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

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July 16, 2010
Contact: Susan Yeager, (360) 902-2267

Commission seeks public comments
on Puget Sound Dungeness crab policy

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is seeking public input on a revised policy guiding management of recreational and commercial fisheries for Dungeness crab in Puget Sound.

During a public meeting by conference call today, the commission - a nine-member citizen panel that sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) - developed the draft Puget Sound Dungeness crab-management policy.

The draft policy is available for review on the commission's webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/policies/draft_c-3609_16jul2010.pdf.

Written comments on the draft policy will be accepted through Aug. 2. Comments can be emailed to commission@dfw.wa.gov or mailed to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091.

In addition, the commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the proposed policy at its Aug. 6-7 meeting in Olympia, where commissioners also will accept public comment on three potential alternatives for recreational crab fishing seasons beginning in 2011.

The commission is expected to take action at its October public meeting on a final Puget Sound Dungeness crab management policy and select a recreational crab season that would be incorporated into that policy. The commission selected the three potential season alternatives for further review in June after receiving input from recreational crabbers and WDFW's commercial and recreational crab fishery advisory groups.

The three potential alternatives are available on the department's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings/2010/06/ps_dungeness_alternatives.pdf.

Public meetings on the three alternatives are scheduled from 6-8 p.m. on:

  • July 21 - Edmonds Senior Center (in the Ballroom), 220 Railroad Ave., in Edmonds.
  • July 22 - Mason County PUD No. 3 (in the auditorium), 307 West Cota St., in Shelton.
  • July 26 - Skagit County PUD (in the Aqua Room), 1415 Freeway Dr., in Mount Vernon.
  • July 27 - Point Hudson Marina (in the Marina Room), 375 Hudson St., in Port Townsend.

In other business during today's conference call, the commission approved housekeeping changes to hunter reporting requirements to make them consistent with new categories of special-hunt permits adopted earlier this year. In April, the commission approved special-hunt permits that give hunters more options by allowing them to apply for deer and elk permits in several different categories.