OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to take action on proposed rule changes for mineral prospecting during a public meeting scheduled Nov. 7-8 in Olympia.
The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, also will receive a staff briefing and take public testimony on proposed sportfishing rules for the 2009-10 fishing season.
The public meeting, scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. both days, will be held in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E., in Olympia.
On Saturday, Nov. 8, the commission is scheduled to act on proposed changes to state regulations regarding the effects of mineral prospecting activities on fish habitat. The scheduled action follows a series of public meetings and a written comment period.
The proposed rules, which were developed with input from a 17-member workgroup, are available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hab/goldfish/mineral_prospect.htm. Following the rule adoption, WDFW will publish a new Gold and Fish pamphlet for use in 2009.
Also that day, the public will have an opportunity to comment on new fishing rules proposed by WDFW and the public for the fishing season that begins May 1, 2009. Those proposals, ranging from a new anti-snagging rule to one that would prohibit using live aquatic animals for bait in freshwater, is available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/.
Written comments on the proposals can be submitted through Nov. 8 to WDFW Rules Coordinator Lori Preuss at email@example.com, or 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501.
The commission is scheduled to vote on a final rules package in February 2009.
During the two-day meeting, the commission is scheduled to take action on proposed land transactions in Columbia, Garfield, Okanogan, Grays Harbor, Snohomish and Kittitas counties. The commission also is expected to confirm its 2009 meeting calendar.
In other business, the commission will receive WDFW staff briefings and take public input on:
- The status of the lower Columbia River sturgeon management policy and proposed updates.
- Proposed amendments to rules governing facility requirements for oiled-bird rehabilitation activities.
WDFW staff also will present briefings on:
- The feasibility of implementing barbless hook rules for sport fisheries on the Columbia River.
- The criteria and process for removing (delisting) wildlife from endangered, threatened or sensitive species lists.
- Updates to the department’s Wind Power Guidelines.
- The status of WDFW’s tourism expansion efforts.
A complete agenda for the Nov. 7-8 meeting is posted on the commission’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/com/meetings.htm.