The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will host a public meeting Nov. 20 in Cathlamet, Wash., to begin the process of developing steelhead management plans for several tributaries to the Columbia River.
The department is also seeking nominations for a citizens work group to assist in that effort.
The plans will address steelhead management in the Grays, Elochoman and Chinook rivers and Skamokawa, Mill, Abernathy, and Germany creeks – together known in the planning process as the Coast Stratum.
The meeting is scheduled Nov. 20 from 6-8 p.m. at the River Street Room at 12 River St. in Cathlamet.
Cindy LeFleur, WDFW regional fish program manager, said the department hopes to enlist 10 to 15 people to participate in the planning process, which will involve a series of meetings over a six-month period beginning in early 2015.
“The upcoming meeting will provide a forum to discuss the goals and the context of the planning process,” LeFleur said. “We encourage anyone with an interest in the future of steelhead in these rivers and streams to attend.”
WDFW is working to implement the statewide Steelhead Management Plan in watersheds throughout the state, including the Columbia River Basin. Three work groups have already completed their deliberations and sent their recommendations to the department on management plans for tributaries from the Toutle River up through the Wind River.
These regional efforts are designed to ensure that steelhead management in Washington’s rivers is consistent with goals outlined in the statewide plan and other applicable guidelines, LeFleur said. Each plan will consider natural production goals, wild steelhead gene banks, hatchery production, fishing regulations, monitoring and other issues.
The statewide Steelhead Management Plan is posted on WDFW’s website at wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisheries/steelhead/management_plan.html.
Nominations for the work group are due to WDFW by Dec. 31. A nomination form and address for submission are available at wdfw.wa.gov/about/advisory/swpw/nominations.html
WDFW will select the membership of the work group by Jan. 31.