RIDGEFIELD — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is inviting people to share their views at four upcoming meetings in Ridgefield on a draft assessment of a state policy that guides the management of salmon fisheries in the Lower Columbia River.
The policy, adopted in 2013 by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, is designed to “promote orderly fisheries, advance the recovery of wild salmon and steelhead, and support the economic well-being of the Columbia River fishing industry,” said the agency in a press release.
WDFW has initiated a review of that policy at the request of the commission, a nine-member citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the department.
“Once completed, this review will provide a foundation for the commission’s assessment of the policy,” said Bill Tweit, a WDFW special assistant. “Commissioners have emphasized that the department’s review must be detailed, comprehensive, and open to public involvement.”
To encourage engagement, the department invites the public to join in discussions with two WDFW advisory groups at any or all of four meetings designed to inform the department’s policy review. All of those meetings will be held at WDFW’s regional office at 5525 S. 11th St. in Ridgefield:
• The Columbia River Commercial Fishing Advisory Group: July 31 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• The Columbia River Recreational Fishing Advisory Group: July 12 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Two meetings were held earlier this week.
An initial draft of the Comprehensive Review of the Columbia River Basin Salmon Management Policy is posted on WDFW’s website attinyurl.com/Updated-WDFE-Salmon-Policy.
WDFW staff briefed the commission on an initial draft of its policy review March 17 at a public meeting in Wenatchee. Commissioners will receive regular updates from staff through mid-September, when they will meet to discuss WDFW’s final review of the Columbia River policy.
The Washington and Oregon commissions may also meet jointly in November to discuss the policy.
All of these meetings are open to the public.