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


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February 01, 2002
Contact: Debbie Nelson, (360) 902-2267

Updated rotenone policy, 2002-2003 sportifsh rules and sharks among Feb. 8-9, 2002 Commission meeting topics

Olympia - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider adoption of an updated policy for the use of rotenone to rehabilitate lakes and streams when it meets in Olympia Feb. 8-9.

Rotenone, a natural pesticide, has been used by state fish biologists for a number of years to rid lakes of undesirable fish species and protect native species. Waters treated with rotenone are typically planted with rainbow trout or other desirable fish species to provide recreational opportunities for citizens.

Last year, the Department placed a temporary moratorium on the use of the rotenone until the policy governing its use could be reviewed and updated to ensure it reflected current health and safety concerns and federal Clean Water Act requirements. The updated policy will provide guidance for a revised, rotenone-usage plan that the Department will later adopt.

The Department's final supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on rotenone can be viewed on the Department's internet website at www.wdfw.wa.gov/hab/sepa/sepa.htm. Commissioners will take public comment on the policy at their meeting, which will start at 1 p.m. at the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. SE, Room 172.

Commissioners also will vote on a number of 2002-2003 sportfish rule proposals, including regulations for wild steelhead harvest and summer closures on selected lowland lakes. The rules were developed in recent months with public input. Citizen testimony was taken last December during a Commission meeting in Vancouver.

The commissioners are expected to vote on a proposal to ban commercial retention of sixgill sharks in Puget Sound, and to give the Department increased ability to respond to changing conservation needs for dogfish shark. Biologists are concerned over the apparent decline of the species throughout the sound.

Commissioners also will be asked to adopt amendments to shellfish disease control rules and the 2002-2203 sportfishing rule proposals, and are expected to adopt a 2002 North of Falcon policy.

Also slated for discussion by Commission members are amendments to the Department's rules on the use of salmon eggs originating from hatcheries. The amendments, drafted in response to state legislation passed last year, will provide guidelines to help local volunteers with egg rearing, monitoring, information sharing and other endeavors. Public input will be taken at a later time. The Commission will then consider adoption of the amendments.

To review the complete agenda for the Feb 8-9, 2002 Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting click here.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission is comprised of nine citizens appointed to six-year terms by the Governor. The commission, which meets throughout the year in public forums, is responsible for setting policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.