Hey all, I have been pretty busy but thought I would take some time to hit on the Wynoochee Mitigation issues. Some of you have asked when will the video be done ............ do not know but we are getting closer. Our primary focus at this minute is NOF or things surrounding that process but we have not forgotten. I will take a shot at answering some questions we received though.
How many years has WDF&W failed to produce the additional 25k Steelhead and 55k Coho?: Since 1993 when Tacoma City Light ( TCL ) placed the original funds in trust and the amount with interest is about 2.4 million presently.
Who is at fault for the failure to produce the mitigation fish: WDF&W period, end of story. WDF&W has blamed everyone from the USFS, TCL, Quinault Nation, to environmental groups but the truth is it has been WDF&W's failure from the start.
Is there a plan : Yes and it was developed in the 90's by local volunteers and WDF&W. The plan identified the uses of the funds to achieve the additional mitigation fish previously identified. In 2008 Region 6 Director M. Culver reaffirmed WDF&W's commitment to the plan in writing.
What is holding things up now: In 2010 things came to halt and WDF&W blamed the QIN. We all pretty much took that bit hook, line, and sinker, until in the PDR request we found a letter to TCL from QIN Biologist Ed Johnstone calling BS. ( read it here ) What WDF&W had done was drop off the legal commitment to the rearing of the mitigation fish and substituted words that loosely addressed the issue. QIN's fault the plan got stopped? Yes and thank goodness or the Wynoochee River and the local fishing community would have got the shaft from WDF&W .......... AGAIN!
When will something get done: WDF&W has said that the by the end of March but I would not put a lot of faith in that one.
What are FishingTheChehalis's thoughts? We must support the 2010 position of the QIN that any plan for the use of the Wynoochee Mitigation Funds MUST include the production of the addition Salmon & Steelhead that the funds were intended to be used for. Other wise WDF&W will find a way to screw things up ( again ) and just ------- ( you choose the word ) the money away.
Hope this helps and FishingThe Chehalis will address the issue of Wynoochee Mitigation in the near future.
Posted on Sat, February 16, 2013
by Dave Hamilton