MORE SHENANIGANS FROM OUR LEGISLATORS
I know all are tired of the shenanigans of some of our legislators but I thought I would get this CCA Action alert out. It about captures everything out and about at the moment. One would think that at some point the Commercial fishers supporters would accept hatchery reform but it does not seem to be the case.
FROM THE CCA:
Hi CCA Member,
We are closing in on the end of the legislative session and new threats to our fisheries have emerged. On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee approved a 2015-2017 operating budget that proposes to cut funding for hatchery salmon production. The Committee also accepted an amendment from Representative Kristine Lytton (D-Anacortes) that would undermine the Willapa Bay salmon fishery reform policy recently adopted by the Fish and Wildlife Commission. Please take just one minute to CLICK HERE and send your state representatives a pre-drafted email asking that they reverse these bad policies. With a handful of days remaining in the current legislative session we must act now!
The House budget proposal would cut funding for the marking of hatchery salmon by over $400,000. Since state law requires that all hatchery salmon be marked, this will result in a direct cut to hatchery salmon production, including Chinook and Coho. Every previous version of the House and Senate budgets have included this funding, so there's a chance we can save this funding if we act now!
Meanwhile, Representative Lytton succeeded in attaching a last-minute budget policy "rider" to undermine the Willapa Bay salmon management policy adopted by the Fish and Wildlife Commission on June 13. The rider would maintain the status quo harvest and hatchery policies in the Willapa, which have led to over harvest and under-escapement of wild Chinook. The Commission's policy seeks to improve the conservation of Willapa Bay wild Chinook populations and prioritize recreational salmon fisheries by placing reasonable constraints on non-selective commercial gillnet fisheries. Last year, intensive gillnet fisheries in Willapa Bay exceeded exploitation limits on wild Chinook stocks by nearly 100 percent!
Rep. Lytton's amendment appears to be coordinated with the efforts of Representative Brian Blake (D-Aberdeen) to reverse the Commission policy, including an upcoming "work session" recently scheduled by Blake's Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee for this Thursday.
We can't let our fisheries continue to lose out to these status quo policies championed by a handful of legislators. Please take just a moment to CLICK HERE and send your legislators a pre-drafted email asking for their support (you can personalize the draft email to increase its effectiveness).
Are we going to complain about how our fisheries are being managed or are we going to take action? The time is now.
Posted on Thu, June 25, 2015
by Dave Hamilton