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#1017017 - 11/14/19 12:08 PM Re: Willapa Policy Reveiw [Re: Salmo g.]
OncyT Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 02/06/08
Posts: 469
Originally Posted By: Salmo g.
However, I have to ask that if the HSRG understood that WB wasn't historically Chinook habitat in any meaningful measure, would they still recommend trying to create a naturally self-sustaining wild Chinook population in habitat that wasn't suitable in any great quantity historically, and is severely degraded from that capacity and productivity today and for the foreseeable future.

You'll never have the answer to that question, but you can ask the manager (no co-managers in WB) what goals it provided to the HSRG when it did the reviews. Those were the goals used by the HSRG to develop its recommendations. We could look up the old reports, but I'll bet that WDFW did not put forward the same view of the present and future for the biological significance, population viability and habitat quantity and quality as you put forward here.

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#1017024 - 11/14/19 01:15 PM Re: Willapa Policy Reveiw [Re: OncyT]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3401
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
My take on it was that the HSRG agency driver was that Willapa had to have a prime Chinook stream for Willapa, not that Willapa had a prime Chinook stream.
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#1017032 - 11/14/19 03:27 PM Re: Willapa Policy Reveiw [Re: Rivrguy]
OncyT Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 02/06/08
Posts: 469

The premise that WDFW always brought forward was that it needed to manage its hatcheries in WB to prevent the populations there from being listed. Their logic in regard to HSRG recos was that if taking the HSRG approach would be accepted for listed ESU's, then it would also prevent ESU's from becoming listed. What Salmo g. is suggesting is that someone (WDFW as manager, I believe) needed to say is "the habitat wasn't good for Chinook in the first place, the already poor habitat has been terribly degraded, it's not going to get better, the populations are already trashed, they're not going to get better. Screw it....let's produce a bunch of hatchery fish, go fishing and be happy."

If that had been the approach that WDFW had taken prior to the HSRG reviews of WB, I can write the reviews for all the former fall Chinook programs in one line: "The programs are being operated in a manner consistent with the manager's short and long-term goals for the populations." That would have been very simple, but would also have required someone from the department to make the case that Salmo g. is making. No one did. No one has since then. I'm pretty sure the old Fish and Wildlife Commission would have had the head of anyone espousing that position. The new one....not so much. One man's opinion above.

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#1017048 - 11/15/19 06:15 AM Re: Willapa Policy Reveiw [Re: OncyT]
Geoduck Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 08/10/02
Posts: 432
During the initial WB policy development period, I made the argument that there was not any stream on WB worthy of prime designation based on habitat considerations.

I was told that was an unacceptable position by WDFW staff. That we had to have a prime designation for WB.

I then asked for their current habitat evaluation and they trotted out some stuff from the 1970s and said that was the best they had and we would have to make the decision in the absence of current data.

The upshot is Willapa R was chosen as prime because we had to have a prime, but its basis was not in the ecology of the habitat, but simply that it was viewed as most likely to avoid gear conflicts.

Of course the rest of the story is that Willapa as prime exquisitely does avoid gear conflicts by eliminating the rec fishery altogether.

Go WDFW!
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#1017049 - 11/15/19 06:57 AM Re: Willapa Policy Reveiw [Re: Geoduck]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3401
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope

I think you captured what happened perfectly. None of what happened was about the fish in the end but rather politics.
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#1017058 - 11/15/19 09:16 AM Re: Willapa Policy Reveiw [Re: Rivrguy]
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 12785
OncyT,

You've taken the jist of my opinion a tad too far. Yes, the WB environment was not well suited, mainly due to stream size, to significant Chinook production historically. That habitat has been degraded and will remain so for all the foreseeable future because of the dominant land use functions of agriculture and tree farm forestry.

