Commission to consider 2021-23 hunting seasons, hatchery policy, hydraulic code rules
OLYMPIA – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will make decisions on a number of topics at its April 9 virtual meeting, including setting hunting seasons for 2021-23, adopting an updated hatchery policy, establishing new rules to govern certain mining in state waters, and considering a petition to repeal restrictions on fishing from a floating vessel on a stretch of the Hoh River.
The Commission will consider the adoption of 2021-23 hunting season proposals including hunting boundary changes, deer and elk seasons, waterfowl, and most game species. WDFW staff will propose the Commission postpone several proposed hunting equipment and method updates to allow staff more time to review public feedback.
The Commission is also expected to hear a briefing on the public comments received and proposed changes to the state hydraulic code’s mineral prospecting rules (WAC 220-660), designed to protect fish and their habitats. The department is updating these rules to implement elements of the Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1261, which changed parts of the law governing construction projects in state waters (RCW 77.55). More information on this rule-making process is available on WDFW’s website.
The Commission will also decide whether to adopt an updated Anadromous Salmon and Steelhead Hatchery Policy (C-3624), which would supersede the previous policy (C-3619). If approved, the policy would require the development of additional technical documentation, as well as further State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review.
Finally, the Commission will consider a petition asking for the repeal of a regulation that prohibits fishing from a floating device on an approximately 7-mile stretch of the Hoh River, from Morgan’s Crossing Boat Launch upstream to the Olympic National Park boundary below the mouth of South Fork Hoh River.
Public comment on these topics has been held previously, however, the public can tune in at 8:30 a.m. to watch the proceedings via Zoom webinar at https://zoom.us/j/94515312742. To view a full agenda and additional materials, please visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/meetings/.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is a panel appointed by the governor that sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.