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OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission met Oct. 26 – 28 in Olympia to hold Committee meetings, make decisions, and hear briefings on a variety of fish and wildlife topics.
The meeting began Thursday with meetings of the Commission’s Big Tent, Habitat, Fish, and Wildlife committees. Committee meeting agenda items included discussions about the Draft Conservation Policy, Best Available Science Policy, fisheries season planning, and hunting season setting.
On Friday, the meeting began with open public input before the Commission heard briefings and held public hearings about fish passage and screen rule making and black bear timber damage rule making. The Commission approved rule making proposals about coastal crab and Puget Sound shellfish. The Commission denied a petition about management of resident wild steelhead and directed Department staff to develop a native resident trout harvest management policy to guide staff for future rule making. Prior to recessing on Friday, the Commission voted to adopt a Co-manager Hatchery Policy and heard a briefing and public comment about potential updates to the North of Falcon Policy.
Saturday began with open public input followed by a briefing about how WDFW conducts science to answer management-driven questions. The Commission then heard a briefing and held a public hearing on the Periodic Status Review and classification recommendation for the western gray squirrel. The Commission denied a petition to initiate rule making regarding wolf-livestock conflict management. The meeting closed with committee reports, during which the Wildlife Committee’s recommendation to delegate the public rule making process for a portion of the three-year hunting season setting package to the WDFW director was approved by the full Commission. Finally, the Commission heard a report from WDFW Director Susewind before discussing future meeting plans and moving to adjourn.
A scheduled decision on a proposed land transaction was removed from the agenda before the meeting began.
The meeting was recorded and will be published on the Commission webpage so the public can watch afterward at their convenience.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is a panel appointed by the governor that sets policy for WDFW. WDFW works to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife, and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.