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#1035416 - 07/29/20 11:01 AM WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3483
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
I think this subject needs a thread. Cuts are coming and rumors are everywhere so here is what I found out searching around. I think the hatchery closures are at 14 but you need to hit the link a view the presentation and read the entire thing as different closures and actions are scattered all over the document.

https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2020-07/7_july31_2020_2021-23perflevel.pdf will take you to a page on the operating budget request and reductions including hatchery closures.

This is a bit difficult to follow so use the link but the information below should give you an idea.

Salmon and Steelhead Hatchery Production -
$5.2M
o Close six salmon and steelhead hatcheries, including:
Forks Creek, Nemah, Reiter, Tokul Creek, Mayr Bros, and
Whitehorse hatcheries.
o Reductions in SRKW hatchery production.
o Reductions in hatchery production include: Chinook,
coho, and chum, representing 7.2% of statewide salmon
production, and winter steelhead (representing 1% of
statewide production).
o Eliminate vacant WMS positions supporting hatchery
management.
o Reduce urgent hatchery maintenance and repairs of
critical infrastructure by 32%, increasing the changes of
catastrophic failures leading to loss of fish.

Trout Hatchery Production - $2.0M
o Close four trout hatcheries, including: Arlington, Chelan,
Naches, and Mossyrock hatcheries.
o Reductions in hatchery production include: Westslope
cutthroat, eastern brook, rainbow, brown, golden, tiger
trout, and kokanee representing 12.3% percent of trout
production statewide.
o Reduce or eliminate production that contributes to
recreational fishing opportunities which have an annual
economic value of $61.2M.
o Reduce urgent hatchery maintenance and repairs of
critical infrastructure by 32%, increasing the changes of
catastrophic failures leading to loss of fish.

Department of Fish and Wildlife
Proposed Reductions
15
Fisheries Opportunity and Management - $5.7M
o Reduce fishing opportunities on the coast, Puget Sound, and
Columbia River
o Reduce Dungeness crab fishery outreach and derelict gear
removal
o Reduce bottom trawl surveys
o Reduce rotenone lake rehabilitation
o Reduce monitoring of Puget Sound early winter steelhead
o Reduce ability to monitor recreational fisheries in the
Columbia and Snake Rivers
o Eliminate several vacant positions
o Reduce fisheries enforcement patrols by at least 5 officers


Proposed Reductions
17
Lands Stewardship and Operations - $2.7M
o Reduce lands stewardship statewide
o Reduce property management expertise
o Reduce public engagement in wildlife area planning
o Reduce western Washington pheasant rearing and releases
o Reduce enforcement patrols of WDFW lands by at least 3
officers
Conservation - $2.7M
o Reduce ability to fund project work with local communities
o Reduce pass-through to coastal communities for engagement
in stewardship
o Reduce policy level expertise in timber harvest and streamflow
arenas
o Reduce science and GIS capacity
Partnering with Volunteers - $1.3M
o Eliminate funding for volunteer cooperative grants for
projects benefitting fish and wildlife
18
Pittman-Robertson Shortfall - $2.8M
o Reduce ungulate research, big game surveys, and big game
monitoring
o Reduce capacity for private landowner access agreements
o Reduce elk feeding by 50%
Dingell-Johnson Shortfall - $0.8M
o Closure of Omak hatchery and Cowlitz/Mayfield net pens
o Reduce hatchery emergency repairs and maintenance
Personalized License Plates Shortfall - $1M
o Reduce diversity species database management, infectious
disease monitoring, and landscape connectivity assessments
Hatchery Grants Shortfall - $2.6M
o Closure of Elwha, Toutle, and Skamania hatcheries
o Reduce Columbia River and tributary fisheries







Edited by Rivrguy (07/29/20 11:26 AM)
_________________________
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#1035443 - 07/29/20 12:24 PM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: Rivrguy]
FleaFlickr02 Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/28/09
Posts: 3016
The cuts will be deep. They'd have to charge us all 10x what we pay now to make that up with new revenue.

To put this in perspective, the 2008 recession resulted in a $2.5B revenue shortfall, and it effectively cut state budgets by 10% over the next biennium. This deficit is projected to be almost 4x as much, so we should expect the impacts to be that much worse. They could lay off every state employee, and it would barely put a dent in a $9.5B deficit.

