Keep Lake Sutherland OPEN for fishing in 2011
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is considering a 5-year fishing moratorium within the Elwha River watershed, including Lake Sutherland, as part of the Elwha River Restoration and removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams. They are scheduled to make a decision at their meeting February 4-5, 2011. While we support the restoration of the Elwha river, including the Sockeye, we do not have sufficient scientific evidence to support the closure of Lake Sutherland.
WDFW states that Lake Sutherland, "could play an important role in rebuilding sockeye runs once the dams are removed", however they have not provided specific, measurable criteria to determine the conservation benefit of closing the lake. Less severe measures such as gear restrictions, possession limits, size restrictions, or closed seasons have not been considered as an alternative to a full 5-year closure. Even the 5-year number appears to be random, and as there has been no discussion regarding a timetable for periodic review of the continued need for the closure, the length could be longer.
When the dam removal is complete in 2014, our area will lose Lake Mills and Lake Aldwell permanently. If Lake Sutherland is closed, we will lose 3 lakes currently open to fishing.
Our area has been hit hard economically and many of our businesses and families are suffering. The lake offers an inexpensive recreational opportunity for residents and their use of the lake provides much needed income to local small businesses.
Thousands of Washington state residents fish annually at Lake Sutherland, which is currently open year-around. Additionally, there are over 300 houses on Lake Sutherland and during the summer those docks are filled with kids, parents, and grandparents fishing for the lakes abundant trout and Kokanee.
Tell the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission that there is no reason to close Lake Sutherland for fishing in 2011 when the dam removal will not be complete until 2014 and ask them to LEAVE LAKE SUTHERLAND OPEN.
* Before February 4, 2011, the sponsors of this petition will print the petition and all the signatures and comments and send them together with a handwritten final appeal to all of the WDFW commissioners and directors.