If politics demands that there be a WB stream designated as primary for Chinook, then as best I can tell based on watershed condition and stream channel morphology, then the Naselle is the better candidate stream. Unless I'm mistaken, the Naselle has a slightly higher stream gradient in the Chinook spawning area than does the Willapa. Even though bother watersheds are heavily logged, the gradient factor should equate to higher egg to fry survival in the Naselle. If that is true, then the Naselle has the better chance of hosting a naturally self-sustaining Chinook population than the Willapa River.

I would not disagree with Geoduck than none of the WB rivers is worthy of primary designation for Chinook. Only that the Naselle has a better shot at success over the Willapa.

If I could be fish czar, I would end Chinook production at both the Naselle and Nemah hatcheries because they are poor investments of tax dollars. (That could be said about most salmon hatcheries, but I'll save that discussion for another day.) I would restore maximum Chinook production to Forks Ck hatchery because it is the better producer for the WB region, and contributes to WA fisheries. I would prioritize recreational angling and use commercial fishing for mop up duty only.

WB as an ecosystem is best suited to natural coho and chum salmon production, along with modest steelhead and cutthroat populations. Rather than trying to fight or control nature, I'd manage the WB regions for what it's naturally best suited to. Commercial fishing would phase out because it isn't economical without the subsidy provided by taxpayer funded hatcheries. Over the long run reasonable Chinook and coho salmon fishing would be sustained by a combination of hatchery and natural fish production.

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#1017060 - 11/15/19 10:00 AM Re: Willapa Policy Reveiw [Re: Rivrguy]
cohoangler Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 12/29/99
Posts: 1524
Loc: Vancouver, Washington
Lemme add to what Salmo g has outlined.

The habitat in the Naselle Rv may not be great, but for whatever reason, it produces tremendous numbers of wild coho and chum salmon. In the recent past, I could keep three wild coho per day from the Naselle. There aren’t many rivers in Washington State where recreational anglers can keep a daily bag limit of three wild coho. This year, it was only two, before WDFW closed it entirely.

This is significant, particularly for coho. If the Naselle can produce coho, it should be able to produce ocean-type Chinook, since they don’t spend much time in the river. Chinook eggs get deposited in October, and the juveniles are gone by mid to late spring. They don't spend the summer in the river. But juvenile coho will spend 18 months in the same river! So if juvenile coho can survive the Naselle, juvenile Chinook should too.

So I agree with his optimism for Chinook production in the Naselle, but at the same time I’m a little confused as to why the river doesn’t already produce lots of wild Chinook. The influence of the hatchery and the high harvest rate might be contributing factors. My sense is that if WDFW eliminated Chinook production at the hatchery, and stopped commercial fishing, the numbers of wild Chinook on the Naselle would be something close to the production of wild coho.

We might even be able to keep three wild Chinook on the Naselle!

Wouldn’t that be nice…….
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#1017072 - 11/15/19 01:08 PM Re: Willapa Policy Reveiw [Re: Rivrguy]
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 12785
Cohoangler,

I think the main reason that the Naselle and all other WB rivers don't produce many native wild Chinook is because, until the last few years, WB has been managed as a hatchery wipe-out fishery, where the spawning escapement of wild salmon was not a management concern. So whatever historic wild Chinook existed were systemactically wiped out by high hatchery harvest rates. Wild escapement has for many decades consisted of hatchery strays that unlikely produced many adult salmon recruits. I think your hunch about the hatchery and high harvest rates are THE factor, not just contributing factors.

Sg

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#1017098 - 11/15/19 05:26 PM Re: Willapa Policy Reveiw [Re: Salmo g.]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3401
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
Quote:
Of course the rest of the story is that Willapa as prime exquisitely does avoid gear conflicts by eliminating the rec fishery altogether.


I just realized something that is not exactly correct. When the policy was developed it was very clear that with Willapa prime the Forks Cr. Chinook production would be reduced to 350,000 which is a 90% reduction in smolt releases. For many of the Recs it was all about no nets in T or U and not the production level. A gentleman from Seattle (BK) argued forcefully that this would destroy those fisheries, in particular the mom & pop small boat and it did. I even accepted it, recognizing what would happen, as WDFW staff and Commissioners made up their collective minds. The decision was pushed through and no one was going to get them change it back then.

