Washington Coastal Steelhead Need Your Voice!
Washington State Fish and Wildlife will hold their third Town Hall meeting (out of four) next Tuesday, November 9th, at 5 pm, and you need to listen in. More than that, you need to weigh in.
Emergency closures and fishing restrictions put in place in an effort to save dwindling runs of wild Steelhead last winter was too little, too late. While reduced encounters with wild Steelhead were reported as a result of those emergency measures, one season of reduced encounters does not mean our wild Steelhead are any better off. WDFW is exploring more options for this winter Steelhead season and beyond, and we need to advocate for the conservation actions that will have a direct impact and ensure enough fish return to our rivers and spawn.
To be clear, in an effort to save the remaining wild Steelhead in our coastal rivers, we need to continue to minimize our impacts on these fish now while we continue to work to solve the issues that are preventing runs from rebounding. As anglers, we need to accept that fishing for wild steelhead this season, and upcoming seasons may look completely different than what we are used to. And as anglers, we need to become the loudest voice in support of taking actions that will actually recover these wild fish, not just actions that seek to appease us as anglers.
So please sign up to speak at the Coastal Steelhead meetings and WDFW Commission meetings, or plan to submit your written comments, and please include the following points:
Please THANK WDFW for considering a valid and cautionary approach to our Coastal Steelhead issues. Specifically, thank WDFW Fish Regional Program Manager James Losee, and WDFW Fish Program Director Kelly Cunningham for creating and leading this process.
Please ENCOURAGE WDFW to continue to be transparent and continue to include the public in this and other decision-making processes.
Please VOICE your concern for these fish, and support further actions (such as early closures, no fishing from boats and complete closures of systems that do not meet escapement goals) by WDFW that can help bolster wild runs of native Steelhead, and avoid their extinction.
To write in your comments, please click here.
Need to catch up on what WDFW is considering? Follow this link Coastal Steelhead Questions Answered
Attend this Public Town Hall Meeting
Join WDFW fishery managers at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, for a virtual town hall to learn more and share your feedback about developing fishery options prior to finalizing plans with tribal co-managers for the 2021-2022 coastal steelhead season.
Tuesday, Nov. 9
5 to 7 p.m.
Join via Zoom webinar
Dial +1 253-215-8782 to join by phone
Meeting ID: 861 1268 1603
Please feel free to reach out to me if you would like help with talking points or want to chat about other ways we can work to support Steelhead on our coastal systems.
For more resources and information, please visit Virtual Coastal Steelhead Public Town Hall and Workshop #3
J. Michelle Swope (she/her/hers)