In 2012 the final FRAM it shows that WDF&W agreed to the QIN harvesting not just 50% of the harvestable Chinook but 18% of the Chehalis Basin SPAWNER ESCAPEMENT or 2,426 fish that supposedly were destined to spawn to perpetuate the species. Using the numbers provided in the 2012 Final FRAM obtained in a PDR request we are able provide the TRUE impacts to Chinook in the Chehalis and Humptulips Rivers in the 2012 salmon harvest. 2012 Chinook Impacts To the best of my knowledge this information was never provided to the public, intended to be seen by the public, or even acknowledged by WDF&W and this is not just wrong but deceptive! To proceed through a entire public process portraying the information as factual but knowing full well it had zero chance of being implemented is ......... well you the reader choose the words.
I had intended to provide much more detail in this post but we are getting a bit long here so I will follow up in the next few days with addition post to give the reader a better opportunity to fully understand the issue. That said at this point most will blame the QIN for what happened in the Chinook harvest in 2012. To be honest what the QIN did is just plain WRONG but if viewed in a historical perspective not unexpected and remember WDF&W agreed to the QIN harvest plan. View the Boldt video Bodlt Video and it is not difficult realize why that despite the public posturing the relationship between WDF&W and the QIN at the policy level appears to be strained at best. Add to it as the QIN and WDF&W are co-managers one would expect that the QIN would have not just input but be part of the design of any harvest plan developed and that appears not to have happened. The additional thing to remember is this, WDF&W does exactly the same thing with harvest with the same results, it is just not seen by the public.
That subject will be my next post.
A special thanks to Soft Bite for the hours of spread sheet work.
Posted on Tue, February 19, 2013
by Dave Hamilton