Commission discusses fishing rules

Staff Writer

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission took public comments Monday on the results of a 5-year-old policy that significantly changed salmon fisheries on the Columbia River.
The commission, a panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, reviewed the report on the outcomes of the salmon policy. Commissioners also heard panel discussions input on the report.
The details of the hearing were not immediately available.
The Columbia River Basin Salmon Management Policy, approved by the commission in 2013, was designed to promote orderly fisheries, wild salmon and steelhead conservation, and economic stability in the state’s fishing industry, officials said.
Strategies for achieving those goals included allocating more salmon to sport fisheries, promoting the use of alternative fishing gear in commercial fisheries and increasing the production/releases of salmon in the off-channel areas, officials said.
The new report assesses the results of these and other provisions of that policy.
Bill Tweit, a special assistant who helped draft the report, said the report doesn’t identify new ideas or adjustments in the policy.
“The report is simply a tool to help commissioners evaluate whether the policy has been a success,” Tweit said.