NOF MONTESANO UPDATE

NOF MONTESANO UPDATE

Well the Montesano meeting is history and somethings of interest came forward.  The first was WDF&W Kirt Hughes assertion that available Chinook for harvest would likely be used in the gillnets mortality harvesting Coho. Not buyin that Turkey for minute and that had to be the most outrageous thought put forward by WDF&W.

Next up is the 60/40 harvest split commercial / sport and I am told some thought this was a challenge to the Tribes Boldt decision treaty rights.  Nope, no, not a chance as Boldt is the law, period.   Bolt Decision Link   What 60/40 means is the total commercial harvest should not exceed 60% or QIN Commercial + Chehalis Tribal Commercial + Non Treaty Nets = 60%.  FTC does not believe that commercial fishermen should be identified by their race or ethnicity. The courts have said the QIN gets 50% of harvest and it is a done deal but for WDF&W to continue to attempt to maintain the " white " commercial fishery is to continue to maintain the prejudices of the past. WDF&W needs to move on and let the past prejudices fade in the rear view mirror. Then at last the citizen sport fisher that pays the taxes can catch a fish rather than take a boat ride or hike to the river.

Another issue is the fact that the NOF process runs on parallel tracks.  One is the legal requirements and the other is public input. So the Montesano is all about public input or " your wish list please " if you will. Now most do not realize that on March 6th WDF&W put in for a WAC change for 2013 commercial netting season that has the nets in the river seven days.  WAC Link   Now this is the tricky part.  WDF&W R-6 staff believes that they just " opened " the WAC but if you look at the cover sheet you will see that the comment period ends March 28th.  This means a citizens right to challenge any portion of the WAC is closes which includes the so called " revival boxes ."  Chehalis Fling Link    The significance of this got by me at first but I caught on so while to many it is technical argument it boils down to this.  After the closure for comment and adoption of this WAC I am told Director Anderson can and will change the WAC OR let it stand but at his discretion with out public comment. It is the words " discretion with out public comment "  that I have problems with.   

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