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Washington, Oregon Fish, Wildlife Chiefs to Discuss Columbia River Salmon Reform

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Washington, Oregon Fish, Wildlife Chiefs to Discuss Columbia River Salmon Reform

Members of the Washington and Oregon fish and wildlife commissions will meet soon to deliberate on salmon management reforms on river Columbia.

The meeting will take place on January 17, 2019, from 11 am to 5 pm in the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Room, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr. S.E. in Salem, Oregon stated the press release. Public members are invited to attend the meet but will not be allowed to comment.

In 2013, the Joint-State Columbia River Salmon Fishery Policy Review Committee was formed to renew efforts to achieve management goals for Columbia River fisheries endorsed by the states of Washington and Oregon. The committee comprises three members of each state’s commission.

Commissioners David Graybill from Chelan County, Bob Kehoe from King County and Don McIsaac from Clark County are the three delegates to the workgroup from the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission which is a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The final WDFW five-year performance review of the 2013 fishery reform policy includes,

  • Requirements that anglers use barbless hooks to a phase-out of commercial gillnets in the main channel of the Columbia River.
  • How expectations have not been met in a variety of other key areas

“This new effort is designed to find common ground on strategies for improving fishery management in the Columbia River,” said Ryan Lothrop, WDFW Columbia River policy coordinator. “Having different policies in joint waters of the Columbia River makes it very difficult to manage and implement fisheries.”

Washington’s Comprehensive Evaluation of the Columbia River Basin Salmon Management Policy is available on WDFW’s web page.

The agenda:

  • The workgroup’s first task will be to establish a schedule for future meetings.
  • The panel will then discuss issues addressed in the policy review.
  • The focus initially will be on strategies that could be incorporated into fishing regulations for the 2019 season.
  • New endorsed proposals would require approval by the full fish and wildlife commissions in each state.

“The group doesn’t have a lot of time to discuss changes for 2019,” Lothrop said. “The season-setting process for this year’s salmon fisheries gets underway in mid-March, so that’s the focus for the near term.”

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