January 23, 1997
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, (360) 902-2256
Fishing issues take center stage at Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting
PORT TOWNSEND -- Fishing issues will predominate when the Washington
Department of Fish and Wildlife meets here in formal session on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.
The Friday meeting opens at 1p.m. at the Point Hudson Resort and Marina
Pavilion, Point Hudson Harbor in Port Townsend. Saturday's session begins at 8 a.m.
at the same location.
In addition to addressing a variety of fish and shellfish issues, the commission
also is scheduled to consider changing the hunting areas that may be used by 1997
bighorn sheep permit holders; establishing a reward system for identifying poachers
and establishing rules for landowner elk and deer damage hunts.
Highlights of fish and shellfish items on the agenda include consideration of
- Establishing policy guidelines for the department in the upcoming North of
Falcon and Pacific Fishery Management Council public processes that will set the 1997
salmon fishing seasons for sports, commercial and tribal fishers
- Amending the state's sportfishing rules for 1997-1998
- Providing seasons and limits for sturgeon, smelt, herring and other Columbia
- Limiting commercial trawl fisheries for cod in Puget Sound to conserve the
- Requiring permits to import kelp into the state to prevent the spread of plant
diseases and pests
- Implementing new commercial crab fishing seasons, area and rules as
required by the federal court U.S. v. Washington (Rafeedie) decision
- Amending coastal commercial crab fishing regulations to prohibit the use of
groundlines (groundlines are cables connecting several crab pots to make retrieval
- Amending Puget Sound commercial shrimp fishing rules to implement the
requirements of the federal U.S. v. Washington (Rafeedie) decision
The public will have numerous opportunities to present testimony to the
commission during the two-day meeting.
- Establishing shellfish transfer permits designed to prevent the spread of