September 16, 2009
Contact: Fish Program (360) 902-2700
Public meetings scheduled to discuss rule
proposals for 2010-12 sportfishing season
OLYMPIA – Seven public meetings have been scheduled to discuss rule proposals for the 2010-12 sportfishing season in Washington.
The proposed rules, which would affect various freshwater and saltwater recreational fisheries around the state, are available on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/index.htm. Printed copies of the proposals are available by contacting WDFW’s Fish Program at (360) 902-2700.
Members of the public with an interest in the sportfishing season are advised to submit their comments this fall for regulations that will be in effect for two years, said Craig Burley, WDFW’s fish division manager.
“For cost-saving measures, the department is adopting recreational sportfishing rules on a two-year cycle rather than on a yearly basis, which means the next opportunity to change these rules will be for the 2012-14 season,” Burley said.
Annual regulation-setting processes will continue for salmon, halibut and coastal groundfish.
The public meetings will begin at 6 p.m. at all locations except Port Angeles, where the meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. The meetings are scheduled for:
- Sept. 28 – WDFW’s Ephrata Office, 1550 Alder St. N.W., Ephrata
- Sept. 29 – WDFW’s Spokane Office, 2315 North Discovery Place, Spokane Valley
- Sept. 30 – Carpenter’s Hall, 507 Third St., Yakima
- Oct. 6 – WDFW’s Mill Creek Office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd., Mill Creek
- Oct. 7 – Peninsula College, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Room J47, Port Angeles
- Oct. 8 – WDFW’s Vancouver Office, 2108 Grand Blvd., Vancouver
- Oct. 13 – WDFW Headquarters, Natural Resources Building, Room 172, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia
During the meetings, the public will have an opportunity to discuss the proposals with WDFW staff and submit written comments. Comments also can be submitted by mail to WDFW Rules Coordinator Lori Preuss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA, 98501. All written comments must be received by Nov. 7.
The public also will have an opportunity to provide testimony and written comments on the proposed rule changes during the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Nov. 6-7 meeting in Olympia. Check the commission’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/com/comintro.htm for the specific day and time.
The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, is scheduled to vote on the final sportfishing rules package during its February 2010 meeting.
Sportfishing rules currently under consideration include:
- Requiring the use of single-point, barbless hooks for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River from the mouth of the river to McNary Dam.
- Coordinating the season and slot limit for divers and anglers harvesting lingcod.
- Protecting streams that act as nurseries for juvenile anadromous fish.
- Prohibiting the harvest of all species of unclassified marine fish and invertebrates.
- Reducing the daily limit of Dungeness crab in all areas of Puget Sound to four and changing the harvest schedule to Fridays through Mondays in marine areas 6, 7, 8-1, 8-2, 9, 10, 11 and 12.
- Developing a set of protective measures for rockfish.
- Changing the definition of the anti-snagging rule.