Summaries of those and other rule changes, as adopted, will be available on the department’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/ by mid-February. Public comments on the proposed changes were taken by the commission during meetings in December and January.
In other action, the commission increased the number of multiple-season deer and elk permits issued each year to hunters. Those permits, awarded through annual drawings, allow permit-holders to participate in all general hunting seasons for deer and elk.
Without the special permit, hunters must choose among archery, muzzleloader or modern firearm seasons.
The commission approved WDFW’s proposal to increase the number of deer permits from 4,000 currently to 8,500, and the number of elk permits from 850 to 1,250. State wildlife managers have assured the commission that increasing permit levels will expand hunting opportunities without posing a risk to deer and elk populations.
In other business, the commission deferred action on a proposal by WDFW to acquire 165 acres for fish and wildlife habitat in Okanogan County. The commission re-scheduled consideration of the purchase for a conference call Feb. 17 to allow time for further review.