State to release initial 2012 salmon forecast Feb. 28
February 15, 2012
NEW — 12:05 p.m. Feb. 15, 2012
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to announce the forecast for 2012 salmon returns and possible fishing seasons Feb. 28.
The annual forecast announcement is the initial indicator of salmon returns to the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery along Issaquah Creek.
The agency invited anglers, commercial fishers and others interested in salmon fisheries to the public meeting at the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia. The meeting runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To launch the salmon season setting process, Department of Fish and Wildlife officials present initial forecasts — compiled by state and tribal biologists — of projected returns. Meeting attendees can talk to fishery managers about the pre-season forecasts, and participate in work sessions focusing on possible salmon fisheries and conservation issues.
The state also scheduled additional public meetings focusing on regional salmon issues through early April. The public review of preseason forecasts marks the start of the North of Falcon process. The effort brings together state, tribal and federal fishery managers to establish salmon seasons for Puget Sound, Columbia River and the Washington coast.
The process is held in conjunction with public meetings conducted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council — the organization responsible for establishing fishing seasons in ocean water off the Pacific coast.
The final adoption of 2012 salmon fisheries is scheduled for April 6 at a Pacific Fishery Management Council meeting in Seattle.