OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is collecting public comments on a package of 18 sport-fishery rule changes proposed to take effect for the 2005-06 fishing season.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will take public testimony on the proposed rule changes during its November 5-6 workshop meeting in Wenatchee, and will vote on the package during its February 2005 meeting.
The complete rule proposals may be viewed at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/fish_rule_proposals.htm on the WDFW website.
Comments, which must be received by WDFW by Nov. 6, may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed in writing to Evan Jacoby, Rule Coordinator, WDFW, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia WA 98501.
Among the proposed rule changes are three conservation measures to protect Dolly Varden/bull trout, lamprey and rockfish in the Tacoma Narrows. Specifically, the rules would:
- Add Dolly Varden/bull trout to the list of species that may not be totally removed from the water unless it is legal to retain them. The change would not apply to the Columbia River downstream of the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line.
- Make it unlawful to take, fish for or possess Pacific, western brook or river lamprey statewide.
- Close the area within 500 yards of the Toliva Shoal buoy in the Tacoma Narrows area to fishing for food fish and game fish, except from May 1-June 15 when rockfish release will be required. The measure is aimed at protecting sensitive bottomfish species in an artificial reef habitat near Toliva Shoal.
The sport rules package also includes proposals that would drop the ventral fin clip requirement for steelhead caught in the Hanford area and Ringold bank fishery; open all WDFW-owned tidelands in Dabob Bay to clam and oyster harvest ; standardize the Puget Sound shrimp fishing days; require barbless hooks for sturgeon fishing, and establish selective gear rules for catch-and-release steelhead fishing in March and April on the Bogachiel, Calawah, Clearwater, Dickey, Hoh, Hoko and Quinault rivers.