600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.
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August 22, 2016
Contact: Rich Childers, (360) 302-3030, ext. 303;
Dayv Lowry, (360) 902-2558

WDFW schedules meetings on proposed rules
for saltwater sport fisheries

OLYMPIA – State fishery managers are seeking public comments on sportfishing rules for the saltwater areas of Puget Sound and the Washington coast.

As part of that effort, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled three meetings to discuss rules proposed for the 2017 season with the public.

To review and comment on the proposed rules, visit WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/. Comments will be accepted through Oct. 28. For a hard copy of the proposed rules, please call (360) 902-2200.

The public and department staff submitted 66 proposals this spring. State fishery managers are recommending that 11 of the proposals move forward for additional review. The webpage has more information about the proposals as well as those not recommended for further consideration.

The public meetings are scheduled for:

  • Mill Creek: 6 to 8 p.m., Aug. 29, WDFW Region 4 headquarters, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd, Mill Creek.
  • Port Townsend: 6 to 8 p.m., Aug. 30, Marina Room of the Point Hudson Marina, 130 Hudson St., Port Townsend.
  • Olympia: 6 to 8 p.m., Aug. 31, Natural Resources Building - Room 172, 1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia

The public will also have the opportunity to provide testimony on the proposed rule changes during the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission’s meeting Nov. 4 and 5 in Olympia. Check the commission’s website http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html for details on the meeting.

The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, is scheduled to vote on the proposals during a meeting in December.

WDFW is recommending further discussion on proposals that would:

  • Require fishing vessels carry a descending device when fishing for bottomfish or halibut in areas east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line. The devices are used to return rockfish to deep water, reducing the number of rockfish deaths due to barotrauma, which occurs when rockfish are brought to the surface quickly.
  • Make it unlawful to possess another person’s shellfish or food fish (including halibut, salmon and sturgeon) without written permission while in the field or in transit.
  • Implement a 4 ½-inch minimum size requirement for Tanner crabs harvested in Puget Sound.
  • Prohibit shellfish harvesters from cooking oysters in the shell or using heat to open oysters on the beach.
  • Allow squid harvest year-round, including the harvest of Humboldt squid in Hood Canal.