Indeed, this will be ugly.

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#1035447 - 07/29/20 12:58 PM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: Rivrguy]
wsu Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 410
Other than it being interesting that they tailor the cuts for maximum public outcry, am I the only what the reads that and thinks "so what?!" Fishing opportunities are already way down and when there is opportunity the fishing often sucks. The management of big game doesn't do much. Draw tags are way down and the general season is the same as always (and is every year). There is currently about a week or two of good fishing in most of the Puget Sound and they already gave away the rest at NOF (which we aren't allowed to go or participate in).

Exactly how are these cuts going to be felt and why should we care?

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#1035463 - 07/29/20 02:49 PM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: Rivrguy]
snit Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 1652
Loc: Wenatchee, WA
WSU...pretty much felt the same way, unfortunately.

I wonder how the Treaty Tribes will respond to the proposed closures of certain steelhead/salmon hatcheries? Also if there is any actual legal speak regarding the Tribes "lost opportunity" that will require the State to keep supporting some of these dismal hatchery releases/returns; and more specifically geared towards one user group? Maybe some Tribes will just be able to "subcontract" the operation of the hatcheries from WDFW (gotta be some "free" BIA $$$ out there??)? I realized quite awhile ago that if it wasn't for the Tribes, our WA salmon/steelhead would have been virtually wiped out by the end of the 70's.
_________________________
..."the clock looked at me just like the devil in disguise"...

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#1035469 - 07/29/20 03:09 PM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: snit]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3483
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
Within any part of this is the fact that it lacks details. This one is an example:

Reduce or eliminate production that contributes to
recreational fishing opportunities which have an annual
economic value of $61.2M.


Also just what any particular cut in production accomplishes vs another. Chinook & Chum have short term rearing times and the value in production reduction is about 25% vs Coho & Steelhead. Chum low rate of dollar value in adults, Chinook high value ( but vast majority of value is taken in AK & BC ) and Summerrun Steelhead are expensive but have the best cost benefit ratio be mostly all recreational. The fish that cost the most with the least cost benefit ratio is Coho.

Not being involved with hatcheries for a bit, unless things have changed communities ( or similar entity ) or tribes can assume operation of a facility that is closed. Closed does not mean moth balled but permanently closed. I was once present when a debate between two staffers erupted as to if the enabling legislation meant say a hatchery is at 20% capacity could another entity assume partial operation of the unused space. It will be interesting as this all walks forward.


Edited by Rivrguy (07/29/20 06:30 PM)
_________________________
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#1035481 - 07/29/20 04:37 PM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: Rivrguy]
FleaFlickr02 Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/28/09
Posts: 3016
For sure, they'll put the fisheries they know their stakeholders will be most upset about losing on the chopping block initially. That's just good politics at a time when you desperately need your stakeholders to scream. When the chips are down, though, we'll see freshwater fisheries sacrificed to save enough paper fish to keep the ocean (over)harvest cranking.

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#1035492 - 07/29/20 08:57 PM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: Rivrguy]
deadly Offline
Egg

Registered: 04/15/12
Posts: 3
It's getting very hard to be optimistic about fishing around here anymore.

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#1035498 - 07/29/20 09:48 PM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5883
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
There is a question about if they want to save money or cause pain. As alluded to, Chinook fingerlings, pink, and chum are by far the cheapest salmon to produce. Short rearing, little foods and so on. Cutting coho, steelhead, and yearling Chinook saves much more money.

Same with trout. The legals are expensive, the kokanee are cheap as are all the fingerling trout. The devil will be in the details, and the devil is making the choices.

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#1035523 - 07/30/20 08:57 AM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: Rivrguy]
RICH G Offline
I believe in a lot of stupid schit

Registered: 11/05/00
Posts: 3326
Loc: Land of the Lost
Massive governmental collapse by October. I have been spreading the word all over. I have inside sources in local governments. Total infrastructure collapse by end of governmental physical year, loss of 60% of all city county and state government employees.


You are barely just starting to hear about it now, wait till the end of the month. I have been told that the public will become aware around the end of August because that's when the "painful" symptoms will start of show up... Currently all kind of things have stopped but the employees are still getting paid, pretty soon there wont be any money to pay the employees ...

