4/9 COMMISSION MEETING GRAYS HARBOR & WILLAPA

4/9 COMMISSION MEETING GRAYS HARBOR & WILLAPA

OK on the Commission meeting yesterday with Willapa & Grays Harbor on the agenda. First Willapa Policy ( long term ) was reviewed and after testimony all over the board the Commission requested another option (D) be developed using a 14% harvest rate. That sent shudders out and about. Keep in mind last year the agency used 20% which came out at 37%+ so that will be a challenge to meet with the NT Nets. Also the need for reform to insure no ESA and Federal control was aired out. This is the first time I can recall that the depth of the problem of overharvest of natural origin Chinook in Willapa was openly & frankly discussed. On the Interim Willapa Policy they accepted the agency draft ( which I will post as soon as I get a electronic copy ) but changed the harvest rate from 20% to 14%. Lot of rockin & rollin around that!

In the GH review the agency presentation was better and pretty straight forward. Now here one of the Commissioners ( associated with commercial interest ) attempted to amend the policy but that went down after it was pointed out it was a review not a "reopening". The Commercials really & I mean really hate 4/3 ( three days a week net free ) and went after it. Frankly the manner in which the Commercials present presented their case was, to say the least, lacking in thought and facts. Did not work well.

On the other hand the fact that the QIN gobbled up much of the Chinook savings was put forward but the agency did not do that well in defining the issue which created some confusion. The thing I find most striking is this simple fact, despite acknowledging the issue staff did not define how it was presented to the QIN. Back mathing the harvest model it was not apparent that the run was early and way short of preseason forecast. So if the run had come in at forecasted size the % the QIN take and escapement would have been different.

Tribal relations are as low as I have seen since the post Boldt years and it needs to be resolved but frankly this is a agency issue, one that a citizen will have little impact on, and rooted in the QIN mistrust of WDF&W. Now Steve Thiesfeld is new and is different from past WDF&W managers but like it or not he is saddled with years of history, most bad. Frankly having been around QIN fishers over the years they have very real reasons not to trust WDF&W. I mean like hell if the QIN had dropped days of there schedule WDF&W would have simply put in the NT Nets in their place. So on this one it is still finger pointing time.

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