Fish and Wildlife Commission accepting public comment to manage Chehalis fisheries

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OLYMPIA — The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will accept public comments on the proposed development of a new policy for managing salmon fisheries in Grays Harbor during a meeting scheduled Nov. 8-9 in Olympia.

Also at the two-day meeting, the public will also have an opportunity to comment on proposed new rules for commercial dive fisheries and plans by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to purchase lands for wildlife conservation in Kittitas and Yakima counties.

The commission, a nine-member citizen panel appointed by the Governor to set policy for WDFW, will convene at 8:30 a.m. both days in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia. An agenda for the meeting is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/meetings.html.

State fishery managers have proposed developing a new Grays Harbor salmon management policy to meet spawning goals for wild salmon returning to the basin and give sport and commercial fishers a clearer picture of what fishing opportunities they can expect each year.

A number of public workshops are scheduled on the proposed policy through mid-January. Information about those workshops is available at http://goo.gl/kLCLi6.

In other business, the commission will consider a proposed rule for commercial dive fisheries that would prohibit the use of certain types of fishing gear aboard commercial vessels to make it more difficult to harvest geoduck clams illegally. Another proposal asks the commission to delegate the responsibility of setting sea urchin size limits to WDFW.

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