This is heads up time as the NOF process gets closer and folks
have asked just where are we? Well that is a good question so at this moment
here is my take on things.
So the good
1. The Commission policies adopted will get three net free days a
week. ( hopefully as the QIN can choose to fish more than 4 days
2. The legal action challenging the 2013 settlement required
WDF&W to get real numbers in the model for the Non Treaty Nets so that
should, could , may, be done.
3. The APA process that creates the WAC's for harvest will meet
legal requirements. Again this comes from the out of court settlement and
WDF&W did not address this issue on their own.
Now the bad
1. We will be in 3/5 on the Chehalis for Chinook and the same for
Humptulips Coho. 3/5 is if you miss
escapement 3 out of 5 years harvest is limited to 5% release mortality only on
that stock / speices.
2. WDF&W will continue to have corrupted commercial release
data entered into the model as the District 17 staffer whose numbers were pure
fantasy is still around and no change here.
3. It has been said the model is accurate to plus or minus 200%.
In other words it is dart board time once again and nobody knows where this is
going. Considering the fact that if escapement is not made the fish and citizens
will pay the piper and WDF&W staff will still get paid and go merrily down
the road one should not expect earth shattering change here
4. Despite the appearance of public involvement it is pretty much
behind closed doors at this minute.
WDF&W is working with the lawsuit settlement folks but after that
nah, pretty much looks the usual dog & pony show is headed your
way. If not for the information I and other citizens made available to the
public just about zip has come from WDF&W and unless we see a dramatic
change in direction the average citizen will have little input into this fall's
5. The Humptulips Natural Origin Recruits Coho ( spawning adults )
have not made escapement since 1987 and something has to give. Just what is
going to happen? I have no idea but this is a real issue.
6. Will the QIN seasons be in the model as the state seasons are
set? Yes the Commission said but ( ah yeah the but thing again ) they did not
say it had to be in the model when NOF goes forward so where the QIN season
shows up is a real question. Which means those who feel strongly about
conservation are not going to have any ability gauge the total season impacts
until WDF&W files the CR 102 (
legally setting the season WAC ). Now the law permits you to comment on the
legal record then but that is about it. Which means unless you get on the legal
record with the intention of hiring a attorney and heading off to court ( take
your check book with you ) then your pretty much being shoved to the curb.
7. The issue of the QIN exercising their treaty rights to 50% of
the harvestable adults to Grays Harbor as a whole vs the Commission's and
WDF&W's desire to manage the Humptulips and Chehalis Basin's separately has
not been resolved. If you think back to
the 2013 seasons WDF&W had the QIN proposals around April 4th but refused to
place them in the model for the public to see until the QIN made their seasons
public much later. Heavens folks I dropped the days in the model and made it
public before the agency reluctantly did so.
Oh almost forgot with the QIN seasons put in the 2013 model it hit
minus 1200 for
Chinook escapement on the Chehalis which in plain English means WDF&W knew
full well when they established the states seasons ( both commercial & rec )
on paper in the model that the Chehalis Chinook would not make escapement. Now
the new Commission policy guidelines say you will make escapement so choose your
poison as to the notion that Region 6 District 17 staff ah ...................
has joyfully endorsed this concept?
All that said I will still urge any who can to attend this coming
Fridays Adviser meeting. Why? Well it
has been a citizen effort that brought the potential for change in Grays Harbor
fisheries by going to the Commission. The Commission agreed and put in place new
guidelines. ( thank you Commissioners ) Assistant Director Fish Program Jim
Scott has put a lot of effort in Grays Harbor as has the new Region 6 Fish
Program Manager Steve Thiesfeld but that does not mean it has been with any
transparency at all. I think this partly due the very tight timeline that the
APA process allowed then you have the one constant factor that is always around
WDF&W. They really do not care for the public rummaging around ( let alone
participate ) the decision making process.
So participate in the process the best you can but do it with eyes
wide open knowing that much has changed at the Commission level but that does
not necessarily mean that Region 6 or District 17 staff mindset has.
So here are the upcoming dates.
Grays Harbor Advisors (public comment at end)
March 14th 6 pm to 9 pm Montesano DFW Office APA Process Review Forecast
Management Objectives Policy Implementation Fishery suggestions Public Comment
Grays Harbor NOF Public Workshop #1
(APA record testimony to immediately follow)
March 19th 6 pm to 8 pm Montesano City Hall
APA Process Review Forecast
Management Objectives Policy Implementation Fishery suggestions
Grays Harbor Testimony For APA record
March 19th 8 pm to 9 pm Montesano City Hall Individuals will be provided up to
3 minutes to go on the record relative to Grays Harbor Rule Making (Fishery
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