OLYMPIA - Seasons and regulations for 2004-05 Washington sport fishing will be set by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in a meeting here Feb. 6.
The commission, a nine-member citizen panel that directs the activities of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), is scheduled to begin its meeting at 8 a.m. in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. SE. The fishing rules package is scheduled to be considered during the afternoon portion of the meeting.
A public hearing on the proposed sportfishing rules was held in December. No further public comment on this rules package will be taken in the upcoming meeting.
The sport fishing rules proposed for adoption include:
- Rockfish protection options and lingcod season changes
- A ban on treble hooks in Marine Areas 1-13
- Catch-and-release rules for salmon and steelhead
- Salmon handling rules in Marine Areas 5-13
- Extending the closed area for catch-and-release fishing on oversized sturgeon in the Columbia River
- Reducing wild steelhead harvest on several Olympic Peninsula streams; and
- Establishing daily fishing hours for recreational shrimp fisheries
In other action, the commission will take public testimony and consider whether to create marine preserves in six Seattle parks including Golden Gardens, Carkeek, Lincoln, Discovery and Emma Schmitz parks as well as at Rickey Viewpoint. The sites have been designated by the City of Seattle as marine reserves to be used as educational areas. If the state marine preserve designation is adopted by the commission, no fishing would be allowed at the sites except for finfish harvest by hook and line. Visitors would be allowed to handle beach organisms but would not be allowed to remove them.
The full preliminary agenda for the commission meeting is on the WDFW website.