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Fisherman settles records lawsuit with Fish & Wildlife

OLYMPIA — Central Park resident Dave Hamilton says he’s settled a Public Records Act lawsuit against the state Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Hamilton and brother Tim, of McCleary, have been posting public records related to the way the state Fish & Wildlife Department is managing the fisheries on the Chehalis River at http://fishingthechehalis.net. After six public record requests done since November of 2011, they say that the state agency was not very responsive to their requests and hadn’t turned over all of their records dealing with gillnetting and setting fishing seasons.

Hamilton filed a lawsuit in Thurston County Superior Court on April 1, citing multiple violations of the state Public Records Act.

Hamilton says the settlement agreement mandates the state Fish & Wildlife Department be more open on their records. He says he’s still waiting on some records, but has received others.

Hamilton was represented by Joe Frawley of the Olympia law firm of Rodgers Kee & Pearson. Hamilton lives along the banks of the Chehalis River at Central Park and has spent decades as a volunteer coordinator working in the Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay coastal regions.

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