At its Saturday meeting in Spokane, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to undo the Columbia River fishery reforms. The vote restores non-tribal gillnetting in the lower Columbia River during this year’s spring and summer seasons and increases mainstem gillnetting during the fall – harming salmon, steelhead, and angling opportunity throughout the Columbia River basin.
Everyone who is concerned about this alarming decision should take the two simple actions listed below and urge all your friends and family to do the same - it is likely our last chance to reverse this decision.
The action, championed by Commissioners Don McIsaac (Hockinson) and Bob Kehoe (Seattle), was adopted without advance public notice, review or comment of the policy proposal and in a city over 300 miles from where the gillnetting will resume in the lower Columbia River – a dark day in the history of the Commission and WDFW.
The decision was made despite dismal spring, summer, and fall chinook forecasts which will result in reduced fishing seasons and conservation concerns. The decision is an affront to the 225,000 anglers who purchase the $8.75 Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement, which WDFW is asking the legislature to extend this year along with a 15% fishing license fee increase. The decision also comes as legislature has been debating legislation to permanently ban non-tribal gillnets in the Columbia River.
The Legislature is our best chance to reverse this decision and hold WDFW accountable – particularly as WDFW is requesting legislation to increase recreational fishing license fees and reauthorize the Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement.
1 – Click below to send your legislators and Governor Jay Inslee a pre-drafted email in opposition to this reckless decision. Please take just two minutes to personalize the email to increase its effectiveness. Be professional and polite, but urge your legislators to hold WDFW accountable – particularly as it seeks to reauthorize the Columbia River endorsement and asks for a license fee increase.
2 – Leave a message for your legislators by calling the Legislative Hotline at (800) 562-6000. Tell them you oppose House Bill 1708 and Senate Bill 5692 without changes to hold WDFW accountable to implement the Columbia River gillnet reforms.
3 – Forward this email/share this post with all your friends. It is critical that we generate thousands of emails and phone calls to the legislature.