All that said for the past five years myself, BK, and others have addressed the issue even to the Commission in writing. Simple fact is 5 years after the implementation of the policy the North Willapa Bay Chinook fisheries were going to be a thing of the past. This is not brain surgery folks. When you reduce production by 90% the remaining 10% will provide very limited bay opportunity and almost none in years of low ocean survival. The blame game is more of a shared thing to be honest for the agency, Commissioners, and harvesters.

Now the unwillingness to recognize that something went really wrong here and to take actions to alter the outcome is WDFW's baby. They own that.


Edited by Rivrguy (11/15/19 05:40 PM)
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#1017208 - 11/19/19 10:33 AM Re: Willapa Policy Reveiw [Re: Rivrguy]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3401
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope

Update on meeting or rather not happening:

WDFW NEWS RELEASE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov/

November 13, 2019
Contact: Chad Herring, 360-249-1299

Planned Willapa Bay Salmon Advisory Group meeting cancelled

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is cancelling a Nov. 21 public meeting of the Willapa Bay Salmon Advisory Group, with the intention to reschedule the meeting for a later date.

The meeting, originally scheduled to take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 21 at the Raymond Elks Lodge, will be rescheduled soon and WDFW will provide notice of the new date and time, said Chad Herring, WDFW fish policy lead for the south coast.

The meeting was cancelled to allow fishery managers more time to develop additional meaningful new information to present to the advisory group and the public, as well as accommodate staff scheduling conflicts.

A separate meeting to discuss the 2020 Willapa Bay Chinook salmon release strategy will proceed as planned. That meeting takes place tonight, Nov. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Raymond Elks Lodge. Additional information can be found in the previous news release at https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/public-meeting-scheduled-discuss-2020-willapa-bay-chinook-release-strategy.

More information on the Willapa Bay Salmon Advisory Group &#150; including information on upcoming meetings, as well as handouts and audio from previous meetings -- can be found on the agency website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/advisory/wbsag.

WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation opportunities.
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#1017271 - 11/20/19 09:25 AM Re: Willapa Policy Reveiw [Re: Rivrguy]
Geoduck Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 08/10/02
Posts: 432
Did the release strategy meeting on Nov 13 actually happen? Did anything happen besides more status quo??

I am curious, but was in Philly last week.
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#1017295 - 11/20/19 04:15 PM Re: Willapa Policy Reveiw [Re: Geoduck]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3401
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
I have not seen anything that would indicate change. Maybe others have more information than I do.


Edited by Rivrguy (11/20/19 04:16 PM)
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#1020131 - 01/14/20 10:25 AM Re: Willapa Policy Reveiw [Re: Rivrguy]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3401
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope

The Willapa policy is up again for those interesed. I imagine the desire of those who want to transfer Folks Cr eggtake to Naselle will out in force.

NEWS RELEASE
Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/

January 13, 2020
Contact: Commission office, 360-902-2267
Media contact: Carrie McCausland, 360-902-2262

Commission to discuss whale entanglements, Willapa Bay and Puget Sound salmon management at January meeting

OLYMPIA &#150; The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider ways to reduce the risk of whale entanglements at its January meeting, as well as hear updates on forest restoration projects, Willapa Bay salmon policy, and a long-term plan for Puget Sound Chinook salmon management.

The Commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will meet Jan. 16-18 in room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia. The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Individual committee meetings will be held Thursday from 1-6:30 p.m. in room 175 A & B.

Commissioners are expected to decide on two proposed land transactions in Yakima County, as well as proposed rule changes meant to reduce the number of whales entangled in crab fishing gear off the Washington coast.

