77.50.110  <<  77.50.120 >>   End of Chapter

Maintaining consistent salmon harvest levels.

It is the intent of the legislature to ensure that a sustainable level of salmon is made available for harvest for commercial fishers in the state. Maintaining consistent harvest levels has become increasingly difficult with the listing of salmonid species under the federal endangered species act. Without a stable level of harvest, fishers cannot develop niche markets that maximize the economic value of the harvest. New tools and approaches are needed by fish managers to bring increased stability to the fishing industry.
In the short term, it is the legislature's intent to provide managers with tools to assure that commercial harvest of targeted stocks can continue and expand under the constraints of the federal endangered species act. There are experimental types of commercial fishing gear that could allow fishers to stabilize harvest levels by selectively targeting healthy salmon stocks.
For the longer term, the department of fish and wildlife shall proceed with changes to the operation of certain hatcheries in order to stabilize harvest levels by allowing naturally spawning and hatchery origin fish to be managed as a single run. Scientific information from such hatcheries would guide the department's approach to reducing the need to mass mark hatchery origin salmon where appropriate.
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