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


November 22, 2005
Contact: Susan Yeager, (360) 902-2267 or
Craig Bartlett, (360) 902-2259

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Fish and Wildlife Commission to consider
Columbia River sturgeon management plan

OLYMPIA – A five-year management plan for Columbia River sturgeon will be considered by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at its meeting Dec. 2-3 in Olympia.

The commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), is scheduled to begin its public meeting at 9 a.m. on Dec. 2 at 1111 Washington Street SE, in room 172 of the Natural Resources Building. The meeting will continue at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 3.

The Columbia River sturgeon management plan would maintain an annual harvest level of 40,000 fish, and would continue to allocate 80 percent of the harvest to the sport fishery and 20 percent to the commercial fishery. The plan would be in place from 2006 to 2010.

The proposed plan also would add a sturgeon spawning sanctuary in the John Day Reservoir, and increase the size of another sanctuary below the Bonneville Dam.

In other actions, the commission will consider revising rules to place restrictions on the importation of dead wildlife from New York, West Virginia and Alberta, Canada. The two states and the Canadian province have discovered chronic wasting disease (CWD in wildlife. The proposed restrictions are aimed at protecting Washington’s deer and elk populations from the disease. The proposal also would add restrictions on importing moose from states with CWD.

The commission also will consider continuing a transaction fee of 9.5 percent on the purchase of recreational licenses. The fee is used to pay for expenses related to the automated licensing system. In addition, the commission will consider:

  • Continuing spring black bear seasons in Blue Mountains, Capitol Forest and Hancock Forest management lands.
  • Increasing mountain goat raffle permits from one to two.
  • Merging hunting Game Management Unit (GMU) 490 into GMU 460, and GMU 558 into GMU 560.
The commission also will hear a status report on the removal of the Elwha River dams. Removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams on the Olympic Peninsula is scheduled to begin in 2008. The commission also will be briefed on aquatic invasive species management activities, along with an update on spartina control. The complete agenda for the commission meeting is at http://wdfw.wa.gov/com/meetings.htm.