OLYMPIA – State fish managers will update the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission during a conference call Jan. 12 on a proposed management plan for harvesting Puget Sound chinook salmon.
The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene the call at 2 p.m., Friday, Jan. 12.
The public can listen to the work session, but there will be no opportunity for public comment. To participate in the call, contact the Commission Office at 360-902-2267 or [email protected] by 4 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 11.
Any materials that will be discussed during the call will be available on the commission’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/
WDFW staff will brief commissioners on the Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Plan, which was developed in conjunction with treaty tribal co-managers. The state and tribes submitted the plan on Dec. 1, 2017, to NOAA Fisheries, which is currently reviewing the proposed plan.
The plan defines management goals for state and tribal fisheries that have an impact on wild Puget Sound chinook salmon, which are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Under that law, no fisheries affecting Puget Sound chinook can occur without a conservation plan approved by NOAA.
The federal agency has already provided some feedback on the plan, noting that several key salmon stocks would not meet NOAA’s new, more restrictive conservation objectives. NOAA is seeking more information from the state and tribes on the conservation objectives within the proposed plan.
The plan is available on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/
Additional discussion about the harvest management plan will take place during the commission’s regularly scheduled meeting, Jan. 18-20, at WDFW’s regional office in Ridgefield. A meeting agenda can be found on the commission’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/