With removal of two major dams on the Elwha River set to begin next year, state fishery managers will hold a public meeting on Dec. 15 in Port Angeles to discuss plans for a fishing moratorium to speed restoration of native salmon and trout populations throughout the watershed.
At the meeting, resource managers from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are scheduled to outline a proposal to close fishing on the Elwha River and its tributaries for five years, starting next fall.
The fishing moratorium may extend to Lake Sutherland, which could play an important role in rebuilding sockeye runs once the dams are removed.
Ron Warren, regional fish manager for the state, said a fishing moratorium would help to protect
fish runs during dam removal and maximize the number of fish available to spawn in the Elwha River watershed.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, hosts a public hearing on the proposed fishing moratorium at its Jan. 7-8 meeting in Olympia. The commission will consider adoption of the proposal at a meeting scheduled for Feb. 4-5.
Agendas for both meetings will be available on the commission’s website at wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings/2010/.
Written comments on the proposal will be accepted through Dec. 31. Comments may be submitted to state rules coordinator Lori Preuss at Lori.Preuss@dfw.wa.gov or 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501.