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

January 26, 2007
Contact: Susan Yeager, (360) 902-2267

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Fish and Wildlife Commission to consider
sportfishing rules at February 2-3, 2007 meeting

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider adopting a proposed package of 39 sportfishing rule changes for the 2007-2008 season during its Feb. 2-3 meeting in Olympia.

The commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), is scheduled to begin its public meeting at 8:30 a.m., Feb. 2, at 1111 Washington Street S.E., in room 172 of the Natural Resources Building. The meeting will continue Feb. 3 at 8:30 a.m.

One proposed rule change would define a boundary for regulatory purposes between the Snake and Columbia rivers at their confluence in Pasco. A defined boundary is necessary because the two rivers have different fishing regulations for salmon and steelhead, said Bob Gibbons, WDFW freshwater fish manager.

Other rule proposals include:

  • Prohibiting green sturgeon retention statewide.
  • Re-opening the Lewis River Power Canal from the fishing pier to the access road at Swift Dam to fishing from the last Saturday in April through Oct. 31.
  • Requiring anglers fishing on the Columbia River from Bonneville Dam downstream to the Hamilton Boat Launch to stop fishing for sturgeon once they've retained their daily limit of one.

Those and other rule changes included in the proposed 2007-2008 sportfishing package can be viewed at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/ .

The commission also is scheduled to consider action on rule amendments that would allow more flexibility for hunters with a disability to hunt near the roadway. The commission also will consider adopting a North of Falcon policy, which would provide direction to fishery managers in defining annual salmon fishing seasons in Washington.

In addition, the commission is scheduled to hear briefings on a number of different topics, including low levels of dissolved oxygen in Hood Canal, the status of Dungeness crab in Puget Sound, recreational halibut fisheries, funding sources for land purchases, the status of pinto abalone in Washington and the Landowner Hunting Permit Program.

Public comment will follow a briefing on WDFW's marine fish culture policy.

An agenda for the meeting is posted on the commission's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/com/feb0307.htm .