October 26, 2020

CSF and CCA Request Re-Evaluation of Recreational Fishing Closure on Skokomish River in Washington

Contact: Aoibheann Cline, Western States Coordinator

On October 15, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) requested that the Department of the Interior (DOI) reconsider a 2016 decision to close the Skokomish River to recreational fishing (Solicitor Opinion M-37034).

The Solicitor Opinion in 2016 resulted in the closure of bank fishing to recreational anglers on a once popular and productive salmon fishery. However, in 2019, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) conducted a review of relevant facts that initially supported the closure and concluded the creation of the boundary on the Skokomish River should “be reversed, or at a minimum be withdrawn, based upon extensive new information and associated legal analyses.”

CSF and CCA submitted a letter in support of WDFW’s recommendation that the DOI reverse or withdraw the Solicitor Opinion and open access for recreational anglers on the Skokomish River. In addition, CSF respectfully requested an expedited review process and decision by December 31, 2020, to allow state and tribal fisheries managers’ adequate time to plan for the 2021 salmon season.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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