OLYMPIA, Wash. - Oregon and Washington fish managers are seeking greater flexibility in determining limits on wild steelhead inadvertently caught during salmon fisheries in the Columbia River.

Under a new proposal, backed by recent state and federal biological reviews which show improved health for wild steelhead populations, commercial fishers could have more latitude while selectively targeting abundant hatchery spring chinook, in a fishery that is constrained by incidental catches of protected wild steelhead.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission briefing on the steelhead impact issue is scheduled for its public workshop 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Natural Resources Building in Olympia. The commission will be asked to provide guidance to WDFW fishery managers at its Feb. 4-5 meeting in Olympia. Public comments will be taken at the February commission meeting. In addition, the issue will be discussed in a meeting of WDFW fishing advisory groups from 6 to 8 p.m., Jan. 21, at the Cowlitz Public Utility District headquarters at 961 12th Ave., in Longview. That meeting is also open to the public.

For more information, including meeting agenda, visit (http://wdfw.wa.gov).

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