OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will take public comments on proposed changes to state hunting rules for deer, elk, waterfowl and other game species during a public meeting March 17-18 in Olympia.
The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building at 1111 Washington St. SE in Olympia. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. both days.
A complete agenda for the meeting is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/
Prior to the regular meeting, the commission will have its annual meeting with Gov. Jay Inslee on March 16 at 3 p.m. in the Governor's Office.
During the March 17-18 meeting, the commission will hold public hearings on changes to state hunting regulations. The proposed changes are available for review at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/seasonsetting
Most of the proposals address changes in special permit levels and hunting-area descriptions proposed since the commission approved the state's last three-year hunting plan in 2015.
However, one change proposed by WDFW would significantly increase the daily limit for white-fronted geese and white geese throughout the state in response to the growing abundance of those species. Another would allow the department to restore points to hunters who draw a permit for a damage hunt but are not called to participate in a hunt.
Final action by the commission on the proposed recommendations is scheduled at a public meeting April 14-15 in Spokane.
The commission also will be briefed on a few of other topics, including Cowlitz River fisheries, in-season management of recreational salmon fisheries in Puget Sound, Willapa Bay salmon management, and bird dog training at two units of the Snoqualmie Valley Wildlife Area. Wildlife managers also will provide an update on the status of wolves in Washington and actions the department took in 2016 to implement the state's Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.
In addition, the commission will be briefed on a petition the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration received calling for a protection zone for southern resident killer whales off the coast of San Juan Island.