600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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May 23, 1997
Contact: Margaret Ainscough, (360) 902-2408

Commission workshop to focus on commercial fishing rules

OLYMPIA -- The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will focus on commercial fishing issues and efforts to protect sea birds when it meets here May 30 in the Fir Room of the Holiday Inn Select, 2300 Evergreen Park Dr.

The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. with a roundtable discussion of topics of interest to the public.

At 4 p.m., WDFW staff is scheduled to brief the commission on proposed Puget Sound salmon season adjustments and amendments to rules regarding gill net and beach seine gear. Purse seine mesh size and purse seine, beach seine, reef net and gill net salmon fishing open periods also will be discussed.

The commission at 5 p.m. will consider adoption of rule amendments designed to reduce seabird entanglement in fishing nets. The revisions would affect purse seine gear, gill net mesh size, gill net open periods and daily fishing hours. The commission also will consider directing WDFW staff to further study sea bird deaths from encounters with fishing gear along the Washington Coast and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Proposed purse seine rule changes regarding the release of incidentally caught fish and monitoring requirements are scheduled to be considered for adoption at 7 p.m. Consideration of amendments to salmon seasons in Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay, to be discussed at 8:40 p.m., will round out the workshop agenda.