On Friday, commissioners will hear briefings on several topics, including implementation of the hydraulic project bill 1579, which granted WDFW new civil compliance tools to help landowners follow fish protection standards. WDFW staff will also brief the Commission on current and completed work of forest thinning and prescribed burning project efforts and request approval of two new projects. Additionally, commissioners will hear from Puget Sound Partnership Executive Director Laura Blackmore about current activities and collaborations with WDFW.

On Saturday, WDFW staff will brief commissioners on efforts to update the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy, as well as provide a briefing on the Puget Sound Chinook Resource Management Plan, developed by the department and co-managers to help guide fishery management in Puget Sound. Co-managers expect to submit the plan to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by the end of January.

A full agenda is available online at wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/meetings. The meeting will stream online at https://www.tvw.org/. The public is also invited to speak and provide testimony at Commission meetings. For more information on how to participate, visit wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/meetings#publictestimony.



Persons with disabilities who need to receive this information in an alternative format or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact Dolores Noyes by phone (360-902-2349), TTY (360-902-2207), or email (dolores.noyes@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see http://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/reasonable_request.html.

This message has been sent to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission Announcements mailing list.
Visit the WDFW News Release Archive at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/
To UNSUBSCRIBE from this mailing list: http://wdfw.wa.gov/lists/unsubscribe.html
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#1020149 - 01/14/20 06:11 PM Re: Willapa Policy Reveiw [Re: Rivrguy]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3401
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
Some more information for the upcoming Commission meeting and the summary is basically bulk information about past actions including reasons for not following the policy. Now the presentation is more of what the agency sees for next / future and their shopping list.

Summary:
https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/..._2020011618.pdf

Presentation:
https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/...eview_final.pdf


Edited by Rivrguy (01/14/20 06:16 PM)
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#1021378 - 02/02/20 09:12 PM Re: Willapa Policy Reveiw [Re: Rivrguy]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3401
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope

Bumping this up as the Commission meeting is Feb 6.
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#1022155 - 02/12/20 06:57 PM Re: Willapa Policy Reveiw [Re: Rivrguy]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3401
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope

For those who did not follow the outcome of the Commission Review of the Willapa Policy.

NEWS RELEASE
Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/

February 12, 2020
Contact: Commission office, 360-902-2267
Media contact: Carrie McCausland, 360-902-2262

Commission approves forest restorations, Willapa Bay policy guidance, and hears updates on hatchery reform and Grays Harbor salmon policy

OLYMPIA &#150; The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved continued implementation of the Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy for 2019 brood year fall Chinook hatchery releases and 2020 fishery management objectives and measures at their Feb. 7-8 meeting. The Commission also approved forest restoration thinning projects across 1,200 acres in Oak Creek and Blue Mountain wildlife areas.

The Commission discussed and heard public comment on several topics that will move forward for actions at later dates. These spanned 14 possible future land transactions, Grays Harbor salmon management policy, sturgeon status in the Lower Columbia River, and the latest in hatchery science.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) manages 80 hatchery facilities and 159 hatchery programs across the state. Given the agency&#146;s roles in conservation and fishing access, the Commission will spend time at their March meeting reviewing WDFW&#146;s progress toward implementing the current hatchery reform policy, designed to advance the conservation and recovery of wild salmon and steelhead.

The Commission further discussed next steps in the Columbia River policy review and directed WDFW to plan a review of current hunting contest rules. The Commission also heard about backyard wildlife sanctuary and pollinator programs.

More information is available online at wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/meetings .

The Commission is a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the WDFW.

WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.
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#1022185 - 02/12/20 09:48 PM Re: Willapa Policy Reveiw [Re: Rivrguy]
DrifterWA Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 04/25/00
Posts: 4645
Loc: East of Aberdeen, West of Mont...

WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.[/quote]


The above might be true....but the bottom line is "What can I do to save MY JOB" and really, some need to go.....yep they do !!!!!!!


Edited by DrifterWA (02/12/20 09:49 PM)
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