Update On Willapa Management Plan Process

Update On Willapa Management Plan Process

 

From Region 6 and the upcoming Willapa Management Plan redo. 

 

Hi Everyone,

 

I just wanted to forward this news release to you reminding folks that the we are beginning the process of a Fish and Wildlife Commission policy for Willapa Bay salmon.

 

I’ve heard that some folks are concerned that this news release doesn’t mention the ad-hoc committee and we had a previous news release soliciting additional folks for an ad-hoc committee as we move forward in this process.  The “Advisory Committee” meetings mentioned in the news release are indeed for the Ad-Hoc Committee.  I apologize for that oversight in the wording.  If you are an existing member of the Advisory Committee, you are already on the Ad-Hoc Committee.   Four to five additional people will be added to create the Ad-Hoc Committee to attend the meetings identified below.

 

By now, you are probably asking, “what happened to the folks that applied to the Ad-Hoc Committee”?   I have been running behind on many of my duties and haven’t been able to get final confirmation of the additional members.  I am hopeful that we will have signed letters of appointment to the selected folks by the end of the day tomorrow via email.  So if you applied, please be patient a little bit longer.   

 

Finally, I want to let folks know about the Open House.  We are trying to prepare information for the open house and are anticipating a very different arrangement than our normal public meetings.  Our intent is to have numerous stations available for folks to visit and gather information on salmon and fisheries in Willapa Bay.  My preliminary list of stations would be along the lines of:

 

  1.  RCWs and Commission Policy that guide salmon management.

  2. Stock status of salmon in Willapa Bay (abundance and management objectives).

  3. Hatchery production in Willapa Bay and Hatchery Reform principles.

  4. Historical and current fisheries in Willapa Bay.

 

We have had some internal discussion about the best way to move forward through this process.  We are very concerned that folks are going to move directly to the issue of allocation.  To try and head that off, we asking folks to come to the Open House prepared to talk about conservation and fishery objectives.  What do you want to see for the bay?  Perhaps you feel that we need to accelerate achieving the spawning goal for natural-origin Chinook.  Perhaps you want to see a particular catch per angler trip in the recreational fishery.   Perhaps you want to see a predictable commercial fishery schedule.  Perhaps a particular economic value of the recreational and/or commercial fishery.  At each station, you will have an opportunity to provide input, hopefully in the form of objectives, for WDFW to consider as we move through this process.  We will record everyone’s input on flip charts for all to see.

 

I hope this clears up any confusion about the Ad-Hoc Committee and the process of developing a Commission policy for Willapa Bay salmon.  Again, my apologies for the oversight in the news release and delay in the appointments.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me.

 

Cheers

 

 

Steve Thiesfeld

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Region 6 Fish Program Manager

48 Devonshire Road, Montesano, WA 98563

Steven.Thiesfeld@dfw.wa.gov

360-249-1201