Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

Commission To Consider Proposed Rules Affecting Wildlife Interaction, Sportfishing

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider approving revisions to rules addressing sources of conflict between people and wildlife, such as wildlife damaging crops or harming livestock, at a meeting Nov. 13-14 in Olympia.

The commission also will hold a public meeting on Puget Sound and Washington coast sportfishing rule proposals and consider land transactions in Asotin and Cowlitz counties.

The commission, a nine-member panel that sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene at 8 a.m. both days in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St., on the state Capitol Campus. An agenda for the meeting is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/.

WDFW is seeking a variety of changes rules relating to interactions between humans and wildlife such as deer, elk, cougars or wolves. These revisions, for example, address reporting and permit requirements for people dealing with a wildlife conflict. One proposal clarifies requirements for a crop or livestock producer to receive state compensation for losses caused by wildlife.

A public hearing is scheduled Saturday on proposed sportfishing rule changes for freshwater areas of Puget Sound and the Washington coast. The changes cover fishing seasons, daily limits and other rules. The department’s North Coast Steelhead Advisory Group recently provided its recommendations for sportfishing rules protecting wild steelhead in several coastal rivers. Those recommendations include:

Requiring the release of all wild steelhead and rainbow trout on select streams.

Limiting the use of bait to times and locations hatchery steelhead return.

Prohibiting fishing from floating devices equipped with internal combustion motors on all north coast rivers.

To review and comment on the advisory group recommendations and proposed sportfishing rules, visit WDFW's webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/. Comments will be accepted online through Nov. 12.

Fishery managers recommended that 50 sportfishing rule proposals move forward for additional review. One of those is a proposal on the lower Columbia River that was held over from last year in order to coordinate with fishery managers in Oregon.

In other business, the commission will consider proposals by the department to acquire 570 acres of riparian area near Merrill Lake in Cowlitz County and 2,061 acres of riparian and high meadow lands in Asotin County to protect habitat for fish and wildlife.

WDFW fishery managers will provide a briefing on Grays Harbor and Puget Sound salmon runs and in-season management actions. A public hearing on the topic is scheduled Friday afternoon.

The commission will also receive briefings on:

The wildlife program’s citizen science initiative.

Two forest restoration projects in Okanogan County and one in Garfield County.


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