OK what we have here is my request regarding the WDF&W effort in Willapa to get some trapping going. Now a lot of ... ah ..... crap (?) been flying around about this but mostly behind the scenes so read with that in mind.

A lot of the things you are requesting have yet to be finalized but I can provide a few details that I do have.

Please remember the details below are still preliminary and could change depending on the comments we hear from the public and the final decisions from upper management.

1. Attached are the RFP documents that went out in December.
2. The trap needs to be floating fish trap that recruit Chinook passively. The trap needs to be able to pass natural, unmarked Chinook through without handling.
3. The trap will be limited to natural, unmarked Chinook impacts remaining but not exceed the 20% in the WB Planning model for Naselle River that gets finalized through the Rule Making process this year.
4. The trap will only fish three days/week, Monday Wednesday starting mid-August through the end of September to fish through the run timing of Chinook.
5. Only 12 hours each day will be fished but those 12 hours will likely be broken up into two periods to be able to fish on the flood tide.
6. The numbers of fish that will be allowed to be retained will be limited to:
o 300 hatchery Chinook per week or the total natural, unmarked Chinook impacts, whichever comes first.
o 500 natural, unmarked coho for all weeks combined. Once the 500 natural coho have been retained, the release of natural unmarked coho will be required from that point forward.
o No chum retention will be allowed to be consistent with the proposed regulations for the commercial gillnet fishery this year.
7. The current site location that was proposed to the Dept. is roughly a half mile section of the Naselle River that is 2.5 miles upstream of the Hwy 101 Bridge.
8. Two live boxes would be required to be on-board the trap.
9. An HPA would be required to be obtained by the fisher through WDFWs habitat program.

All other details have still not been finalized. There are still a lot of details that needs to be worked out.

Annette Hoffmann is the lead on the project so if you have questions or concerns please contact her to discuss those.


Then we have the RFP that went out but only to NT nets permit holders which frankly is questionable as to legality.

December 15, 20I 6

To whom it may concern,

WDFW is interested in any alternative gear ideas or suggestions you would like to pursue in 2017 or in future years in Willapa Bay. This letter is intended to provide background, guidelines, and the procedure for the application process.

In the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy C-3622 under Guiding Principles #4 it states "Investigate and promote the development and implementation of alternative selective gear. The development of alternative selective gear may provide an opportunity to target fishery harvests on abundant hatchery fish stocks, reduce the number of hatchery-origin fish in natural spawning areas, limit mortalities on non-target species and stocks, and provide commercial fishing opportunities". The policy also states under the section Fall Chinook Salmon #2b, "pursue implementation of additional mark-selective commercial fishing gear to enhance conservation and provide harvest opportunities. The Department shall provide to the Commission by January 2017 a status report and by January 2018 an assessment of options to implement additional mark-selective commercial fishing gear in Willapa Bay. The assessment shall identify the likely release mortality rates for each gear type, the benefits to
rebuilding naturally spawning populations, and the benefits and impacts to the commercial fishery".

With this in mind, the staff in Region 6 will initiate the process of investigating ideas for alternative gears that may have the potential to be successful in Willapa Bay. Legally, no other gear other than gillnet is allowed. However alternative gears would be designated as a trial or feasibility fishery.

There are some limiters that you need to be aware of:
I . The timeframe that any alterative gear that may be allowed to be pursued in 2017 would be required to stay within the dates provided in the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy C-3622. Any ideas for areas below Leadbetter Point (2M, 2N, and 2R) would not be allowed to begin until after Labor Day and any ideas for areas north of Leadbetter Point (2T and 2U) would not be allowed to begin prior to September 16th .
2. Alternative gear is defined in the WB Salmon Mgmt Policy as having a release mortality rate of less than 35%.
3. Any alternative gear ideas would be limited to a small number of natural, unmarked Chinook impacts that have been set aside in the planning model for Willapa Bay. The maximum number of natural, unmarked Chinook impacts would be shared by all of the alternative gears tested in 2017.

4. You would be allowed to keep hatchery Chinook and sell to whomever you choose. However the total number of hatchery Chinook would be limited to a number that has yet to be determined. This would probably depend on each alternative gear type being tested.
There are a few steps that we will need to follow. The first step would be to complete the application included in this packet and return to WDFW. WDFW would then approve or disapprove any ideas and issue permits for those approved. Those permits would include daily reporting requirements, handling procedures, and observer requirements. WDFW would notify the Fish and Wildlife Commission and legislature of upcoming trial fishery and justification as a courtesy. An emergency rule would then be used to open any trial or feasibility fishery to allow for the use of selected alternative gears in Willapa Bay in 2017.

If you are interested in pursuing any ideas regarding the possible use of alternative gear in Willapa Bay, please fill out the application included and return to WDFW by the close of business January 20, 2017. We will then follow up with you and get more details regarding your ideas or plans. This application will start the process for you.

Please take the time to consider this opportunity. Regional staff are open to all ideas and their possibilities for the future of commercial fishing in Willapa Bay.

Thank you,

Barbara McClellan WDFW - Region 6
#360.249.1213 office Barbara.Mcclellan@dfw.wa.gov
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in