A public workshop in Raymond this month will look at the Willapa Bay salmon priorities going forward.
State fishery managers will hold the workshop January 23 in Raymond to ask for public comment on the upcoming sport and commercial salmon-fishing seasons in Willapa Bay.
The workshop, sponsored by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. at the Raymond Elks Club on 326 Third St.
Annette Hoffmann, regional WDFW fish manager, said the department is asking for guidance on how to “reconcile priorities for salmon-fishing opportunities established in the state’s Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy”.
The policy was approved by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2015 and gives recreational fisheries priority in the Willapa Bay chinook harvest, while designating commercial fisheries as the priority for coho fisheries.
Currently, WDFW requires both fisheries to release any wild chinook salmon and manages fishing seasons to “hold mortality rates for those fish within a prescribed limit”.
Hoffmann said the department has asked the commission to provide clarity on ways to achieve those priorities, and wants residents to assist in the discussion.
“The commission makes the policy, but we also want to hear from those directly involved in these fisheries,” she said.
Hoffmann said state fishery managers will share comments from the workshop at a meeting Feb. 9-10 in Olympia when they look to set future fishing seasons for Willapa Bay.
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