The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is asking for public comment on the latest draft of its revised Hatchery and Fishery Reform policy.
The Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy was originally adopted in November, 2009 with a stated purpose to advance the conservation and recovery of wild salmon and steelhead by promoting and guiding the implementation of hatchery reform. The Commission began a comprehensive review of the policy in 2018.
The Commission agreed to put the latest draft of the revised policy out for additional public comment during a virtual meeting on Nov. 6. Members of the public and representatives from salmon conservation and angling organizations also provided in-person comment at the meeting.
The latest draft of the policy is available at https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2020-11/fish_committee_recommendation_110220_0.pdf
Most of the comments received so far express concern that proposed revisions to the policy will lead to increased hatchery production with less conservation measures to protect wild fish listed under the Endangered Species Act.
Comment on the revised policy is open until Nov. 30, 2020. The Commission expects to hear an update on the policy at its Dec. 4-5 meeting. Members of the public can submit comments on the draft policy language revisions to [email protected].
Learn more about the Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy review process at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/management/hatcheries/hatchery-reform-policy-review