COLVILLE—The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission set 2009-10 waterfowl hunting seasons and rules, and heard briefings and public comments on a variety of fish and wildlife issues at its Aug. 6-8 meeting in Colville.
The commission, a nine-member board appointed by the governor, sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Waterfowl hunting rule changes include:
- Increased statewide bag limits for pintail, scaup and canvasback due to higher breeding populations of those duck species;
- Decreased dusky Canada goose quota levels for Southwest Washington’s goose hunting season due to continuing declines in this Canada goose subspecies; and
- Two extra days of goose hunting in eastern Washington seasons due to the elimination earlier this year of a September two-day season in some areas where goose populations no longer support early hunting.
Complete details of all waterfowl hunting seasons and rules will be available next week on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations and in paper pamphlet form soon after at all WDFW license vendors.
Washington Department of Personnel staff discussed with the commission the results from a public Internet survey, and a targeted constituent survey, on criteria to use in the commission’s search for a permanent WDFW director. The commission is scheduled to interview candidates later this month and make a selection this fall.
The commission heard briefings from WDFW staff on:
- WDFW budget status and 2010 legislative request proposals.
- Wolf conservation and management plan process status.
- Proposed legislative reauthorization of sea urchin and sea cucumber commercial fishery buyback program.
- Proposed legislative changes to state fish and wildlife rules under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Title 77, including authority to address reckless burning, big game “spree” killing, vehicle use permits, oiled wildlife rescue, and a new recreational smelt license.
- Proposed amendments Master Hunter program.
- Lands management program overview.
- Public conduct rules on WDFW lands.
In addition to public comment on various local fish and wildlife issues, the commission was addressed by northeast Washington state legislators and county commissioners on hunting and fishing impacts to local economies, public land acquisition and other topics.
The commission was also briefed by Colville Confederated Tribes on fishery management advances, including development of selective fishery gear methods and future construction of the Chief Joseph fish hatchery, and the Colville/Washington Management Agreement, Columbia Basin Fish Accords and integrated co-management issues.