Adoption of the long-discussed Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy is among topics on upcoming meeting

A decision on whether or not to adopt the updated Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy and other topics are on the agenda at upcoming meetings of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The commission is scheduled to hold a retreat and make decisions on a variety of topics during its Sept. 28-30 meeting in Yakima. 

The Commission’s Fish Committee will meet separately from 1 to 3 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 25 to discuss electronic monitoring for the coastal commercial Dungeness crab fishery, and an overview of the annual North of Falcon salmon season setting process. 

For ways to view the meeting online, visit the Commission’s webpage

The Commission kicks off work Thursday morning with a retreat facilitated by Triangle Associates, where they will discuss Commission processes and procedures. The retreat continues through noon on Friday. This portion of the meeting will not be available for online viewers, but the public is invited to observe the Commission’s discussions. 

Beginning at 1 p.m. on Friday, the meeting will resume with commissioner general discussion and meeting minute approval, followed by a report from Washington Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Kelly Susewind and South Central Region Director Mike Livingston. 

Continuing Friday, the Commission will decide on a proposed land transaction to acquire about 650 acres in the Chester Butte Unit of the Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area in Douglas County, to support protection of shrubsteppe habitat, home to the pygmy rabbit, as well as sharp-tailed and sage grouse habitat. It would also support hunting, wildlife viewing, hiking, and other recreation. 

The Commission is then expected to make a decision on whether to adopt an updated Willapa Bay Salmon Management Policy. Work on this revised policy has been ongoing for several years; visit the Commission meetings webpage for past materials and recordings.  

Finally on Friday, staff will brief the Commission and take public comment on proposed revisions to rules for Puget Sound and coastal shellfish meant to improve commercial fishery monitoring. Additional rule-making proposals from the coast and Puget sound clarify and update existing rules including updates to electronic fish ticket submission rules. The public can also view and comment on these proposed revisions now at WDFW’s rule-making webpage.  

The Commission meeting continues Saturday morning with open public input, followed by a future meeting planning discussion. 

The September Commission meeting will be hybrid, with public attendance available via webinar, phone, and in–person at the Yakima Convention Center, 10 N. 8th St., Yakima. The meeting, beginning on Friday afternoon and all of Saturday, will be recorded and posted online so people can watch afterwards at their convenience. For more information about attending, please view the meeting agenda online

Visit the WDFW webpage for information on how to register to submit testimony either virtually or in-person.