I was asked to explain how information is presented to the public for NOF and how it is used. It is primarily in a Power Point presentation that boils down a rather large amount of data into something that is easily viewed. Link 2012 Montesano meeting.
Is anything set in stone at this point? No, yes, and maybe. The Harvestable numbers yes, seasons no, who gets what % of the available fish maybe, as by this time WDF&W staff pretty much know what the final harvest picture will look like. The harvestable numbers are put into the tier plan and it dictates some basic things happen. Link 2012 Tier Plan.
To the question is it a waste of time to attend? Not no but hell no. It is a dog and pony show to be sure but WDF&W records your input FOR THE RECORD. In 2012 only 5 written proposals for the inriver sport season were submitted, so it is of real value for citizens to demand the restoration of the inland communities traditional sport fishing opportunities at the public meeting. In addition you can set in ( but not participate ) in the Grays Harbor and Willapa Advisory Group meetings, which I think many of you would find to be a real eye opener. Schedule Link
Otherwise you get 2012 a season with the vast majority of the harvestable fish removed by the 101 Bridge in Aberdeen. Or to put it another way you get to take multiple walks to the river or boat rides enjoying nature and friends, and not catching many fish.
Now then it is time for the rest of the story. The Grays Harbor Management Plan ONLY applies to the non treaty sport & commercial. The Quinault Tribal ( QIN ) commercial fisheries operate under a totally different set of rules that are never presented to the public as to negotiated harvest impacts. Are negotiated after the Non Treaty ( state ) harvest plan has been presented to the public. Then the final bit of deception is that the final harvest plan agreed to by the state and QIN is never made public, impacts clearly defined, or the rational utilized in the finalization of the combined harvest plan explained.
This is a subject in itself for another day!
Posted on Mon, February 18, 2013
by Dave Hamilton