Wildlife Commission adopts new hunting rules, reduces cost of some special permits

OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission took action to expand the number of big-game hunting permits available this year and reduce the cost of several types of permits during

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WDFW will not release ‘early winter’ hatchery steelhead this spring unless legal issues are resolved

OLYMPIA –The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will not release early winter hatchery steelhead

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WDFW: Public comment sought on state game management plan

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is conducting a public opinion survey to help identify key wildlife issues to be addressed in the department’s 2015-2021 Game Management Plan.

The information gathered from the survey will help WDFW update its current plan, originally developed in 2003 and updated in 2009. The plan guides the long-term management of game species, and is used to develop three-year hunting packages that set annual regulations for hunting seasons.

The survey is available on WDFW’s website through Jan. 3 at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/game/2015/ . Paper copies of the survey also are available by contacting the Wildlife Program at (360) 902-2515.

Public meetings scheduled to discuss Grays Harbor salmon management

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled eight public meetings this fall and winter to discuss and develop a new draft policy for managing salmon fisheries in Grays Harbor.

The public meetings are part of a nearly five-month process to develop the new draft policy specifically for Grays Harbor salmon management. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, a citizen panel appointed by the governor to set policy for WDFW, is scheduled to consider adopting the draft policy in mid-February.

Salmon fisheries in Grays Harbor are currently managed under a framework that was initially developed in 2007, in conjunction with the commission's North of Falcon policy, said Ron Warren, regional fish program manager for WDFW.

"We would like to further refine the management of Grays Harbor salmon fisheries to help ensure we can meet spawning goals for wild salmon returning to the basin, as well as give anglers and commercial fishers a clearer picture of what fishing opportunities they can expect each year," Warren said.

WDFW Land Acquisition Proposals Available Online

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Current proposals by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to acquire land for fish and wildlife habitat and public recreation are now on view on the department’s website.

Jennifer Quan, WDFW lands division manager, said the new webpage is designed to give the public an opportunity to learn about land-acquisition proposals before the department seeks funding sources in spring and summer.

Details of 21 proposed land acquisitions, identified by the department as priorities for future funding, are available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/acquisitions/. Previous acquisitions and those already under way are not included on the website.

The web page offers an opportunity to take a ‘virtual tour’ of our land-acquisition proposals, we recently presented these proposals at the state’s annual Land Acquisition Coordinating Forum and now want to share the proposed projects with a broader group of citizens. - Quan

The statewide forum brings together state agencies, local governments, non-governmental organizations, tribes, landowners and other citizens to share ideas about state land actions for habitat and recreation purposes. More information on the forum is available at http://www.rco.wa.gov/boards/hrlcg.shtml

Public Asked For Conservation and Recreational Ideas For Sportfishing Rules

OLYMPIA, Wash. - People with ideas about how to improve state sportfishing rules can submit their proposals to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) through June 15.

Only those proposals that are necessary for resource conservation or provide a significant recreational benefit should be submitted to WDFW, due to a moratorium issued by the Governor’s office on non-critical rule making.

Craig Burley, fish program manager for WDFW, said people who would like to submit a proposal can use a new online form available on the department’s website.

"We are looking to improve the rule proposal process and make it more user-friendly with this online form," Burley said.

WDFW Accepting Comments on 2011-12 Sportfishing Rule Proposals

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is accepting public comments through Oct. 2 on state sportfishing rules proposed for 2011-12.

 

The 17 rule proposals, which would affect various recreational fisheries around the state, are available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/. Printed copies of the proposals are available by contacting WDFW’s Fish Program at (360) 902-2700.

 

As a cost-saving measure, WDFW last year changed the process for considering sportfishing rule proposals to a two-year cycle, rather than a yearly basis. The next opportunity to propose major changes to sportfishing rules will be next year for the 2012-14 season, said Craig Burley, fish management division manager for WDFW.

Meetings scheduled to discuss fishery management on 13 lakes with loons

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will hold two public meetings later this month to discuss proposed fishery-management alternatives on 13 Washington lakes where common loons nest.

The meetings are scheduled on:

July 27 – From 6-8 p.m., at the WDFW Eastern Regional Office, 2315 N. Discovery Place, in Spokane Valley.
July 29 – From 6-8 p.m. at the WDFW North Puget Sound Regional Office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd., in Mill Creek.

During the meetings, WDFW staff will explain fishery-management alternatives developed with an 11-member ad hoc citizen advisory group. The alternatives are expected to include options ranging from status quo to prohibiting the use of small lead fishing tackle in recreational fisheries on lakes with loons, said John Whalen, regional fish program manager for WDFW.

WDFW seeks public comment on draft white-tailed deer plan

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public comment on a draft plan to guide management of the state’s white-tailed deer populations.

Developed by WDFW over the past year, the five-year plan outlines strategies for sustainably managing the game animals throughout their range in eastern Washington.

Other key goals include maintaining stable deer-hunting opportunities for state citizens and reducing deer-related damage to crops and other personal property.