These comments about the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) 2012-13 Sportfishing Rules Change Proposal were submitted to the WDFW on December 30, 2011.
WSC submitted this document to the WDFW in June 2011 and made the recommendation that the Snider Creek Hatchery on the Sol Duc River be terminated. The Olympic Peninsula boasts many great steelhead rivers, but the Sol Duc seems to be the best fit to be designated as a Wild Steelhead Management Area (WSMA) for a multitude of reasons. Among other topics, Burge and McMillan explain the unique benefits of the Sol Duc spawning habitat as well as the harmful impacts of Snider hatchery fish on wild winter steelhead.
WSC states its suggestions for the upcoming State-wide RMP. The recommendations are targeted at creating a RMP that has the most comprehensive and specific steelhead protection plan possible for the State of Washington. The comments call for deep analyzation of steelhead population trends by WDFW and a diplomatic approach that respects all different parties with a vested interest in a robust steelhead fishery.
In the preliminary document to the final comments sent in February 2007, WSC members are encouraged to write to the WDFW with their input based on the points in this document. A recommendation for a WDFW response to the ESA listing of Puget Sound Steelhead is called for. The comments also list a hatchery impacts study and a concentration on Olympic Peninsula and Southwest Washington as priorities among other tactical strategies for steelhead conservation.