Key Issue: Comanagement
Take action and submit your comments to the WDFW for regulation improvements during the 2013/2014 sportfishing rule proposals adoption process.
As most are aware, dam removal on the Elwha River presents one of the greatest salmonid recovery opportunities in the United States. A Fish Restoration Plan was designed to expedite commercial salmon harvests through large-scale hatchery production, but the levels of hatchery production proposed would greatly impede the recovery of wild-producing salmonids (along with the poorly designed monitoring and adaptive management protocols for the hatchery programs).
Non-native hatchery steelhead will not be released into the Elwha River and its tributaries this year, say four conservation groups that earlier this month filed suit against federal agencies and officials of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe (in their official capacities) for releases of hatchery fish into the Elwha.
WDFW currently fails to complete written management plans with the tribal comanagers before steelhead angling begins. When this happens, and a particular steelhead run is projected to be below the escapement goal, the tribes often fish directly for wild steelhead when there is no harvestable surplus. Take action today; tell WDFW to implement a management plan with the tribes before opening any river system to steelhead fishing.