OLYMPIA ó The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to adopt a hatchery and fishery reform policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) during a public meeting Nov. 6-7 in Olympia.
The commission, a nine-member citizen panel that sets policy for WDFW, will also receive a staff briefing on proposed changes to the 2010-12 sportfishing rules.
The meeting will begin both days at 8:30 a.m. in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E.
On Friday, Nov. 6, the commission will consider adopting a proposed hatchery and fishery reform policy after hearing updated recommendations from WDFW staff. The proposed policy would provide direction for state hatchery operations and fishery management, emphasizing recovery of wild salmon and steelhead while also supporting sustainable fisheries.
The commission heard public testimony and took comments on the proposed policy this summer, but delayed taking action to allow time for additional review and comment. The draft policy is posted on the commissionís website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/.
Also that day, the commission will receive briefings on more than 100 rule-change proposals that would affect various freshwater and saltwater sport fisheries throughout the state.
The proposed changes are located on WDFWís website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/index.htm. Written comments on the proposed rules will be accepted through Dec. 1 and can be sent to the department via e-mail to Lori.Preuss@dfw.wa.gov, by regular mail to 600 Capitol Way N, Olympia WA 98504 or by FAX to (360) 902-2155 (attn: WDFW Rules Coordinator). The commission also will take public and written testimony on the proposals during its Dec. 4-5 meeting in Olympia.
The commission is scheduled to take action on the sportfishing proposals at its February 2010 meeting. Once adopted, the rules will be in effect for two years beginning May 1, 2010.
In other business, the commission is scheduled to:
- Receive briefings from WDFW staff on the status of a wolf conservation and management plan for Washington state, proposed guidelines for responding to assertions of traditional tribal hunting areas, and an assessment of Columbia River white sturgeon.
- Take public comment and receive an update from WDFW staff regarding the resolution of land ownership and boundary issues associated with the Johnson/DeBay Slough Game Reserve. A rule action by the commission also is scheduled, but may be continued until the Dec. 4-5 commission meeting.
- Hear public comment and take action on two proposed land transactions in Okanogan County.
- Adopt its 2010 regular meeting calendar.
Commissioners also are scheduled to attend an annual meeting with Gov. Chris Gregoire Nov. 6 at 3:30 p.m. in the Governorís office. During the second day of the meeting, WDFW staff will present an overview of department operations to new commission members.
A complete meeting agenda is available on the commissionís website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html.