State invites public input on updates to mineral prospecting rules


Theresa Nation, 360-688-4745
Rachel Blomker, 360-701-3101

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) invites the public to provide feedback on proposed updates to the state hydraulic code’s mineral prospecting rules (WAC 220-660), designed to protect fish and their habitats. 

The department is conducting this rule making process to implement elements of the Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1261, which changed parts of the law governing construction projects in state waters (RCW 77.55).

Proposed amendments to the hydraulic code rules include:

  • Update definitions related to mineral prospecting;
  • Require proof of compliance with the federal Clean Water Act to apply for an individual Hydraulic Project Approval for mineral prospecting not covered under the Gold and Fish pamphlet; and
  • Require an individual Hydraulic Project Approval for mineral prospecting involving motorized or gravity siphon equipment.

The public can submit comments by Jan. 30, 2021 via email ( or mail (WDFW, Attn: Theresa Nation, PO Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504).

The Fish and Wildlife Commission will host a public hearing for this rule update at their Jan. 29 meeting.

For more information, visit People with limited internet access can request assistance by calling the Habitat Program at 360-902-2534.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other outdoor recreation 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 ( For more information, see