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Willapa Bay fishery and hatchery reform up for public comment

Public comment is open through October 12 on Willapa Bay salmon management and hatchery reform

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public feedback on the two salmon management policies. 

Both policies, the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy and draft revisions to the Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy, were up for public discussion at the Fish and Wildlife Commission’s September meeting. 

The public comment period for draft revisions to the Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy has been extended by request of the Commission. 

WDFW will now accept comments for both policies through Oct. 12.

Based on Commission guidance, any Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy revised language will be submitted for additional public review and will be discussed with tribal co-managers in advance of a final Commission decision at its December 3-5 meeting. 

Commission meeting times and agendas can be found online at wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/meetings.

In June 2018, the Fish and Wildlife Commission directed WDFW to review and update its Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy, which was originally adopted in November 2009.

That policy is intended “to advance the conservation and recovery of wild salmon and steelhead by promoting and guiding the implementation of hatchery reform”.

To view the Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy draft revisions and instructions for providing comments, visit wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/management/hatcheries/hatchery-reform-policy-review.

Adopted in June 2015, the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy is designed to help restore natural salmon runs, reduce conflicts between commercial and recreational fisheries in Willapa Bay, and enhance the economic well-being and stability of the recreational and commercial fishing industry in the state.

Comments on the Willapa Bay policy will inform Commission discussion in October about possible modifications to policy language. 

The Commission is interested in hearing public feedback on whether the Willapa Bay policy should be modified and what sort of modifications are needed.

WDFW staff will present a summary of public feedback on the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy and draft revisions to the Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy to the Commission for consideration at its Oct. 22-24 meeting.

To view the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy and provide comments, visit wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/policies/willapa-bay-salmon-management.


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