The members of the Puget Sound Anglers, an organization of 15
chapters with thousands of members throughout Western Washington,
would like to express our concern about the staff of WDFW asking
to increase impacts on wild steelhead in order to prosecute a
more extensive gill net fishery on Columbia River spring Chinook.
The recreational fishing community has made numerous sacrifices
to contribute to the recovery of wild steelhead. The sacrifices
we have made have not yet achieved the level of recovery necessary
to allow for healthy, sustainable stocks of wild steelhead. Until
that occurs, no increase in harvest, whether incidental or targeted,
should be considered. When we do achieve a level of recovery that
can sustain additional harvest, that additional harvest should
be directed to the recreational sector as mandated by State law
(steelhead are a game fish). We acknowledge we are not the only
ones to sacrifice for the recovery effort. The cost of recovery
is spread throughout our society; to taxpayers, electrical rate
payers, home owners & farmers. For so many to have sacrificed
so much for so long, only to have the benefits allow for a small
group to line their pockets is unconscionable.
We ask that you DO NOT allow any increased impacts of wild steelhead
in an attempt to expand the commercial spring Chinook fishery.
Thank you for considering our concerns. If you have any questions
please feel free to contact me.
Puget Sound Anglers State Board
Director of Resource Management