WA Fish and Wildlife Commission approve numerous items at Dec. meeting

A number of changes were approved during the recent meeting of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.

During their virtual December meeting, the commission made decisions on several items, including adopting a new non-native game fish and fisheries policy, adopting new hydraulic code rules, and approving two land acquisitions. 

WDFW staff presented the final draft of a new Commission policy to guide management of non-native game fish and fisheries in the state, following public input and creation of an ad-hoc advisory group to aid policy development. The Commission voted to adopt that policy. 

More information is available at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/non-native-game-fish.

Also at the meeting, the Commission approved changes to hydraulic code rules to help implement Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill (E2SHB) 1382, which was passed by the Washington Legislature earlier in 2021 to create further opportunities for streamlined permitting of habitat restoration projects. 

More information is available at https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/environmental/hpa/rulemaking.

The Commission unanimously voted to approve two proposed land acquisitions, one to acquire 290 acres of shrubsteppe habitat in Yakima County that would link two Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife-managed wildlife area units, and another to acquire a 34-acre conservation easement in Thurston County that provides wetland habitat for Oregon spotted frog. 

The Commission also unanimously voted on appointments to leadership positions, with current Chair Larry Carpenter remaining in that position, while Commissioner Molly Linville of Douglas County will assume the vice-chair position previously held by Barbara Baker of Thurston County. Baker nominated Linville as her successor, calling her “a very good fit” for the role.

“Commissioner Linville has proven herself a thoughtful, fair-minded and valuable voice on the Commission since she joined us two years ago,” Carpenter said. “I look forward to continue working with her to benefit all of Washington’s fish, wildlife, and residents.”

Leadership positions carry a two-year term, voted on in odd-numbered years.

Also during the meeting, Commissioners heard public comment and updates from staff on a package of proposed sport fishing rule changes, including a summary of public input received so far. Finally, Commissioners received an update on implementation of its Columbia River Salmon Fishery Management Policy (C-3630), which was adopted in September 2020.

More information on the Commission and information on past and upcoming meetings can be found at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission.