WSC Testimony Brief from the WDFW meeting
Here is a summary of the WSC testimony to the WDFW last saturday done by the WSC president Rich Simms.
VP of memmbership
Dear WSC Members,
I want to pass on to our membership a quick report on the Commission Testimony Meeting in Port Townsend on Saturday December 6. The WSC was well represented and I believe the Commission and WDFW heard, once again, from the WSC strong points and very compelling testimony that the continued harvest of wild steelhead is not acceptable and the wrong direction in their recovery. The WSC BOD had the opportunity to testify one after the other and I had the opportunity to watch as the rest of the board provided testimony. When we spoke the Commissioners were very attentive and interested in the WSC testimony. The following is a snap shot of the WSC Board of Directors testimony:
Rich Simms, President, provided the WSC introduction and status on the Steelhead Summits and how we are engaging and working together with other organizations to make positive changes for wild steelhead.
Jack Berryman, Past President, spoke of the Historical Failure of Salmonids Management and warned to let us learn from history and not repeat historical failures while we still have a chance. Jack presented each Commission member and WDFW Director Koenings on behalf of the WSC a copy of the just released book by David Montgomery, King of Fish: 1000 Year Run of Salmon.
(suggested reading for all) Jackís presentation received an applause.
Peter Dorn, VP Fundraising, testified about Failed Steelhead Escapements. Peter presented information that the Hoh River on the Olympic Peninsula, which is deemed one of healthy rivers for harvest of wild steelhead, did not meet itís spawning escapement last year. In fact, last year the Hoh fell below its escapement needs by 800 fish and the WDFW is still proposing a kill fishery on this great NW steelhead stream.
Dick Burge, VP Conservation and Nate Mantua, VP of Science and Education provided the State of Steelhead Resource and Biological Diversity. Dick and Nate provided compelling and sound scientific reasons for protecting of biodiversity and run timing in steelhead waters. They also provided evidence from the first years landing data since the 5 fish limit was instituted that this new limit has not reduced the kill of wild fish. As example, while the Quillayute escapement was declining from 12,500 to 11,200 fish last season, the sport kill increased from 1790 to 1930 wild steelhead. Anedotal observations suggest sport fishers and guide trips have increased considerably following the closure of the other Washington and Oregon areas and are taking more wild fish. The reduced limit regulation in this case has not effected the reduction of the overall kill rate of wild steelhead and in fact the rate has gone up! Dick and Nate again presented the Commission and WDFW Director a copy of the WSC paper entitled Biological and Economic Effects of Wild Steelhead Release.
Finally, Jeff Johnson, VP Membership, Presented the Commission and Director each a copy of the WSC Proposal Recommendations on the WSC letterhead and highlighted the main WSC recommendations for the WDFW proposals.
Also providing great testimony for the steelhead proposals and release included thirteen members of Washington Fly Fishing Club, as well as WSC Trustee Les Johnson and WSC member Leland Miyawaki. And several members from the FFF Steelhead Committee, including Bill Redman, and WSC Member Harold Boswell.
Trout Unlimited, President elect Terry Turner, WSC Trustee Jim Tuggle, WSC Summit Co-Chair Dave Bailey and TUís Steelhead Committee. WSC Member JD Love represented the Olympic Peninsula Guides Association and provided strong testimony for the OlyPen Rivers.
The next part of the WSC strategy includes planning a small delegation of WSC BOD members to meet with each Commission Member soon to follow up and discuss any questions they may have.
I apologize if I missed any other members who testified and I wholeheartedly appreciated all who supported publicly as well as writing and sending in your testimony. I firmly believe it will make a difference for wild steelhead. Thanks to all!
Wild Steelhead Coalition
Club email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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