Teachers are a great example,, there is no money to re-open schools, barely enough money to pay court mandated teachers salaries, soon that money will run out and most teachers will be fired...

The state and local government has been unfunded and there is no federal bailout to help them, it will all fail including the entire state pension system.

Its going to an interesting show indeed.


Edited by RICH G (07/30/20 08:58 AM)
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#1035525 - 07/30/20 09:14 AM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: Rivrguy]
Todd Offline
Bumpin the 6X9's

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 26260
Loc: Seattle, Washington USA
Dood. You've been saying that for six years, every other Tuesday it's "gonna happen for sure this time!"...'bout time you crawl back into your bunker and put on your bike helmet.

Fish on...

Todd

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#1035537 - 07/30/20 12:02 PM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: Rivrguy]
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 12949
Like I mentioned in Rivrguy's other thread, since cuts are likely necessary due to reduced state revenue due to the pandemic, this is an opportunity like no other to actually prioritize WDFW services based on the return from those services to the WA taxpayers and license buyers who actually keep the GD lights on and doors open at the Natural Resources Building and all regional and district offices of WDFW.

Hatcheries should be audited and prioritized based first on fish returned to recreational anglers. The reason is because recreational anglers comprise the largest group of taxpayers and license buyers who provide much needed revenue to WDFW. Fish returns to NT commercial and treaty fisheries should be second in line. And fish (salmon) contributions to Canadian and Alaska fisheries shouldn't even be part of the prioritization equation since those fisheries provide exactly zero revenue to WDFW.

Much as I'd rather fish for steelhead and salmon, it is the hatcheries that produce trout or other fish for lakes and other landlocked waters that should receive the highest priority. This is because those fisheries return fish directly to anglers who pay WA state taxes and buy licenses from WDFW. This is the classic "twofer" for WDFW, providing fish through Department services to people who fund the Department in two ways, both through state taxes and by purchasing fishing licenses. No other user group even begins to contribute as much revenue to WDFW at as little cost. It isn't even close.

Funding salmon hatcheries that primarily benefit Canadian fisheries was only a good deal for WA when ocean survival rates were high and enough salmon escaped the intercepting fisheries of AK and BC to still provide decent fishing to WA recreational anglers. It ain't no secret that that train has long since left the station and may never come back. Raising hatchery salmon for another state and another nation with little benefit to WA is not only a welfare measure, it is a fiscally stupid welfare measure. (Unless you're an AK or BC fisherman, of course)

Raising hatchery salmon for NT commercial and treaty fishing is a fiscally stupid welfare measure because these two groups comprise less than 2% of WA state's population, and combined they return so little revenue to WDFW as to be negligible. As for treaty fishing being a federally treaty protected right, I do not disagree. Since it is a federally protected treaty right, then let the federal government fund hatcheries for that purpose if the federal government considers that to be an important public interest. Unless and until there is federal adjudication requiring WA state to fund such hatchery production, it simply doesn't make economic sense to do so, except to the extent that treaty fishing incidentally provides sufficient NT recreational fishing to make it economically worth while.

I"m not saying there shouldn't be hatchery salmon raised with WA state money, only that such hatchery salmon rearing be prioritized based on returns to the greatest number of anglers who buy WA state recreational fishing licenses. Some hatcheries will be winners, and some are losers. Stop funding the losers. That's all.

Hatchery steelhead return rates are at all time lows. However, even at low return rates it may make more sense to raise hatchery steelhead than hatchery salmon if more hatchery steelhead are returned to WA licensed creel than salmon are.

WDFW must have some bean counters who can perform this audit. The Department simply doesn't want to, because decisions regarding what Department programs are funded and which aren't have never been made on the basis of fiscal responsibility or returning services to the people who actually provide the Department's funding. This is why we see WDFW consistently make choices to throw recreational fishing and recreational fishermen under the bus in favor of alternatives up to and inclduing fiscal lunacy.

