OLYMPIA– The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is accepting public comment on a proposed package of sport fishing rules for the 2006-07 fishing season.
The proposed rules governing the recreational harvest of game fish, food fish and shellfish will be the focus of a public hearing before the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission during its Nov. 18-19 meeting at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver.
The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, is scheduled to vote on adoption or modification of the rules package at its February 2006 meeting.
Some of the proposals addressing major changes include:
- Changing the definition of selective gear rules to allow anglers to use electric motors and to require the use of knotless nets;
- Changing the size measurement for sturgeon from total length to fork length;
- Increasing the daily limit for eastern brook trout from streams in the Pend Oreille River watershed;
- Expanding the catch-and-release trout fishery in the Methow River;
- Allowing a retention fishery for trout in the Cedar River;
- Extending the catch-and-release seasons for steelhead in several southwest Washington rivers;
- Allowing anglers to retain wild steelhead from the Chehalis, Humptulips and Wynoochee rivers;
- Allowing anglers to fly-fish (catch-and-release) during the Agate Pass fishing closure; and
- Allowing divers to harvest shrimp at night in Marine Area 8-2.
The complete package of proposed rules is available on the WDFW website http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/index.htm. Printed copies of the proposed rules are available by contacting the WDFW Fish Program at (360) 902-2700.
Written and verbal comments on the proposed rules can be submitted to the commission during the panel’s Nov. 18-19 meeting in Vancouver. Written comments can also be submitted to WDFW Rules Coordinator Evan Jacoby via e-mail, at email@example.com, or via the traditional mail system prior to Nov. 18. Address correspondence to Evan Jacoby, WDFW Rules Coordinator, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia WA 98501-1091.