A position paper has been released by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife that supports the basic contentions of many in the Lake Chelan area that the addition of large woody debris is at best, an inefficient way to mitigate possible harm to fish caused by structures such as docks on the lake, and at worst, a dangerous hazard.
Long time woody debris opponent Russ Jones says the paper is carefully worded to avoid outright acknowledgement of errors on the part of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, but it does contain significant concessions. The Department of Wildlife paper also acknowledges that the present practice of forcing landowners to place submerged fruit trees in the lake is aiding the non-native predators rather than benefiting native species, and that the varying level of Lake Chelan should be considered in determining impacts.
Jones is hopeful the Department of Fish and Wildlife will soon allow landowners to remove large woody debris sites that pose an unacceptable threat to navigation and human safety.
Jones feels there may finally be a successful outcome in sight.
The real test will come when the Department of Ecology hearings board considers an appeal from the Lake Chelan Sailing Association concerning a recently approved dock that, at this point, requires the placement of large woody debris. That hearing is expected to take place next month.
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