What we have here is a E mail from Fish Program AD Jim Scott outlining coming
events in the process to redo the Grays Harbor Management Plan. The final policy
guidelines were attached along with two other documents. The policy guidelines
are available on WDF&W's website along with having been posted in this
thread previously. I or someone will get the other two documents up a bit
It has been a intense effort by WDF&W staff & the East
County guys to finish all aspects of the Litigation but it is a done deal. So
round two begins. Oh yeah almost forgot, if you want the actual e mail with the
attachments hit me with a PM and I will forward it to you.
Harbor Advisory Group Members –
have several pieces of news that I believe are positive steps toward conserving
Grays Harbor salmon and improving fishery management.
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.
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
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.”
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 public.
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!
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.
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.
– its already noon on Saturday. I’m going to see if I can catch some of
this beautiful day. Look forward to talking with you soon.
Grays Harbor Advisory Group Members –
I would like to thank all of you for your assistance in developing
the Grays Harbor Basin Salmon Management policy that was adopted by the Fish
& Wildlife Commission. I have attached the final policy and it is
also available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/policies.html.
As I mentioned in my previous e-mail, we are working with the Twin
Harbors Fish and Wildlife Advocacy nonprofit to conduct two workshops to
improve the technical foundation for our fishery management. Here is an
update on the current status of these technical workshops.
We are convening a technical workgroup to review and improve our methods for
predicting salmon catch or impacts in recreational and commercial fisheries in
the Grays Harbor Basin. The workgroup will include three WDFW staff
members, two technical experts from the Twin Harbors Fish & Wildlife Advocacy,
and 1 position is open for a technical expert from the commercial fishing
industry. During the next month, we anticipate that the technical
workgroup will meet on at least two occasions to develop recommendations for
improvements in our catch and impact predictions. We have scheduled a
workshop for March 10, 2PM, Natural Resources Building, Room 172 for the
technical workgroup to present their analyses and recommendations. Let me
know if you have suggestions for how to help make this workshop successful.
Additional information is provided in the attachment.
We are convening an Independent Fishery Scientist Panel (IFSP) to recommend
release mortality rates to use in preseason planning of commercial fisheries in
Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay (additional information is in the
attachment). We are fortunate to have secured the assistance of three
great scientists: Lars Mobrand, Alex Wertheimer, and Steve Smith.
Each of them has had a distinguished career with important contributions to
fishery management. We are looking forward to working with them through
the following steps:
February 19 – Background information
provided to IFSP. This will include a literature survey of relevant studies,
harvest rates and other fishery data, environmental data such as water
temperature and salinity, and information on fisher behavior and compliance
February 26 – Workshop to present a
summary of the information to the IFSP, allow the IFSP to ask questions, and
provide an opportunity for the public to make comments. The workshop will
include technical presentations from WDFW, the Twin Harbors Fish & Wildlife
Advocacy nonprofit, and a slot is available for a technical expert from the
commercial fishing industry.
The workshop will occur in the General
Administration Building, Auditorium, 2-5pm.
March 14 - IFSP provides draft report
for 5-day review period.
March 26 – IFSP provides final report.
Please do not hesitate to contact me or Steve Thiesfeld if you
have any questions.
Posted on Thu, February 20, 2014
by Dave Hamilton