600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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August 01, 2016
Contact: Commission Office, (360) 902-2267

Fish and Wildlife Commission to meet Aug. 5-6 in Olympia

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will invite public comments on catch limits for Lake Roosevelt trout, review draft budget and policy proposals for the 2017 legislative session, and consider creating two new types of recreational fishing licenses when it meets Aug. 5-6 in Olympia.

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will meet in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building at 1111 Washington St. SE in Olympia. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. Saturday. An agenda is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/.

The commission will receive a briefing and take public comments on a proposal to change the daily catch limit on trout at Lake Roosevelt in eastern Washington. Proposed changes are designed to improve protections for wild redband rainbow trout while preserving opportunities for anglers to catch hatchery fish. Redband trout, a subspecies of rainbow trout, are found in the Columbia River and its tributaries. More information about the proposed changes can be found online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/redband_trout/. The commission is expected to take action on the proposal later this year.

Members also will review the department’s draft legislative budget and policy proposals, which are scheduled to be submitted to the state Office of Financial Management in September. WDFW is conducting a series of public workshops on the proposals during August and may revise them in response to public input and the commission’s direction.

In other business, one new fishing license under consideration by the commission would allow anglers to fish in both freshwater and saltwater and would allow anglers to fish with two poles, harvest Puget Sound Dungeness crab, and catch salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River and its tributaries. The commission also will consider establishing a new combination fishing license for Washington residents 70 years and older. The commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed combination licenses and take action Friday.

The commission also is scheduled to receive public input on the department’s recommendations to keep Columbian white-tailed deer and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies listed as endangered species in Washington. Status reports for both species can be found online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/endangered/status_review/.

In addition, the commission will review management of Pacific halibut and WDFW’s hatchery programs.