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

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March 24, 2006
Contact: Nancy Burkhart, (360) 902-2449

Fish and Wildlife Commission to adopt
2006-08 hunting seasons, rules

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will decide on 2006-08 hunting seasons and rules when it meets April 7-8 in Tumwater.

The two-day meeting at the Comfort Inn and Conference Center, 1620 74th Ave. SW in Tumwater, is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. April 7 and 8:30 a.m. April 8. All hunting rule agenda items are scheduled for Saturday, April 8. Public input will be taken at several times throughout the meeting.

A nine-member citizen panel appointed by the governor, the commission sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

WDFW wildlife managers have recommended revisions to hunting rules that would affect eastern Washington pheasant season dates, turkey hunting opportunities, mule deer and white-tailed deer management, spring black bear seasons, Colockum and Hanford area elk management, and archery and muzzleloader equipment regulations. Details of all hunting rule proposals are available on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/seasonsetting/

Development of the hunting season recommendations included an extended public involvement process that elicited 5,000 responses from citizens. As a result of public input, some preliminary proposals for spike-only elk hunts in western Washington, three-point white-tailed deer hunts in northeast Washington and permit-only mule deer hunts, have been dropped.

Besides setting upcoming hunting seasons, the commission also is scheduled to establish guidelines for issuing refunds or authorizing exchanges on purchases of recreational licenses, tags or permits; clarify rules for retention of tagged bottomfish and herring and aquatic farm registration, and reduce some fishing and hunting violations to infractions.

During the meeting, the commission also will be briefed on wolf management, development of WDFWs strategic plan for the upcoming 2007-09 biennium and WDFWs progress in meeting sustainability goals.

A complete agenda of the meeting is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/com/meetings.htm