A public hearing on proposed changes in recreational fishing, clam and oyster rules, as well as discussions on climate change and the enforcement program highlight the agenda for this week’s meeting of the state Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The commission is considering about 70 proposed changes in fishing rules for the 2013-14 season. Craig Burley, Fish Management Division manager, will update the commission on the proposals. The commission also will take public comments on the recommended changes. The discussion is scheduled to take place Friday afternoon.
Among the proposals is a change in the opening day of more than 100 resident trout streams to the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and expanding the use of two fishing poles, with the purchase of a two-pole endorsement, to 50 additional lakes.
Other proposed changes include converting Ohop and Long lakes into year-round fisheries and modifying the fishing season for the section of the Deschutes River from Old Highway 99 Bridge on Capitol Boulevard in Tumwater upstream to the Henderson Boulevard Bridge near Pioneer Park. If approved, trout fishing would be open year-round for catch and release. Selective gear rules would be in place except from Sept. 1-Oct. 15, when bait is allowed and barbless hooks are required.
The commission is expected to vote on the changes during its March meeting in Moses Lake.
After that discussion, the commission will hear from Rich Childers, Puget Sound shellfish manager, on proposed changes to the recreational clam and oyster seasons on Puget Sound public beaches. The commission will also take public comment on the proposals.
Climate change: Lynn Helbrecht, climate change coordinator for the Habitat Program, will brief the commission on the impacts of climate change on natural resource management in the state. This topic is scheduled for late Friday morning.
Land acquisition: The commission will consider a proposal to purchase of 24.83 acres on the Wenatchee River in Chelan County for public fishing and boating access. Dan Budd, real estate section manager for the Wildlife Program, will lead the discussion Friday.
When: 8:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Where: Room 172, Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. SE, Olympia.
Agenda: Go to wdfw.wa.gov/commission.