WDFW Commission will review hatchery reform effort 

     The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will take public comments on its hatchery reform efforts during an upcoming meeting in Olym-pia. 

     The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, will meet Feb. 8-9 in Room 172 of the Natural Re-sources Building in Olympia. The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. both days. 

     Agency staff will pro-vide an update on a review of the state’s hatchery and fishery reform policy, which is intended to improve hatchery effective-ness, ensure compatibility be-tween hatchery production and salmon recovery plans, and sup-port sustainable fisheries. Staff will discuss the process they will use to review the policy and the science behind it. 

     The public will have the opportunity to comment during the Friday meeting. 

     Gov. Jay Inslee’s budg-et provides $12 million to max-imize existing capacity at WDFW hatcheries. It also in-cludes $75.7 million to reverse deferred maintenance and make improvements to keep hatcher-ies operating within water quali-ty standards. 

     Fish managers also will provide an update on the pro-gress of the Willapa Bay Salm-on Management Policy. That policy, approved by the com-mission in 2015, prioritizes rec-reational chinook fisheries in Willapa Bay while focusing commercial fishery opportuni-ties on coho and chum salmon.