Commission adopts hydraulic code rules, hatchery policy, 2021-23 hunting seasons, and denies Hoh River petition

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Commission office, 360-902-2267

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission made decisions on a number of topics at its April 9 virtual meeting, including setting hunting seasons for 2021-23, adopting an updated hatchery policy, and establishing new rules to govern certain mineral prospecting in state waters. The Commission denied a petition to repeal restrictions on fishing from a floating vessel on a stretch of the Hoh River.

The Commission adopted 2021-23 hunting season proposals with some amendments. The Commission also postponed a decision on several proposed hunting equipment and method updates to allow staff more time to review public feedback.

The Commission adopted proposed changes to the state hydraulic code’s mineral prospecting rules (WAC 220-660), designed to protect fish and their habitats. The department is updating these rules to implement elements of the Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1261 passed in 2020, which changed parts of the law governing construction projects in state waters (RCW 77.55). More information on this rule-making process is available on WDFW’s website.

The Commission also unanimously adopted an updated Anadromous Salmon and Steelhead Hatchery Policy (C-3624), to supersede the previous policy (C-3619). The public can read the adopted policy language and learn more about the process at WDFW’s website.

Finally, the Commission denied a petition asking for repeal of a regulation that prohibits fishing from a floating device on an approximately 7-mile stretch of the Hoh River.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is a panel appointed by the governor that sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.

Individuals who need to receive this information in an alternative format, language, or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact the Title VI/ADA Compliance Coordinator by phone at 360-902-2349, TTY (711), or email (Title6@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation.