Life of the Party
I just heard back from WDFW local office regarding Skagit steelhead escapement and next year's (2023) run size forecast. Still waiting for another layer of approval before releasing the escapement estimate. I find this troubling. The technical work has been done. That is, the spawning surveys and the subsequent calculations. This ain't rocket science. Another layer of approval (i.e., "co-managers") looks like policy affecting science absent a damn good explanation indicating otherwise. Steelhead run size forecast used to be due in early December prior to any fishing on the season's run. Again, the steelhead forecasts ain't rocket science either, but I'm now told that the information will be released sometime in December, or even January. This tells me that recreational steelhead fishing is among the lowest of the low priorities for WDFW. If there is going to be a steelhead season, many out of state anglers - the kind who spend more money to fish here - need to make vacation and travel arrangements well in advance. All this reinforces my point that WDFW is becoming ever less relevant to sport fishing in Washington.