600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.
December 13, 1997
Contact: Madonna Luers, 509-456-4073
Commission takes final input on sportfishing rule proposals, reduces bear and cougar tag fees, adopts trapping rules
SPOKANE -- The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission heard the last of
public comment on 1998-99 proposed sportfishing rules at their meeting here today,
including pleas to consider impacts of restrictions on youth fishing and business.
The commission will decide sportfishing rules, without further public input, at
their next scheduled meeting Jan. 23-24 in LaConner. The rules will take effect May 1,
The commission, which meets at various locations across the state throughout
the year, is the nine-member board appointed by the governor to oversee the
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
The sportfishing proposal that drew the most comment at the Spokane meeting,
both pro and con, was a statewide barbless hook requirement for all fishing to improve
chances of successfully releasing protected fish. Fishers asked the commission to
avoid making overly simple rules without gaining fish conservation.
Other proposals addressed were dropping a catch-and-release requirement on
sea-run cutthroat trout in some marine areas; closing portions of some waters and
restricting fishing gear in response to recent Endangered Species Act listings of
steelhead in the upper Columbia and Snake river systems; closing some marine areas
to address over-harvest from urban beaches and popular dive spots; and an allowance
for filleting warmwater fish and marine bottomfish in the field.
In other business, the commission reduced tag fees for hunting black bears,
from $18 to $15, and cougars, from $24 to $5. The reduction was made to stimulate
hunter purchase of the tags to be able to harvest bears and cougars while hunting for
other species. The move is meant to offset the anticipated decrease in bear and
cougar harvest since baiting and hunting with hounds were banned by voter initiative
last year. The state legislature gave the commission authority to make tag fee changes
earlier this year.
The commission adopted rules for trapping seasons including equipment
requirements for humane trapping of game animals and protection of domestic animals
and people, and a requirement to check non-killing traps more frequently (every 48
instead of 72 hours.)
The commission also:
- approved the sale of surplus salmon carcasses and eggs produced in
volunteer cooperative projects by the volunteers, (if WDFW cannot sell them), to cover
- streamlined the wildlife rehabilitation permit system, required that wildlife
under treatment be kept separate from other animals, and updated disease reporting
- changed the special hunting permit application deadline from early May to mid-
June to coincide with season dates being set in April 1998 rather than December 1997;
- set Private Lands Wildlife Management Area hunting season rules, which
currently apply to three areas (Champion's Kapowsin Tree Farm in Pierce County,
Wilson Creek in Grant County, and Merrill and Ring's Pysht Tree Farm in Clallam
- approved the acquisition of less than an acre of land at Bush Point on
Whidbey Island in Island County to complete a Puget Sound fishing and boating