State mulls fishing rules changes

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is seeking final public input on new state sportfishing rules proposed for 2010-2012 during its Dec. 4-5 meeting in Olympia.

The sportfishing rules hearing is scheduled to begin at noon on Saturday, Dec. 5.

The December meeting offers the last opportunity for public comment on more than 100 rule-change proposals that affect a variety of state freshwater and saltwater sport fisheries, starting next year.

The proposed changes are available on the wildlife department's Web site at

The public may submit written testimony during the commission meeting.

Final commission action on the rules is scheduled for the Feb. 4-6 meeting in Olympia. Once adopted, the rules will be in effect for two years, beginning May 1, 2010.

The commission, which sets policy for the state, meets both days at 8:30 a.m. in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia.

Commissioners are to be briefed by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife staff and take public comments on a proposal to offer hunters five additional multi-species raffle permits.

The commission also will receive staff briefings and updates on:

_ history and current status of the Columbia River spring chinook fishery;

_ status of the Puget Sound groundfish management plan;

_ process for developing bag limit regulations for the 2011-2013 recreational albacore tuna fishery;

_ status of the white-tailed deer management plan;

_ proposed regulations for the commercial sardine fishery;

_ Marine Protected Area Work Group activities;

_ implementation of mineral prospecting rules passed in 2008;

_ history and current activities of the Commission's Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities; and,

_ collaborative efforts to clean up the WDFW-managed access site at American Lake in Pierce County.

More information on the commission's meeting calendar and Dec. 4-5 agenda is available on the commission's Web site at

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