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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

ARCHIVED NEWS RELEASE
This document is provided for archival purposes only.
Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.

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September 19, 2014
Contact: Commission Office, (360) 902-2267

Commission to discuss proposed sportfishing
rules, 2015-2021 Game Management Plan

OLYMPIA — The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will receive briefings on proposed changes to sportfishing rules in the Columbia River Basin and the development of the 2015-2021 statewide Game Management Plan during its meeting Sept. 26-27 in Pasco.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene at the Pasco Red Lion, 2525 N. 20th Ave. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. both days.

An agenda for the meeting is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/.

WDFW is recommending that 32 proposed sportfishing rules move forward for public comment. The rules are specific to the mainstem Columbia River, its tributaries or lakes within the basin. The changes – which cover fishing seasons, daily limits and other rules – include proposals that would:

  • Close all rivers, streams and beaver ponds in the Columbia River Basin to fishing unless otherwise stated in the rules pamphlet, and implement additional conservation measures to provide greater protection for anadromous fish. The proposal also calls for mandatory retention of hatchery steelhead in some rivers.
  • Eliminate the retention of sturgeon on the Snake River and its tributaries. Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing would be maintained.
  • Adjust size and daily catch limits for kokanee in Cle Elum Lake, while removing daily limits for eastern brook, brown and lake trout.

To review and comment on the proposed rules, visit WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/. Comments will be accepted through Oct. 16.

The website includes information on proposed rules that WDFW fishery managers recommend move forward for further review and public comment, as well as information on proposals not recommended for further consideration.

The public also will have the opportunity to provide testimony on the proposed rule changes during the commission’s meeting in November.

In other business, the commission will receive an update on the development of the 2015-2021 Game Management Plan, which will be used by WDFW to guide management of hunted species and the development of hunting seasons throughout the state, as well as other management policies in future years.

Key issues in the draft plan include hunter recruitment and retention and hunter access to timberlands. WDFW will also consider new proposals for managing predator/prey relationships and developing a plan to manage wolves after they are no longer classified as an endangered species.

The commission also will receive a briefing on state wolf management and conservation activities this year.

In addition, the commission will discuss the recruitment for a new director of WDFW. The current director, Phil Anderson, announced in August he is resigning from his position at the end of the year.