OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will accept final public input on new state sportfishing rules proposed for 2010-12 during its Dec. 4-5 meeting in Olympia. The sportfishing rules hearing is scheduled to begin at noon on Saturday, Dec. 5.
The December meeting offers the last opportunity for public comment on more than 100 rule-change proposals that would affect a variety of state freshwater and saltwater sport fisheries, starting next year. The proposed changes are available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals.
The deadline for accepting written comments on the proposals is Dec. 1. The public may also submit written testimony during the commission meeting.
Final commission action on the rules is scheduled for the Feb. 4-6 meeting in Olympia. Once adopted, the rules will be in effect for two years beginning May 1, 2010.
The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, will meet both days at 8:30 a.m. in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia.
In addition, commissioners will be briefed by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) staff and take public comment on a proposal to offer hunters five additional multi-species raffle permits.
In other business, the commission is scheduled to take action on proposed land transactions in Skagit and Yakima counties, and adopt an amendment establishing the boundary on the Johnson/DeBay Slough Game Reserve.
The commission will also receive staff briefings and updates on:
- The history and current status of the Columbia River spring chinook fishery.
- The status of the Puget Sound groundfish management plan.
- The process for developing bag limit regulations for the 2011-13 recreational albacore tuna fishery.
- The status of the white-tailed deer management plan.
- Proposed regulations for the commercial sardine fishery.
- Marine Protected Area Work Group activities.
- The implementation of mineral prospecting rules passed in 2008.
- The history and current activities of the Commission’s Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities.
- Collaborative efforts to clean up the WDFW-managed access site at American Lake in Pierce County.
During a public conference call held Nov. 20, the commission also adopted its 2010 meeting calendar. Eight public meetings and additional conference calls are scheduled for next year.
More information on the commission’s meeting calendar and Dec. 4-5 agenda is available on the commission’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html.