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North of Falcon process begins with salmon forecast meeting Feb. 28

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on Feb. 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
February 10, 2012 1:28 pm

A series of meetings to discuss salmon runs and fishing seasons will begin Feb. 28 with the release of salmon forecasts for the state.

The meetings, part of the North of Falcon process, will conclude April 1-6 when the Pacific Fishery Management Council meets in Seattle to adopts ocean fisheries regulations and state-tribal fishing plans.

At the Feb. 28 meeting, staffers from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife will release Puget Sound, coastal Washington and Columbia River salmon forecasts. They also will discuss fishery management objectives and 2012 recreational fishing opportunities.

That meeting will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia.

Here is a look at the other meetings:

March 2-7: Pacific Fishery Management Council, Sacramento, Calif. The council will adopts three ocean fishery options, including catch quotas for sport fisheries.

March 12: North of Falcon meeting, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Room 172, Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia. Discussion of management objectives and preliminary fishery proposals for Puget Sound, coastal Washington and Columbia River area sport fisheries.

March 13: Willapa Bay fisheries discussion, 6-8 p.m., Raymond Elks Lodge, 326 Third St., Raymond. Discussion of Willapa Bay salmon forecasts and fishing opportunities.

March 14: Columbia River fisheries discussion, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Vancouver Water Resources Education Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way, Vancouver. Discussion of management objectives and preliminary options for Columbia River fall sport fisheries.

March 15: Puget Sound recreational fisheries discussion, 6-8 p.m., Port Angeles City Hall Council Chamber, 321 E Fifth St., Port Angeles. Discussion of local salmon fisheries.

March 20: Grays Harbor fisheries discussion, 6-8 p.m. Montesano City Hall, 112 N. Main St., Montesano. Discussion of Grays Harbor salmon forecasts and fishing opportunities.

March 21: Pre-season Columbia Basin salmon forecasts and fishery outlook, 6-9 p.m., Benton PUD, 2721 W. 10th Ave. Kennewick. Discussion of potential recreational and commercial salmon fisheries statewide.

March 24: Puget Sound Recreational fisheries discussion, 10 a.m.-noon. WDFW Mill Creek Office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd., Mill Creek. Discussion of management objectives and preliminary options for Puget Sound marine and freshwater sport fisheries.

March 26: North of Falcon Meeting–Columbia River and ocean discussion, 9 a.m.- 2 p.m., Room 175, Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia. Meeting to present results of state-tribal negotiations and analyses of ocean and Columbia River fisheries proposals. With public participation, preferred seasons are developed for ocean and Columbia River area sport and commercial fisheries.

March 26: Public hearing on ocean salmon management options, 7 p.m., Chateau Westport, 710 W. Hancock, Westport. Public hearing, sponsored by the Pacific Fishery Management Council, to receive comments on the proposed ocean salmon fishery management options.

March 28: North of Falcon Meeting–Puget Sound discussion, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m., Embassy Suites Hotel, 20610 44th Ave. West, Lynnwood. Meeting to present results of state-tribal negotiations and analyses of Puget Sound fisheries proposals.

March 30: Final Grays Harbor/Willapa Bay fisheries discussion, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Room 172, Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia. Meeting to reach final agreement on sport and commercial salmon seasons for Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay.

April 1-6: Pacific Fishery Management Council, Seattle Sheraton, 1400 Sixth Ave., Seattle. Council adopts ocean fisheries regulations and state-tribal fishing plans are finalized.

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