Update time, again. Everyone should take the time to read the write up for the status legal challenge to Grays Harbor and Willapa HERE . Things are moving forward rather quickly so everyone should check in and see what is new every so often.
1. Every now and then a new group of folks ban together to work a issue and attempt to get their message out. Such is the case with this group Hatchery & Wild and it is interesting to look at their perspective of the issue.
As I am one of the Grays Harbor Advisers I have pretty much stood on principle that anything directed our way should be public. Some disagree but frankly as the Adviser are supposed to somehow represent the public I think everything should be made available to all.
Grays Harbor Advisory Group Members –
I have several pieces of news that I believe are positive
steps toward conserving Grays Harbor salmon and improving fishery management.
Settlement Agreement. The Department signed an
agreement on Friday to settle litigation regarding the rules for the 2013 Grays
Harbor and Willapa Bay commercial fisheries. As described in the attached
summary, rather than prolonging litigation, the parties have agreed to build on
a shared interest in enhancing communication between the Department and recreational
fishers, ensuring a strong technical foundation for salmon fishery management,
and improving the integration of the North of Falcon fishery planning and the
rules process. The agreement includes several provisions that are
consistent with suggestions we included in our January presentation to the Fish
and Wildlife Commission (FWC). These include the development of a Grays
Harbor web page to clearly and consistently provide information on catches and
spawners, and a series of collaborative workshops with stakeholders. I
wish to be clear that these workshops will be developed with input from all of
you – not just the parties to the settlement agreement – and all members of the
public will be encouraged to attend the workshops.
Improvements in Technical Tools. We have
discussed extensively during the last three months the draft Grays Harbor
policy under consideration by the Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC). Our
discussions have necessarily focused on higher level policy guidance and
general management direction, but I have also heard you and the public express
many technical concerns. Although all of those technical concerns may not
be individually addressed in the draft policy, we have attempted to capture
them in several of the guiding principles and in the adaptive management
For example, Guiding Principle 12 of the draft Grays
Harbor Policy states: “The Department shall improve fishery management
and technical tools through improved fishery monitoring, the development of new
tools and rigorous assessment of fishery models and parameters.” The 2014 fishery planning season is now quickly
approaching, and I want you to be aware of three actions that will address some
of the more technical concerns that I have heard from the advisors or the
Grays Harbor Planning Model. I have heard on
several occasions that the Grays Harbor fishery planning model may have had
computational errors in past years (I believe John Campbell may have been the
first person that provided me with this information). As a step toward
implementing Guiding Principle 12 and addressing this technical concern, I have
initiated the contracting process to get an independent review of the model’s
computational formulas. I hope to get that contract initiated next week -
time is short before we start 2014 fishery planning!
Preseason Catch Projections. A second
technical concern that I have heard is that our preseason catch or impact
projections do not accurately capture the current fisheries or accurately project
fishery impacts. The Area 2-2 recreational fishery is probably the
example I hear most frequently. We view this issue as a good topic for
the workshops that were discussed above and included in the settlement
agreement. We’re targeting a February workshop and will be soliciting
your ideas for how to make the workshop successful.
Release Mortality Rates. The release
mortality rates used by the Department to project the mortality of Chinook
salmon released in commercial fisheries is a third technical concern that I
have frequently heard. This is a complex topic and, while the mortality
rates for salmon released by recreational fishers have been the topic of
multiple scientific reviews, I am not aware that the rates used by the
Department for commercial fisheries in Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay have had a
similar scientific review. Accordingly, we have included in the
settlement agreement a process to engage the assistance of independent
scientific experts to provide us with recommendations. Again, we will be
soliciting your ideas for how to make the workshop successful.
Last but not least is this coming Saturday is the date for the WDF&W Commission to adopt the new policy guidelines for the Grays Harbor Management Plan. If you can attend I urge all to do so as this isn't a done deal by any means.
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1620 74th Avenue
SW Tumwater, WA 98501 – Evergreen Room
take I-5 toward Portland just past Tumwater to exit 101. Do not confuse
with Highway 101. Go east on Tumwater Boulevard one block, take first
right and then first right again to hotel.
From the South take I-5 toward
Seattle to exit 101. Do not confuse with Highway 101. Go east on
Tumwater Boulevard one block, take first right and then first right again to
Posted on Sun, January 26, 2014
by Dave Hamilton