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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

ARCHIVED NEWS RELEASE
This document is provided for archival purposes only.
Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.

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December 05, 2014
Contact: Commission Office, (360) 902-2267

Commission to discuss Willapa Bay salmon fisheries,
consider Game Management Plan

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will accept public comments on draft policy options for managing salmon fisheries in Willapa Bay during a meeting scheduled Dec. 12-13 in Tumwater.

Also at the two-day meeting, the commission will accept public comments on proposed changes to sportfishing rules in the Columbia River basin and consider adopting a statewide Game Management Plan for 2015-2021.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene at the Capital Events Center, 6005 Tyee Drive SW. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 12 and 8 a.m. the following day.

An agenda for the meeting is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/.

Since late October, state fishery managers have been working with a citizen committee and the public to develop draft options for a new policy to address conservation and fishery objectives for Willapa Bay salmon fisheries.

During the commission meeting, WDFW staff will provide a briefing on the development of the new draft policy options and outline additional opportunities for the public to participate in the refinement of the proposed policy.

After receiving the briefing, the commission will take public comment on the draft policy options, which will be available early next week on the department's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisheries/willapa_bay_salmon/.

The commission is scheduled to hold another public hearing on the draft policy options during its January meeting, and make a final decision in February.

A separate public hearing is also scheduled during the upcoming commission meeting on proposed sportfishing rule changes. The rules are specific to the mainstem Columbia River, its tributaries and lakes within the basin. The proposals - which cover fishing seasons, daily limits and other rules - are available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/.

The commission also will consider adopting the new six-year Game Management Plan, which will be used by the department to guide management of hunted species and development of hunting seasons throughout the state. Key issues addressed in the draft plan include hunter recruitment and retention, hunter access to private lands and predator/prey relationships.

The draft 2015-2021 Game Management Plan is available for review on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/game/2015/. The website also includes information on the development of the plan.

The commission also will receive briefings on the management and status of the lower Columbia River sturgeon population, the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account grants program and the North of Falcon policy, which provides direction to fishery managers in defining annual salmon fishing seasons in Washington's waters.

In addition, the commission will discuss the recruitment for a new director of WDFW. The current director, Phil Anderson, announced in August he is resigning from his position at the end of the year.