Eight public meetings scheduled to discuss Grays Harbor salmon management


OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will hold eight public meetings this fall and winter to discuss and develop a new draft policy for managing salmon fisheries in Grays Harbor.

The meetings are part of a nearly five-month process to develop the new draft policy specifically for Grays Harbor salmon management. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for Fish & Wildlife, is scheduled to consider adopting the draft policy in mid-February.

Salmon fisheries in Grays Harbor are currently managed under a framework that was initially developed in 2007, in conjunction with the commission’s North of Falcon policy, said Ron Warren, regional fish program manager for the department.

“We would like to further refine the management of Grays Harbor salmon fisheries to help ensure we can meet spawning goals for wild salmon returning to the basin, as well as give anglers and commercial fishers a clearer picture of what fishing opportunities they can expect each year,” Warren said.

The public meetings include three workshops and five Grays Harbor Advisory Committee meetings. The advisory committee discussions are open to the public, and those in attendance will have an opportunity to comment at the end of each meeting.

The public meetings are scheduled for:

Oct. 21 — Grays Harbor Advisory Committee, from 6-8 p.m.; public input from 8-9 p.m.; Fish & Wildlife’s Montesano office, 48 Devonshire Road.

Oct. 28 — Grays Harbor Advisory Committee, from 6-8 p.m.; public input from 8-9 p.m.; Fish & Wildlife’s Montesano office, 48 Devonshire Road.

Nov. 1 — Department fishery managers will host a public workshop from 6-8 p.m.; Montesano City Hall, 112 North Main Street, Montesano.

Nov. 13 — Grays Harbor Advisory Committee, from 6-8 p.m.; public input from 8-9 p.m.; Fish & Wildlife’s Montesano office, 48 Devonshire Road.

Nov. 18 — Grays Harbor Advisory Committee, from 6-8 p.m.; public input from 8-9 p.m.; Fish & Wildlife’s Montesano office, 48 Devonshire Road.

Nov. 26 — Fish & Wildlife fishery managers will host a public workshop from 6-8 p.m.; Montesano City Hall, 112 North Main Street, Montesano.

Jan. 13 — Grays Harbor Advisory Committee, from 6-8 p.m.; public input from 8-9 p.m.; Fish & Wildlife’s Montesano office, 48 Devonshire Road.

Jan. 15 — Fish & Wildlife fishery managers will host a public workshop from 6-8 p.m.; Montesano City Hall, 112 North Main Street, Montesano.

Fish & Wildlife fishery managers are scheduled to brief the Fish and Wildlife Commission on the development of the draft policy during the commission’s November meeting in Olympia.

Warren said the department will develop a range of policy options that will be discussed during the December commission meeting in Olympia. The commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the draft policy options during its January meeting in Olympia.

The commission is scheduled to make a final decision at its February meeting in Olympia.

Throughout the process, Fish & Wildlife will periodically update its website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisheries/grays_harbor_salmon/ with more information on the development of the draft policy.