SB 5610

As Reported By Senate Committee On:
Natural Resources, Ocean & Recreation, February 28, 2005

Title: An act relating to salmon recovery and watershed health.

Brief Description: Promoting salmon recovery on a regionwide basis.

Sponsors: Senator Jacobsen.

Brief History:

Committee Activity: Natural Resources, Ocean & Recreation: 2/9/05, 2/28/05 [DPS, w/oRec].


Majority Report: That Substitute Senate Bill No. 5610 be substituted therefor, and the substitute bill do pass.Signed by Senators Jacobsen, Chair; Doumit, Vice Chair; Oke, Ranking Minority Member; Fraser, Hargrove, Spanel and Swecker.

Minority Report: That it be referred without recommendation.Signed by Senators Morton and Stevens.

Staff: Vic Moon (786-7469)

Background: In 1990 coastal and Puget Sound restrictions were placed on coho and chinook fisheries due to declining stocks. The legislature created regional fisheries enhancement groups to help increase stocks in 1991. Following numerous salmon and steelhead listings by the federal government during the 1990's the legislature required a significant fish restoration program to be coordinated with the federal agencies and with the indian tribes as co-managers. Plans have been developed for regional enhancement based of the state's watersheds. The program needs to be coordinated and implemented at the direction of the legislature.

Summary of Substitute Bill: Salmon recovery must be implemented thru activities consistent with strong regional and watershed plans. A coordinated monitoring system must be implemented. Salmon recovery regions are defined based on watershed groups with common stocks of salmon. The Governor must report on statewide implementation on the salmon strategy in December of 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012.

The Salmon Recovery Office will assist regional groups in submitting plans to the federal government and must assist in obtaining federal assurances under the federal endangered species act. The Governor may designate additional salmon recovery regions and block grants may be given to lead entities by the Salmon Recovery Funding Board. The Salmon Recovery Board may also five grants to regional recovery organizations to carry out implementation of the plans. The forum on salmon and watershed health is created to coordinate monitoring if the recovery plans.

Substitute Bill Compared to Original Bill: The state/local balance of the bill is shifted towards local control by regional groups .The emphasis is on monitoring and project implementation after the plans are approved. The bill is limited to salmonid species. The Governor's Salmon Recovery Office is given specific duties and the planning and implementation is given a strong watershed based emphasis.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on February 2, 2005

Committee/Commission/Task Force Created:

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Testimony For: It is very important for the legislature to recognize the on-going regional and state efforts to protect and enhance salmon. The bill needs to be clarified so that the balance is towards regional groups and watershed planning. The monitoring requirements in the bill are a key to successful salmon recovery and future harvest levels.

Testimony Against: The process is too complex and there is too much state control and not enough authority given to the regional enhancement groups.

Who Testified: PRO: Neil Werner, Hood Canal HCSEG; Don Stuart, American Farmland Trust; Jogoda Perich-Anderson, Shared Strategy for Puget Sound; Bill Garvin, WFPA; Mike Kaputa, Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board; David Trout, Nisqually Indian Tribe; Steve Martin, Snake River Salmon Recovery Board; Jay L. Watson, Hood Canal Coordinating Council; Jeff Breckel, Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board; Sara Hemphill, Puget Sound ESA Business Coalition; Jay Gordon, Washington State Dairy Federation; Bob Nichols, Governors Salmon Office; Bob Lohn, Regional Director NOAA Fisheries.

CON: Doug Osterman, Water Resource Inventory Area #9.