Public input sought on Grays Harbor salmon plan

Staff reportOctober 27, 2013 

The state is seeking public input as it works this fall and winter to discuss and develop a new draft policy for managing salmon fisheries in Grays Harbor.

The nearly five-month process to develop the new draft policy will include a series of public meetings. The state Fish and Wildlife Commission, which sets policy for the Department of Fish and Wildlife, is scheduled to consider adopting the draft policy in mid-February.

Salmon fisheries in Grays Harbor are being managed under a framework that was initially developed in 2007 in conjunction with the commission’s North of Falcon policy, said Ron Warren, regional fish program manager.

“We would like to further refine the management of Grays Harbor salmon fisheries to help ensure we can meet spawning goals for wild salmon returning to the basin, as well as give anglers and commercial fishers a clearer picture of what fishing opportunities they can expect each year,” Warren said.

The public meetings include three workshops and four Grays Harbor Advisory Committee meetings. The advisory committee discussions are open to the public, and those in attendance will have an opportunity to comment at the end of each meeting.

Department fishery managers are scheduled to brief the commission on the development of the draft policy during the commission’s November meeting in Olympia.

Warren said department staffers will develop a range of policy options that will be discussed during the December commission meeting in Olympia. The commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the draft policy options during its January meeting, also to be held in Olympia.

The commission is expected to make a final decision at its February meeting in Olympia.

Throughout the process, the department will periodically update its website at wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisheries/grays_harbor_salmon with more information on the development of the draft policy.

MEETING SCHEDULE

All the meetings will be from 6-8 p.m. at the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s regional office at 48 Devonshire Road, Montesano, unless otherwise noted:

Monday: Grays Harbor Advisory Committee, public input will be taken from 8-9 p.m.

Friday: Department fishery managers will host a public workshop at Montesano City Hall, 112 N. Main St., Montesano.

Nov. 13: Grays Harbor Advisory Committee, public input taken from 8-9 p.m.

Nov. 18: Grays Harbor Advisory Committee, public input taken from 8-9 p.m.

Nov. 26: Fishery managers will host a public workshop from 6-8 p.m. at Montesano City Hall.

Jan. 13: Grays Harbor Advisory Committee, public input taken from 8-9 p.m.

Jan. 15: Fishery managers will host a public workshop at Montesano City Hall.

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