Here is a down & dirty look at key conservation
provisions of the GHMP unanimously passed by the commission:
1) Secured a 3 consecutive days/wk net-free
2) Must meet escapement goals for each stock at
least 3 out of the 5 previous years in order to have directed fishing on that
stock & manage for a NT impact of 5%.
3) Affirmed that Hump and Chehalis sub-basins shall
be managed as distinct and separate drainages.
4) Chehalis fall kings are allocated 0.8% to the
state nets at low abundance to 5.8% at high abundance on a linear sliding scale
between run sizes of 18K to 25K. For clarity, the commission shared slides from
about 2% up to 27% of the total state share.
5) Humptulips fall kings will fall under similar
provisions starting at 1.2% at the low end and 5.6%. (memory may be a bit shaky
on that upper number)
I think this about captures what was adopted
yesterday and until it is posted nothing much to add on the verbiage. The thing
is is this another leg of the journey that more or less is coming together in
four stages. So the first steps have been taken so what is next one might ask?
The harvest model & mortalities which Chair Wecker addressed Saturday.
Chair Wecker's closing comments included a
commitment on the record to better determine release mortalities in both the
comm and rec fisheries… about this policy being a new beginning to push the
agency forward in implementing fisheries that improve our ability to
selectively release depressed NON-target stocks unharmed.
This issue is being addressed almost daily as agency
staff and the litigants work to finalize the time line as part of the
settlement of the legal action taken by three East County citizens that was
settled out of court. The entire settlement can be viewed here http://fishingthechehalis.net/nof-process
but the points below are the most relevant at the moment.
a. Assist the Department in the planning, promotion,
and implementation of a workshop to ensure that the release mortality rates
used for preseason planning of commercial fisheries in Grays Harbor are based
on the best available information (Workshop 1 -February 2014). After the
conclusion of the workshop, the panel of independent fishery scientists (paid
for through the independent account created and funded pursuant to paragraph 3,
above) will summarize scientific studies presented at the workshop and provide
recommendations on release mortality rates.
b. Assist the Department in the planning, promotion,
and implementation of a workshop to review the performance identify improved
methods for predicting the catch in Grays Harbor Basin salmon fisheries (Workshop
2 - February 2014). Panelists will present information on the performance of
previous catch projections, propose improvements, and solicit additional
suggestions to improve preseason catch projections.
c. Assist the Department in the planning, promotion,
and implementation of four workshops designed to improve understanding of
salmon fishery management in the Grays Harbor Basin (Workshops 3-6). The
workshops would occur prior to August, 2014.
The third leg of the GHMP reform effort will revolve
around incorporating the policy guidelines adopted into the verbiage &
Tiers in the GHMP. One more time we all need to stay engaged and track this
process as the agency has a real habit of taking a clear statement and giving
it the " fuzzy wuzzy " treatment.
The final element will be when the 2014 NOF process
goes forward to set seasons for 2014 based upon the reformed GHMP. I &
others have gotten the infamous crystal ball out to look into the future and
guess what, we do not have a clue. When everything outlined in this post ( and
previous post ) are completed the fall salmon seasons are going to be different
than in the past to be sure. Moving toward harvest management that places the
fish and conservation first is not going to be painless for any of the users. It
is the price we all will pay for the abuses of the past.
I urge all who visit D's Rants to do the contact bit and I will add your name to the contact list so whenever we have something interesting posted you can be notified