Commission decides on spring black bear rule-making, commercial shellfish rules, and land transactions, elects Chair

News release Mar 19, 2022

Commission office, 360-902-2267

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission made decisions on spring black bear rule-making, commercial shellfish rules, land transactions, and elected Barbara Baker as Chair during its March 17-19 virtual meeting.

The Commission voted 5-4 to not establish a 2022 spring black bear special permit season. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) staff will assess the path forward for offering future spring black bear hunting opportunity, per Commission direction provided on January 21. The decision on the spring bear special permit rule does not impact the 2022 fall black bear general season, which occurs between Aug. 1 to Nov. 15.

The Commission unanimously approved three land transactions recommended by the Department to enhance conservation and public recreation opportunities. The transactions included 1,035 acres in Thurston County of prairie-oak woodland and wetland habitat, 1,513 acres in Douglas County to protect and conserve shrubsteppe habitats, and 94 acres in Pacific County to provide recreational access to the Nemah beach and over 300 acres of tidelands.

The Commission also unanimously approved a transfer of a 3.5-acre parcel to the City of Sultan in Snohomish County to allow the city to manage the water access area as part of their public park.

The Commission also unanimously approved a suite of revisions to commercial shellfishing regulations, including some changes to logbook or reporting requirements, updates to some commercial crab and shrimp areas, and a variety of updates to gear changes. For more details, see the summary sheet.

The Commission elected Barbara Baker as the new Fish and Wildlife Commission Chair. Baker has served on the Commission since 2017.

Molly Linville has served as the interim Chair since December 2021 and will return to her position as Vice-Chair.

The Commission heard briefings from WDFW staff regarding landowner hunting permits, big game general seasons and special permits, migratory waterfowl seasons and regulations, hunting equipment rule changes, chronic wasting disease, and a briefing on the status of the Blue Mountain Elk herd and a presentation by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) regarding the importance of elk and other First Foods to the CTUIR.

This Commission meeting was recorded so members of the public who missed it 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 ( For more information, see