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

December 04, 1997
Contact: Madonna Luers, (509) 456-4073

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Commission to hear public on sportfishing rule proposals at meeting in Spokane Dec. 13

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will take public comments on 1998-99 sportfishing regulation change proposals at its meeting in Spokane Dec.13.

The meeting will be in the Tamarack Room at the Doubletree Inn, at Sullivan Road and Interstate 90 in the Spokane Valley, and runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. Sportfishing proposals will be reviewed sometime after 1 p.m. on the meeting agenda, with public comment scheduled both in the morning and afternoon.

No decisions on sportfishing rules will be made by the commission until late January. Changes will be effective May 1, 1998.

The commission is a nine-member, governor-appointed board that oversees the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and meets several times a year at various locations across the state.

At the Spokane meeting, the commission also will consider adoption of:

  • Trapping season rules
  • Transport tags for black bear and cougar hunting
  • Private lands wildlife management area hunting season rules
  • Amendments to regulations on hunting permits, wildlife rehabilitation permits, license suspension and reinstatement and sale of surplus salmon carcasses and eggs.
Among the highlights of the sportfishing rule proposals are:
  • Changes on waterways in eastern Washington's upper Columbia and Snake River systems where Endangered Species Act listings require further protection of steelhead trout, chinook salmon, and bull trout
  • Statewide, year-around wild steelhead release, with exceptions noted in the pamphlet
  • Statewide requirement for barbless hooks to encourage wild fish release
  • Closure of some marine areas to address over-harvest on urban beaches
  • Landlocked lake rules for steelhead fishing to limit hatchery fish spawning in the wild.
Complete copies of all sportfishing proposals under consideration may be obtained from WDFW's Fish Management Program at 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091, 360-902-2848.