On August 7, the Washington Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus in partnership with the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) hosted a successful launch of their inaugural Columbia River Fishing Trip. Over 20 bipartisan legislators from across the state came together in Kalama, Washington for a morning of fishing and camaraderie, followed by a luncheon sponsored by the Washington Coastal Conservation Association (CCA).
Held at the Port of Kalama, the event was also attended by representatives from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, CCA, Hatchery Wild Coexist, the Nisqually Tribe, Gary Loomis of G.Loomis, and other area organizations. CSF’s Pacific States Assistant Manager Keely Hopkins was also in attendance and provided welcoming remarks at the luncheon.
“The fishing event was a total success in highlighting the need to enhance salmon runs in Washington,” said Co-Chair Senator Phil Fortunato. “While it was a successful fishing event it was less successful on catching with only 3 salmon being caught. The real highlight of the event was the luncheon presentations, especially about the predation of the salmon runs by seal, sea lions and migratory birds.”
The Washington Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus is also hosting a second Columbia River Fishing trip on August 16 in Kennewick for legislators residing in the eastern part of the state.
“Thank you to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation for helping to put this event together and for their work to highlight Washington’s hunting, fishing and outdoor activities,” said Co-Chair Representative Brad Klippert.
The Evergreen State is home to over 800,000 fishing and hunting license holders, with fishing license sales alone generating over $34 million dollars annually for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in support of their mission to preserve and protect fish and ecosystems, while also providing sustainable fishing opportunities.
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?