WDFW should consider dropping out of NOF. I've heard from Department people that from December through April of every year, 70% of Fish Program effort is directed at NOF. An objective audit would ask, "what do we get from all that effort?" If, come mid-April, we taxpaying license buying anglers only get the fishing that the treaty tribes approve of anyway, then why are we spending all that state money participating in a process where Ron Warren is just going to throw recreational fishing under the bus anyway. Thanks Ron for letting the Stillaguamish Tribe decide when NT sport fishermen can go fly fish for sea run cutthroat on the Stillagaumish River each year in some delusional effort that it will contribute to conservation of Stillaguamish Chinook, when any fish biologist who understands the situation knows that it won't. And not to pick on Mr. Warren specifically, but since he is the occupant of the new managerial position that Director Susewind created not that long ago, why are we spending scarce WA state funds paying for a Departmental position whose occupant has been throwing recreational fishing under the bus for the last 5 years? There are logical places for WDFW to make budget cuts necessitated by the COVID pandemic, but I don't see much logic being employed in WDFW's proposal. And that, my friends, is probably not a coincidence.

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#1035547 - 07/30/20 01:47 PM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: Rivrguy]
eddie Online   content
Carcass

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 2309
Loc: Valencia, Negros Oriental, Phi...
Good analysis Steve, we can only hope the "powers that be" can and will listen!
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"You're not a g*dda*n looney Martini, you're a fisherman"

R.P. McMurphy - One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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#1035559 - 07/30/20 04:06 PM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: Rivrguy]
FleaFlickr02 Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/28/09
Posts: 3016
I love Salmo's take. Couldn't agree more, and it looks a lot like justice. Uh-oh...

Trouble is that most of the commercial fishers in AK call Washington ports home. That means Washington stakeholders are capturing the majority of Washington fish when they get captured in AK. Then, they fish over them again off the coast of Washington, where ocean rec anglers mop up most of what's left.

As for what gets caught off BC, there's not much we can do about that.

Anyway, I'll be shocked (in a most delightful way) if freshwater fisheries don't take the brunt of the cuts and restrictions. What's best for its largest stakeholder has never driven decisions at WDFW. Why would that change now, when commercial stakeholders will be screaming more loudly than ever at their legislators?

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#1035592 - 07/31/20 08:56 AM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: Salmo g.]
MPM Offline
Spawner

Registered: 12/09/08
Posts: 761
Loc: Seattle, WA
Salmo g.,

Can I quote (and lightly edit) your post and send it to legislators as coming from a retired WDFW biologist?

MPM

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#1035593 - 07/31/20 09:18 AM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: FleaFlickr02]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3483
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope

BC's position for some time has been get AK off our fish & we will get off yours " . Statement was at a meeting couple years back.
_________________________
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#1035597 - 07/31/20 10:26 AM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: Rivrguy]
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 12949
MPM, you can use my post, but you can't say it's coming from a retired WDFW biologist because I didn't work for WDFW (except as a seasonal technician way back in the early 70s.).

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#1035598 - 07/31/20 10:28 AM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: Rivrguy]
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 12949
Well, this morning Director Susewind said it was the work of a great talented staff that came up with the list of proposed program cuts and hatchery closures. If you agree, then don't do anything. If you disagree, email the Commissioners and Director and give 'em hell!

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#1035607 - 07/31/20 12:18 PM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: Rivrguy]
MPM Offline
Spawner

Registered: 12/09/08
Posts: 761
Loc: Seattle, WA
Sorry I mis-remembered your background. How about retired fisheries biologist?

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#1035627 - 07/31/20 03:07 PM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: Salmo g.]
Brent K Offline
Smolt

Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 95
Loc: Arlington, Washington
I know this stuff should piss me off but at this point most of the fisheries I enjoy are already closed. I'm leaning towards let WDFW cut their own throat and see what happens next. I only have about 2 months of the year that I do much fishing in Washington anymore. It would be easy enough to switch all my fishing to out of state trips.

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#1035651 - 08/01/20 08:19 AM Re: WDFW Budget Cuts & It Is Ugly [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5883
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
There was a time when the fish and wildlife were managed for th folks who paid for management. This was ok, but it tend to ignore species that were not eaten (most of the stuff out there). Still, the agency, especially WDG, knew who they worked for-the license buying public.

That knowledge has been lost. Like Salmo, I think they should look at producing a product, within the constraints of the ecosystems. When, for example, they found pheasant planting too expensive they shifted the cost to the user and let them choose.

They should be emphasizing production of fish that the license buyer's catch. If the State, or Feds, in their infinite wisdom want to produce fish for AK, BC, Trbies then let them pay for it. Why not ask AK to fund production of the fish they catch ours?

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