WDFW is developing a non-native game fish policy

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Don Wittenberger
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WDFW is developing a non-native game fish policy

Post by Don Wittenberger » Tue Mar 16, 2021 7:52 pm

Just a heads up to warmwater species anglers that WDFW is formulating a non-native game fish policy. An advisory group was appointed last year (I'm not on it), a couple of virtual meetings have been held, and WDFW staff put on a 2-hour online presentation tonight, which I watched. There's a WDFW website page on this here: https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/no ... -game-fish

From there, you can follow links to, e.g., a 12-page draft policy document here: https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files ... licy_0.pdf

WDFW is soliciting public comments. If you go to the first link above, there's a link on that page to a questionnaire that takes maybe 45-60 minutes to complete, mostly check-boxes, but spaces for writing in comments. You can submit comments via this questionnaire until April 6, 2021. (I've already done so.)

I didn't hear anything in tonight's presentation that I thought would be concerning to tiger musky fans. WDFW always has, and always will, give priority to salmon recovery, anadromous fish, and native species. But the WDFW fisheries division has a warmwater section (about 10 staff), there's a $5 fee embedded in the fishing license fee that state law says must be spent on enhancing warmwater fisheries, and the governor, legislature, Fish and Wildlife Commission, and WDFW agency and staff all recognize the value of non-native game fish to our state's recreational economy. In addition, tiger muskies are popular with WDFW's staff. However, if you do the questionnaire, I suggest checking the boxes that say managing for BOTH native and non-native species, not just native species alone. This will help emphasize the fact that non-native fisheries have a fan base of anglers, and should be managed to maximize the quality of those fisheries (including tiger muskies).

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Re: WDFW is developing a non-native game fish policy

Post by kevinb » Thu Mar 18, 2021 6:23 pm

Thank you for the heads up Don, as always, it's much appreciated!

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