Commission to hear updates on bear hunts, hatchery reform, commercial viewing of Southern Resident killer whales

WDFW – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will hear updates on a wide variety of topics during its Dec. 3-5 virtual commission meeting.

The Commission will kick off with meetings of its fish and wildlife committees on Thursday, Dec. 3 to discuss Willapa Bay and hatchery reform policies, as well as spring bear hunts, grazing policy, and fire response on Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) lands, among other topics.

On Friday, Dec. 4, the full Commission will consider approving the transfer of 174 acres in Grant County from Washington State Parks to WDFW, which is expected to provide more uniform land ownership within the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area, as well as provide water access to Lake Lenore.

Also on Friday, the Commission will hear briefings and updates from WDFW staff on proposed spring black bear hunting season rules, development of draft rules for a new commercial whale watching licensing program and regulations for the commercial viewing of Southern Resident killer whales, sustainable Washington seafood outreach, statewide pinniped conservation and management efforts, and the proposed nonlethal pursuit training program, which will help ensure opportunity for handlers to keep dogs trained for enforcement response to wildlife conflicts.

On Saturday, Dec. 5, the Commission will hear updates and public comment on the continued review of its Willapa Bay and Hatchery Reform policies, and consider next steps.

The Commission will also take open public comment on Friday and Saturday morning.

To support COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, the meeting will be available to the public through the webinar or conference call.

For more information and to view an agenda, visit The meeting will be recorded and posted online so people can also watch the meeting afterwards at their convenience.