December 01, 2000
Contact: Margaret Ainscough, (360) 902-2408
Sportfish rule proposals, hunt raffle, auction permits to be discussed before Fish and Wildlife Commission
The public will have a chance to comment on an upcoming package of sport fishing rules during the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission's meeting Dec. 8 and 9 in Tukwila.
The two-day meeting begins at 10:30 a.m., Dec. 8, and reconvenes at 8 a.m., Dec. 9. Both sessions will be held in the ballroom of the Best Western Southcenter, 15901 West Valley Road in Tukwila.
The proposed 2001-2002 sportfishing rules package, scheduled to be discussed during the second day of the meeting, will be adopted by the commission during its Feb. 9 and 10 meeting.
The rules package, primarily housekeeping changes, includes proposals to:
- Change boat-limit rules to allow saltwater anglers in private vessels to continue fishing for food fish or shellfish until the daily bag limit for all lawful fishers on board has been reached. Under current rules, anglers in private boats who have caught their individual limits of fish are required to stop fishing, even if others on board have not reached their limit.
- Prohibit the use of treble hooks throughout Puget Sound (Marine Areas 5-13), except on forage fish jigger gear. Treble hooks already are banned in coastal marine waters, due to concerns about hooking mortality on small salmon.
- Change the rules for possession of food fish, game fish and shellfish to require fishers to retain proof of hatchery or wild origin of their catch until they have stopped fishing for the day, and to change the possession limit aboard a boat to one daily limit in fresh form. The change would mean that fish not restricted by size, species, weight, sex or origin could be cleaned or filleted in the field, and that catches for which restrictions apply could be cleaned on the water and filleted once fishers have come ashore and finished fishing for the day.
In addition to the fishing rules, the Commission also will consider:
- Slight expansions to big game and wild turkey auction permits and raffle seasons, including one additional raffle permit and one additional auction permit for elk; one additional auction permit for deer, and one new raffle permit and one auction permit for mountain goats. All proceeds from the special permits go to management of the species involved.
- Establishing 2001 and 2002 seasons and quotas for black bear spring permit hunts in the Blue Mountains.
- Establishing 2001 Private Lands Wildlife Management Area (PLWMA) deer and elk permit levels and seasons.
- Adopting a Columbia River smelt (Eulachon) policy, which will form the basis of a management plan providing more specific guidance on harvest management, stock assessment and habitat management activities for Columbia River smelt.
The complete commission meeting agenda may be viewed on the department's website.