WILLAPA NOF 4 / 23 PUBLIC MEETING

WILLAPA NOF 4 / 23 PUBLIC MEETING

Hi all,

 

The Willapa Harvest Model is available. It can be confusing but one can get a good look at things by hitting the Fishery Summary tab as most of the information will be there for most. The calendar tab will give the actual day of the month the listed week stat refers to. The Commercial schedule is to the right side of the page and the Rec season modeled right below. Keep in mind these are only PRELIMINARY suggestions and nothing is final. Questions or if you want the model just e mail me and I will try to help out the best I can.  

 

WILLAPA NOF PUBLIC MEETING: So how did the Willapa NOF public meeting go? Ah, not sure as the agency stuck very tight to the premise of taking input only. The harvest model was ready with Rec & Commercial seasons put in but only ( a big only folks ) what had been asked for or suggested by the Advisers and public. This resulted in considerable confusion for some not so much for others. So the high and low points as see it.

 

COMMERCIAL SEASON: Utilizing the Commercial Adviser suggestion that inputted October 3 / week 40  backwards utilizing the Commercial share of Chinook impacts using standard gillnets which got them to September 13 / week 38 in T & U. They got another week in to September 6 / week 37 in N, R, M. Out for the month of October back in for the first 3 weeks of November.

 

It was suggested that the Commercials consider using tangle nets to reduce Chinook  release mortality giving them a expanded season but those Commercials present did not want to selectively fish. By doing this they are passing on a lot of Coho available for harvest but they appeared to be determined not to selectively fish.

 

RECREATIONAL FISHERS SEASON: Staff modeled a greatly expanded inriver fishery with 6 fish / 4 adult bag limits. Some issues existed with portions of the season on certain streams but again staff only utilized input from the Advisers and public. The T & U Rec fisheries had a August 1 start 6 fish / 4 adult bag also. It was suggested that a earlier date is possible so July 16 was put up for consideration as the opening date for T & U.

 

The modeled Rec seasons also had a two pole endorsement but for both bay and inriver. This caused a little around & around the bush bit with folks as it was in the Nemah proposed season. Some banky advocates thought this was to much with large numbers of folks others not so much. In the other streams some thought if two poles go for a boat the banky fishers should also get it. It is one of those things that some feel one size fits all where others felt you use it where it is appropriate.  Interesting discussion long overdue as it is a interesting question to be sure. If a stream layout and access is such that two poles could have issues with bank fishers do you then restrict the boat fishers or visa versa?  Sometimes one size does not fit all so this dance will continue.

 

ACCESS FOR INRIVER: This was all over the board. Some present felt that opening up more river for the Rec would upset the local property owners. Others called BS that you do not shut off public waters to fishing because someone might trespass. This revolved around the Nemah but the Naselle jumped in the conversation with Willapa coming right behind.

 

This is always a thorny issue but as one who lives on the Chehalis River you deal with it. Just because I am fortunate enough to live where I do does not mean I own the river as it is public water for heaven's sake. Can people be a pain? In a word yes. I have had people tie up to my dock and use my fish cleaning station without asking, just many things. That said it is part of living next to public waters and I or no other property owner owns the river as it belongs to all citizens. Again more to come I am sure.

 

So next up is the Willapa Adviser meeting Tuesday April 28th, WB Advisory Meeting, Raymond High School Library, 6-9pm. Hope to see you there.

 

Dave

 

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