600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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March 16, 2016
Contact: Craig Burley, (360) 902-2784

Public can propose changes
to saltwater sport fisheries

OLYMPIA – People with ideas about how to improve sport fisheries in Puget Sound and Washington's coastal waters can submit their proposals to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) through April 30.

State fishery managers will consider proposed rules submitted by the public for most marine fish and shellfish species except salmon, halibut, tuna, and coastal bottomfish. Fishing regulations for those species are established through separate processes.

People can propose fishing rule changes online at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/ or obtain a submission form by calling (360) 902-2700. The website includes more information about this year’s rule proposal process.

“We are looking for ideas on how we can improve sport fishing opportunities, meet conservation goals for marine fish and shellfish, and simplify fishing rules,” said Craig Burley, manager of WDFW's fish management division. “Next year, we’ll be asking the public for input on simplifying fishing rules for inland fish species in freshwater areas of the state.”

Sport fishing rule changes developed through this year’s process will be available for public review and comment this fall.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, a citizen panel that sets policy for WDFW, also is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the proposed rule changes in November.

The commission, which has the final word on which fishing rules are adopted, is expected to take final action on the sport fishing rule changes at a public meeting in December. Rules adopted by the commission will take effect in July 2017.