ARE INRIVER SPORTS GETTNG A RAW DEAL?
Just how does the inriver sports get the shaft and no gold? Two reasons really. First WDF&W created a Grays Harbor Advisory Board consisting of citizen advocates both commercial and recreational. A management plan was then developed with implementation of a four tier harvest methodology based upon the availability ( run size ) of all three salmon species in a given year. ( read it here ) The plan, although several years old, is still labeled DRAFT, has never been put out for public review, has not been adopted by the WDF&W Commission, it was just implemented. ( read it here )
OK as eyes start to glaze over just what does it mean to the inland river sports fisher? Exactly what you witnessed in 2012. To boil it down to a very basic description it is this. " Nothing but the spawner escapement goal plus the average inriver sports catch plus the average Chehalis Tribal commercial catch above the 101 bridge reach in Aberdeen" ( E+S+CT above 101 ) So when you read in the paper great run size this year and fishing will be great your pumped, hot d--- this is going to be a great year you say! Ah ............ nope, exactly the same for the inriver fishers as the year before and the year before that and the year before that as the salmon will be harvested down to E+S+CT above 101 by the commercial fisheries regardless of the run size.
The second part is this simple basic thing about the sport fishers. We will buy a license and go fishing regardless of the number of fish available. 10,000 or 50,000 fish available we buy that license and go fishing! Great run size the commercial fisheries get more, smaller run size less. The inriver sport always sees the same, never see the benefits of a great year, does see restrictions on tributaries for conservation (Wynoochee in recent years ) while the commercial fishery continues to harvest. We bitch, wine, yell BUT we still buy that license and go fishing. WDF&W counts on that! Oh sure you have the North of Falcon meeting in Montesano and another in Olympia for public input on any given years harvest but those events are little more than a " dog & pony show " as the GH Management plan dictates the same E+S+CT above 101 every year. Feeling warm and fuzzy all over yet?
What can you do? Well watch the videos in the tutorial and use the library to educate yourself. That is rather the standard politically correct bit don't you think? If your answer was yes then you are absolutely 100% correct. The approach WDFW takes in setting seasons is not.
Take the time to write a letter or E mail to the WDF&W Commission objecting to the continued discrimination toward the Chehalis Basin's inland communities inriver sport fisher by WDF&W. Go right at the Commission as they have the final say not Director Anderson and you are NOT going to change Mr. Anderson's mindset. If you e mail or write a letter to the Commission the staff will forward a copy to each commissioner so it is not that difficult. Your other choice is the same E+S+CT above 101 in 2013 and you see how that worked out for us last year.
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
600 Capitol Way North
Olympia, WA 98501-1091
The Plan and Four Tier modeling is available for viewing or downloading in the Fishileaks library in pdf format. Hit this link GH Managment Plan Docs, PDF versions.
Posted on Mon, February 11, 2013
by Dave Hamilton