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


July 30, 1998
Contact: Margaret Ainscough, (360) 902-2408

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License period transition on commission agenda

OLYMPIA -- In a meeting Aug. 7 and 8 the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider how to make the transition to hunting and fishing license periods that are synchronized with recreational seasons.

The two-day meeting begins at 12:30 p.m., Aug. 7, in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. SE in Olympia. The meeting is scheduled to recess at 4:30 p.m., Aug. 7, and resume at 8 a.m. the next day. The presentation on licensing changes is scheduled to take place the afternoon of the Aug. 8 session. The licensing revisions result from changes enacted by the 1998 Legislature. The licensing period change was made because the current calendar-year licensing cycle does not coincide with recreational seasons.

During the commission meeting, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife staff will outline three options for making the transition from the current January 1 license renewal date to an April 1 license renewal cycle.

The commission is scheduled to vote on the transition plan in late October, following a public hearing.

The transition option recommended by WDFW staff calls for a $6 one-time, three-month combination hunting/fishing license to bridge the January to April gap next year.

The two other transition options involve a 15-month license.

Issuance of the three-month license would allow WDFW to maximize federal funds which are awarded to states on the basis of the number of hunting licenses sold. The three-month license would be available in December, and only would be required for those hunting or fishing from next January through March. For convenience, license buyers would be able to purchase their new 12-month licenses at the same time as the three-month licenses. Catch record cards would be adjusted on a one-time basis to meet the option approved by the commission.

During its Aug. 7 session, the commission also will hear briefings on the status of state/tribal hunting coordination efforts. Briefings also are scheduled on habitat and recreation issues at Scatter Creek and Stillwater wildlife areas, including a proposal from the Northwest Field Trial Council to allow dog training and field trials at those sites.

In other business during its Aug. 8 session the commission is scheduled to set 1998-99 migratory waterfowl hunting seasons and regulations, and will consider other issues including:

  • Amending 1998-99 and 1999-2000 goose hunting hours for Grays Harbor County.
  • Standardizing shooting hours for the late goose seasons
  • Restricting small game seasons on the Shillapo Wildlife Area and opening portions of the Shillapo/Vancouver Lake Wildlife Area to year- round dog training.
  • Establish dates for 1998 youth pheasant and quail hunting seasons. Amending hunting rules for the Bayview and Swinomish Spit game reserves.
  • Closing Port Susan Bay (Snohomish County) to Canada geese hunting. Amending shotgun shell restrictions for the Skagit Wildlife Area and allowing tungsten-polymer shot pellets for waterfowl, coot and snipe hunting.