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Commission to hear public input on Columbia River salmon, sturgeon policies


December 12, 2018

The public will have an opportunity to provide comment on a recent review of a policy that guides management of Columbia River salmon at an upcoming Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Olympia.

In addition, the commission will take public comment on a management policy for sturgeon in the lower Columbia River.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will meet Dec. 14-15 in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia. The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday and at 8 a.m. Saturday.

A full agenda is available online at

On Saturday, the commission will discuss a recently completed review of the Columbia River Basin Salmon Management Policy, next steps in the process – including achieving concurrency with Oregon for 2019 – and take comments from the public. The 5-year-old policy was designed to promote orderly fisheries, wild salmon and steelhead conservation, and economic stability in fisheries.

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 recent review, available online at, assessed the results of these and other provisions of that policy.

Also on Saturday, the commission will receive a briefing and take public comments on the Lower Columbia River Sturgeon Policy, including potential updates. The policy provides guidelines to promote a healthy white sturgeon population and sustainable fisheries in the lower Columbia River.

In other action, the commission will consider two land transactions, one of which would add 140 acres near Merrill Lake in Cowlitz County to the Mount St. Helens Wildlife Area. About 30 of those acres would be donated to the state by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, while the remaining land would be purchased with a grant from the state Recreation and Conservation Office.

Also during the two-day meeting, the commission will take public comment on the North of Falcon salmon-season setting policy.

In other business, WDFW staff will brief the commission on seal and sea lion predation on salmon and steelhead, and the status of the abalone population in Washington.


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