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Steelhead plan finally headed to vote by Fish, Wildlife panel.
The News Tribune Published: February 28th, 2008 01:00 AM.

Four years after the process began, the state Fish and Wildlife Commission is expected to take action on a statewide steelhead-management plan when it meets March 7-8.
The plan was developed in reaction to the commission’s vote in February 2004 to create a two-year moratorium on the retention of wild steelhead. While the moratorium was later rescinded, that initial vote prompted department staff to move forward with the management plan.

The plan, developed by state fishery managers with public and tribal input, will provide a framework for efforts to rebuild wild steelhead populations throughout the state.

After reviewing decades of research, managers developed a new analysis of the data. Using that information, managers outlined dozens of conservation strategies involving natural production of steelhead, fisheries management, hatchery practices, habitat restoration, enforcement, monitoring and public education.

The proposed statewide steelhead plan is available online at wdfw.wa.gov/fish/steelhead/index.htm, along with an associated State Environmental Policy Act statement and a 300-page scientific assessment of steelhead in Washington state.

The commission held a public hearing on the steelhead plan Feb. 2 in Olympia and will not hear further testimony on the plan when it begins its discussion on March 8. The commission is scheduled to discuss the plan that day beginning at 8:45am.
 
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