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

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January 28, 2009
Contact: Susan Yeager, (360) 902-2267

Fish and Wildlife Commission to consider
sportfishing rules at February 6-7 meeting

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider adopting a proposed package of sportfishing rule changes for the 2009-10 season during its Feb. 6-7 meeting in Olympia.

The commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene both days at 8:30 a.m. in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia. Commissioners also are scheduled to attend an annual meeting with Gov. Chris Gregoire on Feb. 5 at 11 a.m. in the Governor’s office.

During the Feb. 6-7 meeting, the commission will consider adopting more than two dozen sportfishing rule proposals, which were developed with public input and discussed at the commission’s November meeting. No additional public testimony on the rules will be taken at the February meeting.

One proposed rule would change the annual opening day of fishing on some streams from June 1 to the first Saturday in June. Other proposals would replace the non-buoyant lure restriction with a new anti-snagging rule, create a new Marine Protected Area in a portion of Saltwater State Park and change the daily limit of salmon and steelhead in the mainstem Columbia River to two salmon or two hatchery steelhead or one of each.

More details on those and other proposed rules are available on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/.

The commission also is scheduled to consider adopting a North of Falcon policy, which would provide direction to fishery managers in defining annual salmon fishing seasons in Washington’s waters.

In other business, the commission is scheduled to hear briefings on:

  • Timber salvage and thinning operations in 2008 at the Olympic and Johns River wildlife areas.

  • A pilot grazing program, which uses managed livestock to maintain and enhance habitat conditions for wildlife.

  • Salmon management, including hatchery production, in the Grays Harbor watershed.

  • Eyes in the Woods, a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to fish and wildlife stewardship.

The commission also is scheduled to discuss various topics, including the spring chinook season on the Columbia River and next steps for the bi-state Columbia River Fish Working Group.

For more information about future commission meetings, visit WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html