Commission will tackle a number of hunting regulation proposals

Hunting discussions will dominate the agenda when the state Fish and Wildlife Commission meets Thursday and Friday in Tumwater.

The discussions will cover topics including small game hunting dates, bag limits and other rules; changes to deer and elk area descriptions and special closures; deer and elk general seasons and permits; trapping seasons and regulations, permits levels for mountain goat, bighorn sheep and moose; and landowner hunting permits.

In addition, the commission will vote on proposals regarding the use of bait during deer and elk hunting seasons. The commission will consider multiple proposals, including a complete ban on baiting, putting a limit on the amount of bait that could be put out by hunters or allowing the use of some bait by youth, elderly and hunters with disabilities.

The hunting discussions are scheduled to begin Thursday afternoon and continue through Friday morning.

SALMON DISCUSSIONS: Steve Thiesfeld, the Region 6 fish program manager, will brief the commission on the progress made in developing a Willapa Bay salmon management policy. The department has been working with various interest groups and fishermen to develop a policy that will guide management decisions for recreational and commercial salmon fishing in Willapa Bay.

In addition to the briefing, the commission will take public comments on the proposal.

Thiesfeld will ask the commission for guidance for this year’s fishing seasons.

The discussion is expected to begin about 9:15 a.m. Thursday.

After the lunch break, Thiesfeld will give the commission an update on the Grays Harbor salmon management policy.

PUGET SOUND SHELLFISH: The commission will be briefed on the Puget Sound crab and shrimp fisheries. This will include a review of the commercial and recreational harvests from the 2014 season, plus a review of data collected regarding fishermen’s compliance with state regulations. These discussions are scheduled for Friday morning.

SPECIES REVIEWS: Department staffers will request the commission’s approval on the status review of the Stellar sea lion and tufted puffin. This will take place Friday morning

WHEN: The meetings will start at 8 a.m. Thursday and Friday.

WHERE: Capital Events Center, Mason/Lewis rooms, 6005 Tyee Drive SW, Tumwater.

AGENDA: wdfw.wa.gov/commission.