OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will take public comments on changes to hunting rules and consider adopting sportfishing rule proposals during a public meeting March 1 in Moses Lake.
The commission, a nine-member citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene at 8 a.m. at the Moses Lake Civic Center, 401 S. Balsam St.
A complete agenda for the meeting is available on the commission’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings/2013/.
During the meeting, the commission will accept public comments on proposed changes to hunting rules. The 17 adjustments proposed by WDFW include allowing the use of illuminated arrow nocks for archery equipment and restoring antlerless elk opportunities for archery hunters in Yakima County, specifically in Game Management Units 352 (Nile) and 356 (Bumping).
The proposed adjustments are available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/regulations/development.html#12-19-007. The commission will consider final adoption of the proposed changes to hunting rules at its April 12-13 meeting in Olympia.
Also during the March 1 meeting, the commission will consider adopting nearly 70 sportfishing rules, including proposals that would allow the use of two fishing poles on 50 additional lakes throughout the state and prohibit the retention of cabezon measuring less than 18 inches in length in marine areas 4-11 and 13.
Another proposal would modify rules for white sturgeon in Washington’s waters. Possible options include changes in areas and/or seasons; allowing only catch and release fishing; modifying size limits; reducing the annual limit; and restricting terminal gear.
To review the proposed rules, as well as comments received during the public input period that is now closed, see http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/.
The commission will also consider three proposed land transactions, including:
- An easement across four properties along Issaquah Creek in King County for the construction of a replacement intake system upstream from the WDFW Issaquah Fish Hatchery.
- Acquisition of 1,614 acres in Asotin County as phase two of a multi-year project to secure a total of nearly 12,000 acres of riparian habitat for steelhead and bull trout and terrestrial habitat for deer, bighorn sheep and elk.
- Purchasing 195 acres of lowlands in the Chinook River Estuary in Pacific County to increase salmon habitat.