WA: Public meeting on salmon forecast kicks off season-setting process

OLYMPIA – Anglers, commercial fishers and others interested in
Washington state salmon fisheries can get a preview of this year’s
salmon returns and proposed fishing seasons during a public meeting
here March 1.

Kicking off the annual salmon season-setting process, the
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will present
initial forecasts compiled by state and tribal biologists of 2011
salmon returns.

The meeting is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the General
Administration Building Auditorium at 11th Ave. and Columbia St. on
the Capitol Campus.

Those attending the meeting will have an opportunity to talk to
fishery managers about the pre-season forecasts and participate in
work sessions focusing on key salmon-management issues in the
region.

“Public input is an important part of the season-setting
process,” said Pat Pattillo, salmon policy coordinator for WDFW.
“We encourage anyone who has an interest in salmon populations and
recreational and commercial salmon fisheries to get involved in
these discussions and take part in the development of upcoming
fishing seasons.”

WDFW has also scheduled additional public meetings focusing on
regional salmon issues through early April. A meeting schedule and
more information about the salmon season-setting process is
available on WDFW’s website at
http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/.

Public review of the pre-season forecasts traditionally marks
the start of the North of Falcon process, which brings state,
tribal and federal fishery managers together to establish salmon
seasons for Puget Sound, the Columbia River and the Washington
coast.

The North of Falcon process is held in conjunction with public
meetings conducted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council
(PFMC), which establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to
200 miles off the Pacific coast.

Final adoption of the 2011 salmon fisheries is scheduled for
April 14 at the PFMC meeting in San Mateo, Calif.

 

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