State and tribal co-managers to host virtual public discussion

WDFW – Anglers, commercial fishers, and others interested in salmon in Washington can take part in an informal discussion with state and tribal co-managers on March 31.

Following a 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 31, North of Falcon public meeting to discuss preliminary fishery proposals, the plenary discussion will kick off at 3 p.m. with opening remarks from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind and Lorraine Loomis, chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.

Discussion topics will include cooperative management, the North of Falcon salmon season setting process, and how low Stillaguamish River salmon returns require expansive support in order to prevent further regional fishing opportunity impacts.

This meeting is just one of a series of public meetings as part of the North of Falcon salmon season-setting process. As the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, the Department uses in this process to work with tribal co-managers for the benefit of providing sustainable salmon fishing opportunities across the state.

The public is invited to participate and provide feedback during the state’s season-setting process by:

  • Attending public meetings: More information about the above and other meetings is available on WDFW’s North of Falcon public meeting schedule web page. To support COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, these meetings are being conducted online and will be available to the public to watch or listen to via webinar or conference call.
  • Online comments: The public can provide comments on WDFW’s forecasts and proposed fisheries online or by mail to: WDFW Rules Coordinator: P.O. Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504-3200.
  • Conference calls and daily briefings: During the final days of negotiations, state fish managers will hold daily briefings available via conference call. More information will be posted to WDFW’s North of Falcon public meeting schedule web page as it becomes available.

The collaborative state and tribal salmon season-setting process known as North of Falcon refers to waters north of Oregon’s Cape Falcon, which marks the southern border of Washington’s management of salmon stocks.

This includes Puget Sound, Columbia River, and coastal Washington salmon stocks.

The North of Falcon process occurs in tandem with Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) public meetings to establish fishing seasons for salmon in ocean waters 3 to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.

The PFMC approved preliminary options for ocean fisheries during its March 2021 meeting and is expected to adopt final ocean fishing seasons and harvest levels at its April 6-9 and 12-15 meeting.

More information on these virtual meetings is available on the PFMC’s website.