The 2014 General Election is just around the corner…

The 2014 General Election is just around the corner….Ballots are in the mail and should be arriving in the next few days.   WACPAC and the recreational fishing groups have been busy this summer and fall meeting with candidates to discuss the economic and conservation benefits of sports fishing.  In addition, the Department has come out with a budget proposal that if passed, would increase recreational fishing licenses in the 2015-2017 biennium.  The recreational fishing community has informed the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Commission and the Governor that we reserve the right to oppose any increase until we see a recreational fishing priority that results in increase opportunity for recreational fishers.  Recreational anglers are tired of subsidizing non tribal commercial salmon fisheries that do not pay their own way.  This imbalance is staggering when you look at the numbers  Recreational fisherman contribute $67 million per biennium to the Department in license fees, compared to a paltry $1.9 million from commercial user fees.  This subsidy is occurring for the gillnet fishermen on the Columbia River, Willipa Bay, Grays Harbor and Bellingham Bay.  All of whom fish non-selectively!

 

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