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Deadline extended for public comment on non-native gamefish management

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has extended the opportunity for the public to weigh in on development of a policy to guide statewide management of non-native game fish species.

The public comment period, previously scheduled to run through April 5, 2021, will now close at the end of the day on May 5, 2021. The comment extension comes after stakeholders requested more time to submit comments on the draft version of the policy.

“This is an important policy, and extending the comment period will help ensure that people have an opportunity to provide feedback on this draft,” said Steve Caromile, WDFW’s Inland Fish Program manager.

Non-native game fish is a category that includes species such as bass, walleye, catfish, crappie, and some trout. Many are popular options for anglers in Washington and can provide economic and biological benefits, but can also affect local ecosystems and native fish populations.

The public can provide comment on the draft policy on the WDFW website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/non-native-game-fish.

WDFW also hosted a public meeting to discuss the draft policy on March 16; a recording of that presentation can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3DaATT-vlM&t.

If you are unable to access the survey online and need to request a paper copy of the survey, call 360-902-0045. Written comments may be mailed to:

Fish Program
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
PO Box 43200
Olympia, WA 98504

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