February 9, 2009
Sam Brenkman, 360-565-3081
Patrick Crain, 360-565-3075
Olympic National Park invites the public to review and comment on three proposed changes to the park’s fishing regulations. The proposed changes apply only to non-tribal recreational angling within the park and are aimed at improving clarity of the regulations and better protecting park resources while providing high-quality recreational fishing opportunities for the public.
“These proposals reflect our continuing effort to protect park resources for future generations, while providing for public enjoyment today," said Superintendent Karen Gustin. "We invite interested people to review the proposed changes, and offer their input within the 30-day comment period.”
Key elements of the proposed changes include:
- Changing the number of management sections in the Queets River from three to two. The current rules divide the Queets River into three primary management sections in Olympic National Park; the proposed change would designate two primary river sections: A) Queets River, mainstem, below Hartzell including the boat launch; and B) Queets River, mainstem, above Hartzell boat launch to headwaters.
This change is aimed at making the regulations easier to understand.
- On the Queets River, implementing selective gear rules (artificial lure with barbless single point hook) above Hartzell boat launch to the headwaters throughout the angling season.
The use of selective gear upstream of Hartzell boat launch would better protect wild fish as well as protect federally threatened bull trout by making it easier for anglers to release fish. The change would also provide consistent selective gear rules throughout the upper Queets River and improve overall consistency among several Olympic National Park rivers where selective gear rules already apply.
- Eliminating the definition “jack salmon” in the Pacific Coastal Area and Salmon River (Queets); any salmon over the minimum size limit would be included as part of the daily limit.
The proposed change would eliminate a regulation that targets harvest of jack salmon, which are sexually mature male fish that are younger than the youngest female in a spawning area. Jack salmon represent alternate life history patterns that provide genetic diversity and may enhance adaptability in a population. The proposed change would clarify regulations in the Pacific Coastal Area and improve consistency with National Park Service goals to preserve or restore the natural behavior, genetic variability and diversity of fish populations.
Full text of the proposed changes, along with the park’s current fishing and shellfish harvest regulations, are available online at the National Park Service’s Planning Environment and Public Comment website, https://parkplanning.nps.gov. Copies of the proposed regulation changes may be requested by calling the park at 360-565-3081 or 360-565-3075.
Comments should be submitted online by visiting https://parkplanning.nps.gov, the website for the National Park Service’s Planning Environment and Public Comment system, no later than March 11, 2009.
Comments may also be sent to:
Superintendent – Proposed Changes to Fishing Regulations Olympic National Park 600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362
Commenters should be aware that their entire comment – including personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While commenters can ask that their personal identifying information be withheld from public review, the NPS cannot guarantee that this will be possible.
For more information about these proposed changes, people may visit National Park Service’s Planning Environment and Public Comment website or call the park at 360-565-3081 or 360-565-3075.