Within this document the WSC agrees and supports several rule changes as noted below, however the WSC has also identified severalareasthat should be revised in order to promote the recovery and conservation of wild steelhead in Washington state.
The following three talking points will help make your case if you’re able to attend the WDFW’s Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting on January 6 and 7 in Olympia, Washington and testify on behalf of wild steelhead.
1. Steelhead/Rainbow Trout
The best available science has proven that wild rainbow trout/resident wild steelhead play a significant role in the genetic diversity and sustainability of wild anadromous steelhead, and we request the department and commission take immediate action and place an importance of protecting rainbow trout in Washington to promote the conservation and restoration of ESA-listed wild steelhead.
2. #10 Coastal Stream Strategy: Willapa Bay Blanket Closure:
WSC request that the WDFW find, re-evaluate/update their data and postpone the blanket closure to a Major Rules Cycle. In the meantime we request the department utilize some proactive measures (gear restrictions) to decrease the impact until a more informed decision from better data can be made. Also the north coast stocks on the Olympic Peninsula are being pushed hard from closures of other systems and displaced anglers, and in our view a simple blanket closure without good information is going to facilitate even further pressure on the north coast stocks.
3. # 8 Puget Sound Wild Steelhead Protection Rules:
WSC supports the proposal to close Puget Sound rivers early to protect wild steelhead. The WSC continues to urge WDFW to look beyond simply closing sport fishing opportunities to protect and rebuild runs of wild steelhead.
Also be sure to take a minute and read the complete comments to the WDFW below. Thanks again for all your support and let us know if you have any questions.