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

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August 22, 2008
Contact: Susan Yeager, (360) 902-2267

Commission will consider $10 penalty
for crabbers who donít report catch

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet Sept. 5-6 in Olympia to consider action on several issues, including a proposal to impose a $10 penalty on Puget Sound sport crabbers who fail to comply with state catch-reporting requirements.

The commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will also receive a staff briefing on minimum age requirements for hunting in various states. Currently, Washington has no minimum age for hunting, although hunters born after Jan. 1, 1972 are required to complete a hunter-education course before they can purchase a license.

The public meeting, scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. both days, will be held in the Natural Resource Building, Room 172, 1111 Washington St. S.E. in Olympia.

Earlier this year, the state Legislature approved a measure that provides the commission the authority to impose a $10 penalty for Puget Sound sport crabbers who fail to report their catch. WDFW is now asking the commission to use that authority Ė starting Dec. 1, 2009 Ė to help improve compliance with catch-reporting regulations.

On other issues, the commission will consider:

  • Whether to approve WDFWís proposed 2009-15 Game Management Plan in its current form, or defer action until further refinements are made. The six-year plan is designed to guide the long-term management of game species.

  • Closing all special-permit hunts for deer and elk on the Yakima Training Center this year. The U.S. Army has requested the closure because training schedules will not allow for public access to the training center this fall.

  • Approving four proposed land transactions, including the transfer to WDFW of 604 acres owned by the Cascade Land Conservancy in Grays Harbor and Pacific counties. WDFW has also proposed the acquisition of 815 acres in Okanogan and two properties in Yakima County to protect habitat for fish and wildlife.

The commission will also receive a briefing on cost-saving measures planned by WDFW and will discuss options for reducing the cost of its own operations. A public hearing is also scheduled on proposals for the commissionís 2009 meeting calendar.

Additional information on the meeting, including a preliminary agenda, is available on the commissionís website (http://wdfw.wa.gov/com/meetings.htm) or by calling (360) 902-2267.