WILLAPA POLICY ALTERNATIVE B

WILLAPA POLICY ALTERNATIVE B

Here is the Willapa Policy Alternative B and I did a C&P as is to insure it is as presented by WDF&W. 

 

 

Fall Chinook Salmon: Alternative B

(Area 2T Commercial Fishery in Early-August)

 

Subject to the adaptive management provisions of this policy, the Department will manage fall Chinook salmon fisheries and hatchery programs consistent with the Guiding Principles and the following additional guidance:

 

1)    The Department shall initiate a three-phase rebuilding program to conserve and restore wild Chinook salmon in Willapa Bay. The progressive series of actions is intended to result in achieving broodstock management standards by year 5 and spawner goals by years 16-21. Within the conservation constraints of the rebuilding program, Chinook salmon will be managed to provide for a full recreational fishing season with increased participation and/or catch anticipated in future years.

 

2)    Rebuilding Program - Phase 1 (Years 1-4).   The objectives of Phase 1 shall be to increase the number of natural-origin spawners and implement hatchery program modifications designed to meet broodstock management standards in the subsequent cycle.

 

a.    Limit harvest rates on Willapa River natural-origin Chinook salmon to no more than 20% to initiate rebuilding of the number of natural-origin spawners.

 

b.    Implement hatchery broodstock management actions to promote re-adaptation to the natural environment and enhance productivity of natural-origin Chinook salmon in the North/Smith, Willapa, and Naselle rivers:

 

·         North/Smith – Manage as Wild Salmon Management Zone with no hatchery releases of Chinook salmon.

 

·         Willapa Implement an integrated program with hatchery broodstock management strategies designed to achieve broodstock management standards consistent with a Primary designation in the subsequent cycle.

 

·         Naselle – Implement a stepping stone program to promote local adaptation. The highly integrated program of 300,000 will be derived from at least 70% natural-origin broodstock. The Department shall continue to enhance weir operations with a goal of limiting hatchery-origin adults to less than 30% of the natural spawners above the weir.

 

c.    Pursue implementation of additional mark-selective commercial fishing gear to enhance conservation and provide harvest opportunities. The Department shall provide to the Commission by January 2017 a status report and by January 2018 an assessment of options to implement additional mark-selective commercial fishing gear in Willapa Bay. The assessment shall identify the likely release


 

 

mortality rates for each gear type, the benefits to rebuilding naturally spawning populations, and the benefits and impacts to the commercial fishery.

 

3)    Rebuilding Program - Phase 2 (Years 5 - 10). The objectives of Phase 2 shall be to increase the number and productivity of natural-origin spawners through a further reduction in harvest rates and continued implementation of the broodstock management strategies discussed above.

 

a.    Limit harvest rates on Willapa River natural-origin Chinook salmon to no more than 14% to accelerate the rebuilding program.

 

b.    Evaluate hatchery broodstock management actions for consistency with the objectives identified in 2(b), including the proportionate natural influence in the Willapa River and incorporation of natural-origin broodstock into the stepping stone program in the Naselle River.

 

4)    Rebuilding Program - Phase 3 (Years 11 – 21). The combination of fishery and harvest management actions is projected to result on average in the achievement of spawner goals for the North & Willapa populations in the years 16-21. Additional fishery and hatchery management actions will be considered during this time period if the progress toward the spawner objectives is inconsistent with expectations.

 

5)    Fishery Management Objectives. The fishery management objectives for fall Chinook salmon, in priority order, are to:

 

a.    Achieve spawner goals for the primary stocks of natural-origin Chinook and hatchery reform broodstock objectives through the three phase rebuilding program described above.

 

b.    Provide for a full recreational fishing season. The impact rate of the recreational fishery is anticipated to be ~3.2% during the initial years of the policy, but may increase in subsequent years to provide for a full recreational season as described below:

 

·         A full marine recreational season means that Willapa Bay will be open concurrent with Area 2, two rods will be allowed per angler, a daily bag limit of six fish, with release of unclipped Chinook salmon.

 

·         A full freshwater recreational season means an opening on August 1 in the Willapa, Nemah, and Naselle rivers, two rods will be allowed per angler, a daily bag limit of four fish, with release of unclipped Chinook salmon.

 

·         Conservation actions, as necessary, shall be shared equally between marine and freshwater fisheries.


 

 

 

c.    Provide opportunities for commercial fisheries within the remaining available fishery impacts.

 

6)    Fishery Management in Phase 1. To facilitate a transition to the Willapa River as the primary Chinook salmon population, fisheries during the transition period will be managed with the following intent:

 

a.    The impact rate on Willapa River natural-origin fall Chinook in Willapa Bay fisheries shall not exceed 20%. Within this impact rate cap, the priority shall be to maintain a full season of recreational fisheries for Chinook salmon in the Willapa Bay Basin.

 

b.    Commercial fisheries may occur within the remaining allowable impacts, but no commercial fisheries shall occur prior to August 1.

 

c.    Commercial fisheries between August 1 and August 15 shall be limited to 72 consecutive hours and may occur in all areas except Area 2U.

 

d.    No commercial Chinook fisheries shall occur in area 2T August 16 through Labor Day. Commercial fisheries in area 2T after Labor Day but before Sept. 16 shall use mark-selective fishing gear and recovery boxes.  Commercial fisheries in area 2U prior to Sept. 16 shall use mark-selective fishing gear (4.5” maximum mesh tangle net) and recovery boxes.

 

e.    No commercial Chinook fisheries shall occur in areas 2M, 2N, 2P and 2R from August 16 until after Labor Day.

 

7)    Fishery Management After Phase 1. Fisheries in the Willapa Bay Basin during the Chinook salmon management period (prior to September 16) will be managed with the intent of:

 

a.    Limiting the fishery impact rate on Willapa River natural-origin fall Chinook salmon to no more than 14%.

 

b.    Commercial fisheries may occur within the remaining allowable impacts, but no commercial fisheries shall occur prior to August 1.

 

c.    Commercial fisheries between August 1 and August 15 shall be limited to 72 consecutive hours and may occur in all areas except Area 2U.

 

d.    No commercial fisheries shall occur in Areas 2T and 2U from August 16 through September 16.

 

e.    No commercial Chinook fisheries shall occur in areas 2M, 2N, 2P and 2R from


 

 

August 16 until after Labor Day.

 

8)    Hatchery Production. Within budgetary constraints, and at the earliest feasible date, the Department shall seek to implement the following hatchery production of fall Chinook salmon:

 

·         3.30 million at Naselle Hatchery

i.    300,000 highly integrated

ii.    3 million from first generation returns of highly integrated stock

·         3.30 million at Nemah Hatchery

·         0.35 million at Forks Creek Hatchery

 

9)    Enhanced Hatchery Production. The Department shall work with our partners to secure resources to increase production of fall Chinook salmon at Naselle Hatchery by an additional 2.7 million subyearlings.