I’m happy to report that the Bremerton Sportsmen’s Club has an official website address, and our website designer is building our site. Go to www.bremertonsportsmensclub.org to view our webpage. The website will be a knowledge-based informational tool telling folks who we are, what we do, and how to join BSC, along with allowing current members to renew their membership online. I ask each of you to contribute by providing comments, pictures, articles, questions, etc … Our website must be informative with the goal to provide information to both our members and the general public.
What the Bremerton Sportsmen’s Club has done for the past 102 years, for the most part, is unknown by many of us, including myself. But through technology, websites, social media, smartphones, etc., who we are, what we’re about, moving forward for the next hundred years, will be known.
March of 2016, I was elected president of your club, at which time I didn’t know what the club’s agenda would look like moving forward. Early 2016 I developed a list of concerns, most of which were and continue as issues today, nearly five years later, issues here in our backyard, WDFW’s Region 6, also known as the Coastal Region.
- Lake Tahuya – Development of a Public Access on WDFW Property
- Skokomish River Closure – Closed by WDFW
- Pope Talbot – Gates locked restricting access
- Point No Point Boat Launch – WDFW’s permit application approval on hold
- Anderson Lake (Jefferson County) – Washington State Parks restricts WDFW’s effort to allow fish planting.
What’s progress has been made? Short Brief:
Lake Tahuya – RCO grant written, approved with the project funded, work has started, possible groundbreaking mid-year 2021. A thank you is in order to Arvilla Ohlde (BSC), Mark Downen (WDFW Biologist Hood Canal Region), RCO (Rory Calhoun (retired)).
Skokomish River Closure – River remains closed. On October 3, 2019, WDFW requested “that Solicitor Opinion M-37034 (Boundary of the Skokomish Reservation along the Skokomish River) be reversed, or at a minimum be withdrawn, based upon extensive new information and associated legal analyses. To date, the US Department of Interior has not rendered a decision on WDFW’s request for reversal. WDFW’s decision to close the river was wrong! Nobody of water or river should be closed to public fishing, except for conservation reasons.
Pope Talbot-Acquired by Rayonier Timber and Land Management Company for 554 million dollars. Gates remained lock preventing public access. WDFW continues to negotiate with this private timber company, requesting public access. BSC has Duck Boxes on this private timberland and was put in place through a prior agreement between WDFW and Pope and Talbot. Currently, BSC has no access to fishing, hunting, or maintenance and servicing our duck boxes. In my opinion, WDFW has failed in its negotiation efforts with private timber companies across the region.
Point No Point Boat Launch The saga continues! The fate of the boat launch is awaiting the approval of WDFW’s permit application in the hands of the Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District. As the CORPs prepares to render a permit decision, treaty tribes continue to submit
additional[ affidavits. WDFW has responded to all affidavits when submitted by the Treaty Tribes. The CORPS awaits as WDFW continues efforts, responding to these affidavits. The promised
January 2021 permit decision is now extended for an additional 2 to 3 months. This permit application is nearing nine years without a decision.
Anderson Lake – Anderson Lake fishery is very popular, producing quality fish. Anderson lake does have issues with alleged blooms in the warmer months. Anderson Lake is located on Washington State Parks property, and State Parks control access. Parks closes access to the lake during these allege blooms. During the late fall and winter months, allege is not an issue. The lake could be fish during the fall months, but Parks chooses not to open access to the park. State Parks references staffing and operating cost as reasons for not opening the gates allowing access to this fishery. WDFW has always planted fish in Anderson Lake, but with public access restrictions set by State Parks, WDFW is reluctant to stockfish. Currently, Washington State Parks has decided not to allow WDFW to stock fish in the Lake. These current issues, public access, and fish stocking can be resolved. In my opinion, I believe through sincere negotiations by the Directors of both these state agencies, a management agreement can be reached. If an agreement can’t be reached, the WDFW should purchase this State Park property. Doing so would allow public access and, through proper management, provide a viable fishery for the benefit of their primary customers, the hunters, and fishers.
With the knowledge of these current WDFW Region 6 issues, how would you, WDFW’s primary customer, grade the Department of Fish and Wildlife? Starting my 5th year as your BSC President, being proactive with various WDFW managers at many inter-department levels, experiencing first hand the roadblocks, poor decisions, lack of actions, and transparency, I give WDFW a “D” minus.
As I had mentioned in last month’s newsletter, I’d like BSC to have a summer picnic, maybe around the August time frame, holding venue at Bremerton’s Otto Jarstad Park. I’ve contacted the City of Bremerton Public Works Department, reserving two dates, August 8th and 28th as possible picnic dates. Let us know which of these dates will work best for everyone, and we’ll start the planning.
FYI – BSC now has an official email address which is email@example.com. This email address has been linked to our new website. Also, we now have a Facebook business page as well; it can be reached by going to our website. In closing, be careful, stay safe and get outdoors.
Ron Flerx – President BSC –
Ph 360-328-4954 (C)