OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider adopting 17 new hunting rules for the upcoming season and receive a briefing on options for extending greater protection to Puget Sound’s giant Pacific octopus population at a public meeting next week in Olympia.
The commission, a nine-member citizen panel the sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene April 12-13 on the Capitol Campus in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. An agenda is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings/2013/.
One new hunting rule under consideration by the commission would allow bow hunters to use illuminated arrow nocks, which can be helpful in finding and retrieving arrows. Another would restore antlerless elk opportunities for archery hunters in Yakima County, specifically in game management units 352 (Nile) and 356 (Bumping).
Those and other hunting proposals scheduled for a vote are available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/regulations/development.html#12-19-007.
WDFW fishery managers will also brief the commission on options recommended by an ad hoc advisory group for increasing protection for the giant Pacific octopus population in Puget Sound. Last November, the commission received three petitions requesting amendments to sportfishing rules after a giant Pacific octopus was legally harvested from the waters of a popular dive site at Seacrest Park in West Elliot Bay.
The commission is not scheduled to take action on octopus rules at the upcoming meeting, but may do so at a later meeting.
In other business, WDFW staff will brief the commission on:
- The proposed transfer of the department’s Hunter Education Division and certain wildlife-conflict responsibilities from the Enforcement Program to the Wildlife Program.
- The 2012 Puget Sound crab season.
- WDFW’s Americans with Disabilities Advisory Committee.