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Commission Set To Take Action On Hunting Rules

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to take action on proposed changes to state hunting rules for deer, elk, upland birds and other game species at a public meeting April 9-10 in Tumwater.

Proposals for the 2015 hunting season include adding two days to the modern firearms season for mule deer, shifting to a later start for the archery elk season and doubling the amount of spring bear permits available in northeast Washington. Proposed changes are available for public review at http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/regulations/development.html .

The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the Governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene in the Mason/Lewis Room of the Capital Event Center, 6005 Tyee Dr. SW, Tumwater. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. both days.

Also at that meeting, the commission will:

Hold public hearings on both a long-term policy for Willapa Bay salmon fisheries and an interim framework for managing this year's fisheries in the bay.

Take action on the department's recommendations on the protective status of Steller sea lions and tufted puffins.

Hear public comment on a proposal to reopen recreational fishing for flounder, sole and other flatfish - except halibut - in Quilcene Bay and the northern portion of Dabob Bay in Hood Canal.

In other business, WDFW will review management policies for Grays Harbor salmon and Columbia River sturgeon. The commission will take public input on both items. In addition, department staff will brief the commission on two draft voluntary agreements aimed at providing assurances to landowners who sign up to conserve on their lands sage-grouse and fishers before the species are potentially listed federally.

An agenda for the meeting is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/ .


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