OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will hear public testimony on proposed sportfishing rules for the 2008-09 fishing season on the second day of a public meeting Nov. 2-3 in Chelan.
In addition, the commission will consider taking action on several other proposals, including one that would extend a popular program that allows first-time hunters to defer hunter education training for one year.
The nine-member commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene both days at 8:30 a.m. at Campbell’s Resort and Conference Center, 104 W. Woodin Ave. in Chelan.
A public-comment period scheduled by the commission Nov. 3 will focus on 78 new fishing rules proposed by WDFW and the public for the fishing season that begins May 1, 2008. Those proposals, ranging from a new anti-snagging rule to one that would establish separate limits for largemouth and smallmouth bass, is available on WDFW’s website (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/index.htm).
Written comments on those proposals can be submitted through Nov. 1 to WDFW Rules Coordinator Lori Preuss via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by mail: 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501. Those who have submitted comments on the proposed rules via email are advised that server problems prevented messages sent Monday, Oct. 15, through Thursday, Oct. 18 from reaching WDFW staff in Olympia Anyone who sent comments on the proposals during that time period is advised to resend the email.
The commission is scheduled to vote on a final rules package in February 2008.
Also at its Nov. 2-3 meeting, the commission will consider approving:
- Another season of a pilot cougar-hunting program with the aid of dogs in five eastern Washington counties to implement a directive of the 2007 Legislature;
- A policy to guide development of WDFW’s Master Hunter Program;
- Wildlife land acquisitions in Okanogan and Yakima counties;
- Changes to the application period for Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account grants.
- A measure to formally eliminate a previous requirement that recreational shellfish and seaweed fishers wear their license on their outer clothing.
The commission also will hear briefings on proposed:
- Spring black bear hunting seasons;
- Multiple-season big game hunting permits and mandatory reporting of hunting activity;
- Big game and wild turkey hunting auction, raffle and special incentive permits; and
- Deer and elk area description changes.
The commission also will continue discussion of the proposed rules for public conduct on WDFW lands, but is deferring rule action to the Dec. 7-8 meeting.
A complete agenda, including preliminary times when items will be discussed, is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/com/meetings.htm.