State looks for input on fisheries
By Meg Olson
As always, well be facing some tough choices and we want to give the public the opportunity to get more involved in that process, said state fish and wildlife director Jeff Koenings, announcing a public comment period and series of workshops. State fisheries managers will be looking for suggestions before they head into what is referred to as the North-of-Falcon fishery allocation process in late March, which will determine both sport and commercial fishing seasons for local waters.
Once were confident we can meet our conservation goals and responsibilities to the treaty tribes, were open to suggestions on how best to share the catch, Koenings said. He said his department anticipates a good season, with an odd-year return of pink salmon and a healthy coho run forecast. However, conservation of wild chinook and other endangered species will put limitations on the fishery.
The department has also created a website www.wa.gov/wdfw/fish/northfalcon where they will post run-size projections and proposals for specific fisheries. Anyone wishing to submit comment can email from the website or write to North of Falcon 2001 Program, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA 98507.