• Ecology Workshops on Possible Changes to Fish Consumption Rates

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Department of Ecology (Ecology) will hold public workshops on possible changes to the state’s fish consumption rates in May in Ellensburg, Tacoma and Spokane Valley.

    The sessions are part of Ecology’s efforts to share information with the public and to involve all parties interested in the agency’s work to update regulatory standards for in-water environmental cleanup and water pollution discharges. Ecology also proposes to amend existing regulatory tools to help entities work effectively toward meeting permit limits and toward controlling sources of pollutants.

    Part of this effort includes updating the state’s fish consumption rates, which help guide regulatory standards about how clean Washington’s waters and sediments must be.

    Washington’s marine and fresh waters are home to rich stocks of fish and shellfish. Protecting the health of these resources is important for the well-being of the state’s environment, economy and people. Fish and shellfish are important parts of a healthy diet.

    Continue Reading ...
  • Chinook salmon are king in coming weeks

    Summer fishing seasons are now in full swing, requiring anglers to make some tough decisions about how to spend their time on the water in the days ahead. Salmon, steelhead, trout, crab, sturgeon, bass and walleye – all are now available for harvest.

    But for thousands of anglers, nothing beats the thrill of reeling in a big chinook salmon. Many are doing just that as waves of chinook move south toward the Washington coast, then east into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, coastal streams and the Columbia River.

    “This season is off to a good start, and it should only get better,” said John Long, statewide salmon manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “Right now, anglers are catching chinook salmon from the Washington coast and Puget Sound to the upper Columbia River, with additional fisheries opening in the next few weeks.”


    Continue Reading ...
  • Washington draft wolf management plan – meeting Thursday night in Aberdeen

    A three-month public comment period on a draft state wolf conservation and management plan has begun, and will include a dozen public meetings held by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

    The meetings will take place from Oct. 20 through Nov. 10 at locations around the state. An earlier schedule of meetings, posted on WDFW’s website, has been revised to allow more time for public review of the draft plan.

    The draft plan is the preferred alternative among four presented in a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), as required by the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). The DEIS and draft wolf plan are available on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/wildlife/management/gray_wolf/. Desk copies of the DEIS will be available at WDFW regional offices and public libraries by Oct. 9. Those unable to view or download the DEIS on the website can request paper or compact disc copies by calling (360) 902-2515.

    Comments can be submitted through Jan. 8 electronically at http://wdfw.wa.gov/wildlife/management/gray_wolf/mgmt_plan.html, by FAX to (360) 902-2946, or by U.S. Mail to: WDFW SEPA Desk, 600 Capitol Way N. Olympia, WA 98501-1091.

    Continue Reading ...
  • Buoy 10 Columbia salmon season highlights a great month of fishing

    Anglers are reeling in chinook salmon off the coast, pulling up pots full of crab in Puget Sound, and casting for trout in alpine lakes on both sides of the Cascades.  Summer fisheries are in full swing, and anglers can look forward to even more great fishing opportunities in the days ahead. 

    A prime example is the Buoy 10 salmon fishery, which opens Aug. 1 at the mouth of the Columbia River. A big run of 664,900 fall chinook is expected to return to the big river this year, and fishery managers predict that anglers will catch approximately 12,500 of them between Buoy 10 and Rocky Point, 16 miles upriver.

     WDFW Weekender:


    Continue Reading ...
  • Opening day of lake-fishing season expected to draw 300,000 anglers

    The state’s most popular fishing season opens April 24, when hundreds of thousands of anglers will head to lakes and ponds stocked with millions of trout by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

    Although many lakes are open year round, the last Saturday in April marks the traditional start of the lowland-lakes fishing season, which extends through October.

    "This is our biggest fishing season opener and it traditionally draws more than 300,000 anglers of all ages," said WDFW Director Phil Anderson. "It’s a good time to gather family and friends at local waterways to cast off winter and celebrate spring."

    With lakes in every county of the state well stocked, anglers can keep travel costs down by enjoying good fishing close to home, said WDFW Inland Fish Program Manager Jim Uehara. He reports that more than 20.5 million trout will be stocked in lakes and streams for this year’s fishery, including those planted in waters that opened earlier this spring or are open year-round.


    Continue Reading ...
  • Public-comment deadlines extended on proposed 2010-12 fishing rules

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – The public will have more time to review changes in state sportfishing rules proposed for 2010-12 under an extended comment period announced today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

    Under the new timeline, WDFW will accept written comments through Dec. 1 on more than 100 proposed regulations – nearly a month longer than previously announced.

    In addition, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has postponed a public hearing on the proposals until its Dec. 4-5 meeting in Olympia.  Written testimony can also be submitted during that meeting.

    The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, is scheduled to take action on the proposed rule changes in February of 2010.

    Continue Reading ...