OLYMPIA — A report on the results of a 5-year-old policy that banned gillnetting and prioritized sport salmon fishing on the Columbia River will be a focus of discussion during an upcoming meeting of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in Olympia.
The commission, a panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, will review the report and invite public comments Saturday, Sept. 15, during the two-day meeting. On Friday, the commission will consider issues ranging from crab seasons to wolf management
The meeting will be held in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St., in Olympia. The report and an agenda for the meeting are posted on WDFW’s website at wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html.
“The Columbia River Basin Salmon Management Policy, approved by the commission in 2013, was designed to promote orderly fisheries, wild salmon and steelhead conservation, and economic stability in the state’s fishing industry,” according to a commission press release. “Strategies for achieving those goals included allocating more salmon to sport fisheries, promoting the use of alternative fishing gear in commercial fisheries and increasing the production/releases of salmon in the off-channel areas.”
The new report assesses the results of these and other provisions of that policy.
“The purpose of this report is not to identify new ideas or adjustments to the policy, but rather to help commissioners in their evaluation of whether the policy has been successful,” said Bill Tweit, a WDFW special assistant who helped draft the report.
On Friday, the commission will consider approving proposals that would:
• Add four more game management units to areas of Southwest Washington where infectious hoof disease has been detected in elk.
• Allow sport crabbers to set out crab pots two weeks earlier on most areas of the state’s Pacific coast.