Fellow Anglers Concerned about our Non-Native Game Fish (NNGF),
Please see the attached WDFW News Release for the opportunity to provide your comments on the NNGF Policy. Please send this to everyone you know that might help. Non-native game fish such as smallmouth and largemouth bass, perch, crappie and walleye are under attack again! The WDFW (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife) has posted the current version of the Non-Native Game Fish Policy on their website athttps://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/non-native-game-fish. This policy is setting boundaries for how WDFW will work for all fish in the state. It provides options (a, b, or c) for the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to choose from for a final policy. This commission is a group of nine citizens chosen by our governor. Through lengthy debates with WDFW, our non-native game fish advisory committee has added some options that allow coexistence of both native and non-native species, where science dictates. But, we have not successfully created an option that requires WDFW to do anything to support non-native game fish in this state even on bodies of water that have NO native fish conflicts! If you care about any non-native game fish in the state from planted rainbow trout, to perch, to walleye, smallmouth or largemouth bass, it is imperitive that you go to this website and make your opinion heard. The only thing that can make these policy options good for our fisheries or sway the commissioners is a SIGNIFICANT public response so they know we care. The site will be removed by April 5 so YOU MUST GO TO THIS SITE AND PROVIDE YOUR INPUT SOON! Make our state groups use science to help our native and non-native game fish thrive for our future generations. Please encourage everyone you know to add their support for our non-native game fish.
If you are unsure what to write, I suggest the following verbiage:
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Thanks for bringing this critical policy out for public comment. There are many resources across the state fighting for and working towards preservation of our native fish species. However, these policy options do not go far enough in protecting the long term angling interests of Washington state, nor do they provide basic sustainability of non-native game fish that have become a thriving part of our natural ecosystems over the last 100 years. SCIENCE must dictate appropriate actions where non-native and native game fish both reside or both species will be threatened or destroyed. Politics and untested feel-good regulations have no place in this policy. On bodies of water where there are no, or limited interactions with native species WDFW MUST add proactive language for the growth and maintenance of non-native game fish for the 40+% of the state anglers that love to fish for them all year.