The facts are pretty simple… Lawmakers in Olympia have still not approved state operating and capital budgets for the next biennium, which commences July 1st. As they head into a 3rd special session of the legislature, they must reach a budget agreement or most state agencies, including the Department of Fish and Wildlife will shut down. Among the direct impacts of a WDFW closure would be:
- Closures on most/all recreational and commercial fisheries in-state, as staff cannot monitor, sample, account for the catch, or enforce regulations.
The care and feeding of non-Endangered Species Act listed fish in hatcheries, such as trout and salmon, and captive pheasants at the Bob Oke Game Farm, will not occur, resulting in the potential loss of future fishing and hunting opportunity.
Unsurprisingly, there are equal parts exasperation and anger at the prospect of yet-another summer with legal and political issues dominating the headlines. An open day of fishing on Puget Sound generates nearly a quarter million dollars of economic activity — and in many cases the guide trips and license revenue have been booked and paid for already.
While we’re all weary of the battles — North of Falcon, Open Meetings, and now State Budgets — but decisions are and always will be made by those who show up. Take that 10 minutes and let your legislator know that this isn’t just government and politics — it’s personal:
I’m in the middle of the no fish zone. I’m also with the Salmon and Halibut colalition in Port Angeles. We are working our tail off to perserve or salvage whats left of the recerational fishing in our community. To think that the state would stop us from fishing after we have paid for the right to fish and then held hostage in the buget impass which is teachers pay rate and pension is a slap in our face. Our fees are destined to pay for hatchies, law enformace, perservation and a host of saleried people. We are self sustaining. What other government department can say that? To even suggest that we might not be able to fish is a misunderstanding of state employees elected or otherwise job duty and who is the boss. All state employees are pubic servants, like it or not. There has to be some validity to this or it would not have been publised. We are second class citzens and we foot the bill. I am planing to go fishing in July.
I will be fishing in july either way.
We continue to hear good things about a budget to be shared Thu PM and signed Fri. Fingers crossed.