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Chinook Stocking Meeting Feb. 6 in Gills Rock

The Department of Natural Resources is hosting a meeting in Gills Rock Feb. 6 to talk about its decision to stock Chinook salmon in Gills Rock instead of Ellison Bay.

“We wanted to have one more meeting in Gills Rock for two purposes,” said DNR fisheries biologist Nick Legler. “One, to explain the stocking strategy, and second, just to basically say ‘hey everyone, we are willing, at least for the near future, to stock in Gills Rock. Does anybody oppose that or not? … It’s a good opportunity for the DNR to sit down and talk with the anglers up there. There shouldn’t be anything surprising that comes out of the meeting.”

Gills Rock charter fishing guides started a grassroots campaign, complete with a video, in fall 2013, asking the DNR to stock Chinook salmon in Gills Rock instead of Ellison Bay. Guides said there was a lack of Chinook in Gills Rock because the fish stocked in Ellison Bay didn’t make it to the tip of the peninsula.

The DNR will soon discover if stocking Chinook in Gills Rock instead of Ellison Bay affects the fishery. The department is running a years-long tagging study to evaluate stocking locations. Stocking in Gills Rock will give biologists like Legler the chance to compare data between there and Ellison Bay.

“The two stocking locations are so close together, my personal opinion is it’s probably not going to make a difference,” Legler said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to evaluate that.”

The meeting will be held Feb. 6, at 6 pm at Weborg’s Marina at 12689 Hwy. 42 in Gills Rock. Meet at the metal net building behind the fish processing house.

Click here to read more on the Chinook stocking issue.