Fish and Wildlife Commission approves forest health projects, amendments to fishing regulations

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Commission office, 360-902-2267

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved two forest health projects and a suite of fishing rule updates during its regular meeting Friday.

The Commission also delegated responsibility for achieving concurrent regulations for 2022 Columbia River salmon fisheries to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Kelly Susewind, working with the director of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The approved forest health projects would thin 387 acres at the Klickitat Wildlife Area in Klickitat County and up to 1,452 acres at the Colockum Wildlife Area in Chelan County, to improve habitat quality for a variety of species and reduce wildfire risk.

The approved sport fishing rule updates are intended to improve conservation and simplify regulations for gamefish, select food fish statewide, forage fish, and shellfish. In all, 15 rule updates were approved. The public can see a summary of the changes and public comment received at https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2022-01/6_2021_recreation_rule_making.pdf. The newly adopted rules are expected to take effect July 1, 2022.

The Commission also received an update from the director of the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office on a proposed salmon recovery initiative introduced last month by Gov. Jay Inslee. In the afternoon, the Commission heard an update on efforts to reduce whale entanglements in the coastal commercial crab fleet.

The meeting was recorded so members of the public who missed the meeting can watch at their convenience. To see information about past and future Commission meetings, as well as ways to participate, please visit WDFW’s website.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is a panel appointed by the governor that sets policy for the WDFW. WDFW works to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial 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.