we approach the end of the comment period on the Willapa Management Plan (WMP)
I would urge all to submit your thoughts. Even if it is down to you object to
the allocation of 80% plus to commercial fisheries or the fact that, well
whatever your thoughts are. The Commissioners are a pretty straight up group of
folks and I am sure they will consider your thoughts be it Rec or Commercial.
Now I said consider not adopt but it is important for all to put forth their
thoughts as one can always support a consensus or compromise position if one materializes
on down the road. Frankly I have always felt that a individuals personal
perspectives add far more to review and discussion of issues than just the mass
rubber stamping of policy. So participate folks it is your right as a citizen. Here is the link to Commissions website and
comment link. WDF&W Commission If you need help finding
information e mail me and I will do what I can to assist your effort.
down off the stump. Here are a couple of
interesting things out and about. First up the segregated vs integrated stocks
and below is verbiage from HSRG.
HSRG June 2004 HSRG/WDFW/NWIFC Technical Discussion Paper #1: Integrated Hatchery
Programs June 21, 2004.
A hatchery program is a Segregated Type if the intent is for the hatchery
population to represent a distinct population that is reproductively isolated
from naturally-spawning populations.
Formal Definition: A hatchery
program is an Integrated Type if the intent is for the natural environment to
drive the adaptation and fitness of a composite population of fish that spawns
both in a hatchery and in the wild.
in the AHA model they switch back and forth calling the Willapa ( Forks Creek )
Chinook or Naselle segregated dependant on the model option run. Frankly the
only Chinook production in the Willapa that could, should, and is segregated is
Nemah production. So a lot of conversation & confusion around this one at
up is the developing of which stream to call primary in the Willapa Estuary. The primary stream requires
lower hatchery influence and better (PNI) which is simply wild stock into the
hatchery spawn and limited straying of hatchery origin returning adults.
this can or not be of varying degrees of importance depending on the context of
the conversation so here are the HSRG definitions.
the HSRG uses: (LCRSRP);
Primary—biologically significant, core, key, highly viable, important to
recovery. Historically were a large segment of the population structure. Need
to be at low risk of extinction.
Contributing– of some significance, are viable but lower in abundance
than Primary. Contribute to diversity.
Stabilizing—a population, but may not have ever been a large segment of
the population structure.
at present Naselle is primary but two of the options WDF&W developed have
Willapa becoming prime. Good idea or bad? For myself I started out as thinking
switching was in the bad column until I did the pluses and minus thing. So here
the plus / minus bit Willapa prime in
the AHA model runs has a good chance of success. The HSRG guidelines are most
likely going to require a reduction to the 350k Chinook production regardless if
it is prime so the lower production mathematically works out to compliance with
HSRG. With the lower production of Chinook it will create somewhat of and
increase to in protection of North River Chinook. Additionally Willapa is close
but not equal to Naselle in habitat and rearing capacity. The down side is it could affect harvest but the reduction
350K Chinook smolt is likely if Willapa is prime or not. Add to the mix that we
have a four year investment in Naselle as prime that you're walking away from.
Naselle as I said we have a four year investment in Naselle as prime and a lot
of effort ( at least some ) has went into managing as prime. Additionally Naselle
is likely the largest stream in the Willapa Estuary in Chinook habitat and
rearing capacity. Now the downside. The hatchery weir is taken out in Mid
October and prone to failure. The PNI (natural spawning genes into the hatchery
production) is literally in the toilet and getting enough Natural Origin
Spawners (NOS) to turn this around is
going to be difficult to say the least. HSRG identifies the cure for this
problem as not mining the NOS returns to bolster the hatchery PNI but cut
production until the hatchery can comply with HSRG then increase production
with HSRG standards.
at the moment I am leaning toward Willapa as prime not because it is a superior stream but
because it has a higher probability of success
as production cuts are nearly a given at Forks Creek. Naselle as prime has the
potential and likelihood of struggling to meet HSRG standards and as a second
tier Contributing stream it is
allowed a lower PNI and higher stray rate. Above all I would like to see HSRG reforms succeed so in the end like it or
not I slowly moved toward Willapa prime.
certainly is a far more complex and multifaceted issue than I originally
thought. So as the WMP process goes forward look at the issue of the Willapa Estuary
Chinook Primary stream. I think this is one of those issues that the more divergent
views that are in the mix the better off we and the fish will be.
Posted on Wed, January 21, 2015
by Dave Hamilton