WILLAPA POLICY ALTERNATIVE C

WILLAPA POLICY ALTERNATIVE C

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

 

Fall Chinook Salmon: Alternative C (Naselle Contributing)

 

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 and Naselle 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 hatchery broodstock strategies designed to achieve broodstock management standards consistent with a Contributing designation in the subsequent cycle.

 

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 and Naselle 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 and Naselle rivers.

 

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 on 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.


 

 

  1. 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:

 

    1. The impact rate on Willapa and Naselle 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.

 

    1. No commercial Chinook fisheries shall occur in areas 2T and 2U prior to Labor Day. Commercial fisheries in areas 2T and 2U after Labor Day but before Sept. 16 shall use mark-selective fishing gear (6.5” maximum mesh in 2T and 4.5” maximum mesh tangle net in 2U) and recovery boxes.

 

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

 

  1. 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:

 

    1. Limiting the fishery impact rate on Willapa and Naselle river natural-origin fall Chinook salmon to no more than 14%.

 

    1. No commercial fisheries shall occur within areas 2T and 2U prior to September. 16.

 

    1. No commercial Chinook fisheries shall occur in areas 2M, 2N, 2P and 2R until after September 7.

 

  1. 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:

 

  • 0.70 million at Naselle Hatchery

  • 3.30 million at Nemah Hatchery

  • 0.35 million at Forks Creek Hatchery