Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to meet this week; local discussion scheduled

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is set to discuss commercial crabbing regulations and other topics at their September 17 meeting.

The commission is scheduled to hear briefings at its Sep. 17 virtual meeting regarding coastal commercial Dungeness crab regulation changes, proposed amendments on rules for importing dead non-resident wildlife, and statewide industrial solar development.

Commission members will also hold Big Tent and Fish committee meetings on Thursday, Sep. 16, to hear briefings on topics such as the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) conservation policy, Willapa Bay salmon management, and the Columbia Basin Task Force’s latest work.

On Friday morning, the Commission will begin their regular meeting by taking open public comment followed by a report from WDFW Director Kelly Susewind. WDFW staff will brief the Commission on additional rule changes for coastal commercial Dungeness crab to reduce the risk of entangling marine mammals, which builds on other entanglement risk reduction measures approved in 2020.

Commissioners will also hear a briefing on proposed amendments to Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 220-413-030 regarding the importation and retention of dead non-resident wildlife and WAC 220-413-180 regarding special hunting closures and firearm restriction areas.

On Friday afternoon, WDFW staff will brief the Commission on industrial solar development occurring statewide, with a focus on implications for shrubsteppe conservation. The public is invited to provide comment on this topic.

The afternoon’s agenda will continue with a briefing from the Attorney General’s Office on the Fish and Wildlife Commission legislative history and the differentiation of policy from rulemaking. The Commission will end their meeting with an executive session that is not open to the public.

To support COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, this meeting will be conducted online and be available to the public to watch or listen via webinar or conference call. As part of new public comment guidelines, those who wish to comment on any portion of the meeting must be registered by 8 a.m. on Friday. 

Find more information on how to comment and view the meeting at wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission/meetings, as well as further agenda details.

The meeting will be recorded and posted online afterwards so people can also watch at their convenience.