NOF OR WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
Well the final GH Advisory Group ( GHAG ) and NOF public input meetings are done so what happened? Well the inland communities and fresh water sport appear on paper to get some expanded opportunity on seasons and species. Key words here are " on paper" as the reality is something far different. So what really happened? WDF&W Region 6 at the very end of the
GHAG meeting brought forward the use of tangle nets, expanding the NT
Nets to 14 days claiming a reduced mortality based on Columbia River
Spring Chinook studies. Then with almost zero time for the GHAG members to prepare WDF&W R-6 again brought forth the very same proposal to the Olympia NOF meeting. For the first time sports fishers in attendance at a NOF meeting on Friday in Olympia repeatedly told WDFW management they would not support WDFW's proposed expansion of the season for NT Nets ( gillnetters if you will ) to the detriment of the fish and sports fisheries. Good news!
Would you like more details? So would I but except for a slide projection of the model ( Excel spread sheet ) and some verbiage on comparing water temperatures it was not provided at either the GHAG meeting or the public input NOF meeting in Olympia March 29th. In fact after a morning of discussing things with the sports fisheries being adamantly opposed R-6 Region Fish Program manager Ron Warren announced he was going to talk to Director Anderson. Upon returning he announced what was projected on the wall ( Excel spread sheet ) was it, thanks for coming!
So my thoughts? Well if anyone had doubts as to what Director Anderson's views on the management of the Chehalis Basin fisheries was they certainly do not anymore. The impacts for the chronically depressed Chinook and up river Chum stocks appear to matter little in the pursuit of killing every paper Coho possible in the marine 2A & 2D ( Aberdeen / Lakeside Paving to Port of Grays Harbor reach ) possible. The inland communities, inriver sport, and the health and vitality of numerous salmon stocks is NOT a major concern.
It is the same story as it has been for so many years, the only good fish is a dead fish and primarily in a tote of the fish buyer headed out to be processed. As depressing as all this sounds there is something to think about. For the first time since the death of TU's Jerry Paveltich the sport fishers, both inriver and bay, are united in opposition to what WDF&W is imposing upon both the sport fishers and the fish. The discussion and effort to reform the manner in which conservation and harvest of salmon in the Chehalis Basin is not finished folks but just beginning.
Posted on Mon, April 1, 2013
by Dave Hamilton