DECEMBER 6, 2014 WILLAPA MANAGEMENT PUBLIC MEETING

DECEMBER 6, 2014 WILLAPA MANAGEMENT PUBLIC MEETING

Well how did the meeting Willapa meeting Saturday go? Those following the issue are probably going to be surprised when I say rather well. In fact having been to more than one meeting in 30 years it was one of the best as to participation and focus. The Commercials came prepared, held their ground and did a decent job of presenting their views as did the Recs. To be honest I was more than a little surprised and all need to be complimented on their conduct. Also I think Steve Theisfeld did a descent job and deserves an attaboy. He was frank & straight forward and to the point.  So high points.

 

AHA Model: Andy Appleby went through a presentation on AHA model. Nothing new for those attending but I think Andy did a better job defining just what the model can & cannot do. It is operable with the glitches removed but WDF&W only received the final product mid day Friday so hatchery / harvest scenarios have yet to be run.

 

The Management Policy Draft: Well the changes were in a strike out format and pretty easy to track. Some big some small as to changes but several major changes for accountability. Through the meeting the new policy would come in and out of the conversation. In fact Steve even urged folks to read it and comment on it but at that point of the meeting I do not think all truly understood the process.  

 

Later in the option discussion again the subject came up. This time it was brought forth rather bluntly that the "options" are not the policy. The devil is in the details & the details are the draft Willapa Management Policy verbiage.  Steve reinforced this and clearly told folks not to just look at some option but go to the draft to define the language that would even allow such a option. So I think most are getting to the point of reading the policy carefully.

 

Hatchery Production / Harvest Scenarios ( options ):  6 were brought up with one identified as Hybrid  Rec & another as Commercial. Do any work? No idea but one can begin to get a glimmer of what is coming. The issue up front is few paid attention to the instructions from the Commission that Willapa WILL comply with HSRG. Of which the drivers will be the straying & the PNI on both pNOS ( wild ) and pHOS ( hatchery ) adults. Think of it this way it is doubtful that Forks Creek Hatchery can produce ( other than a small number ) Chinook. The straying at present has 3.8 hatchery adults spawning in the gravel for every wild fish and it is not likely a weir will be put in the main river to force them into the hatchery. So what does this mean to a 2T Rec or Commercial fisheries. No idea yet but if the Chinook production is in the South Channel you are going to end up with a rather good dip in Chinook and Coho fishery if the Commercials are kept out of 2T & U, maybe. I doubt that will completely be possible with a drop dead date of Commercial exclusion to only September 15.  Also the mix of Chinook  hatchery / wild might require restrictions in some portions of these two areas as the wild stocks have been driven down to such a low point that flexibility for season setting is rather limited. We have a lot of things that about to come together and I doubt if anyone knows for sure what things will look like.

 

What Is Next:  Well next Saturday is the Commission meeting and Willapa will be on the agenda with a dedicated public input time.  Also as soon as the revised draft is out and about along with the options I or someone will get the information or links to it as soon as it is  available.

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