GH & WILLAPA NOF UPDATE
Where are we at in the GH & Willapa NOF process? Well Willapa is on hold until staff get guidance from the Commission on a interim harvest policy. The Grays Harbor season setting process is slowly going forward with the usual discord but so far staff has tried to get it right and stick to the management plan. For some used to the old ways where a select group have a disproportionate influence on the outcome it has been difficult. For myself and others it has been a journey to learn rules are rules and words have meaning. They tell you what you can and cannot do, not the old way of personal perception or ones favorite fishery maintained at the expense of another fishery is in the past. Believe me when I say those that had that influence in the past are NOT taking it well.
We have some issues to work around as we are in the 3/5 "penalty box". Now 3/5 is if we fail to make escapement 3 out of 5 years regardless of the number forecasted harvestable, only a 5% impact on that species in areas A,B, & D. For the Chehalis Chinook it is now at 4 out of 5 missing the escapement mark. So we are in the 3/5 "penalty box". In the Humptulips it is Natural Origin Coho (wild) that is pulling us down as they have not made escapement for over 20 years.
In the past most that put conservation first struggled with the concept that "all paper fish must die" The difference this year from past years is the fact that the Grays Harbor Management Plan requires 3 days a week net free (4/3) which makes for a real inriver Rec fishery and is a safety net for the fish if we blow the projected impacts in the harvest model.
So the Grays Harbor season setting process is slowly moving forward. With the wide spread in options thus far it is not worth the effort to do a detailed analysis until staff puts forth what is going into the CR 102. ( the CR 102 is the legal part to set the WAC / legal seasons & bag limits )
So things are moving forward with much more to come I am sure. Steve Theisfeld has put out 4 harvest model runs for review and if anyone wants them PM me and I will forward them to you.
Posted on Fri, March 13, 2015
by Dave Hamilton