Multiple-season hunting permit deadline set
A March 31 deadline has been set for applying for muliple-season deer and elk hunting permits, the Washington Department of Fish &Wildlife reported.
The department will conduct a drawing in mid-April for 8,500 muliple-season deer permits and 1,000 elk permits. Winners of the drawing will be eligible to purchase a special tag allowing them to participate in archery, muzzleloader and modern firearm general hunting seasons for deer or elk this years. Those who purchase the multiple-season elk tag by Aug. 31 may participate in general elk hunting seasons in both western and eastern Washington.
Winners may also choose any weapon type when applying for a special permit.
Hunters may purchase a multiple-season permit application by phoning (866) 246-9453 or by visiting an authorized license dealer. The permit application is $7.10 for state residents.
While a current hunting license is not required to submit an application, winners of the drawing must purchase one before they can buy a multiple-season permit.
Public meeting on salmon forecast Monday
Anglers, commercial fishers and others interested in Washington state salmon fisheries can get a preview of this year’s salmon returns and potential fishing seasons during a public meeting here Monday.
Kicking off the annual salmon season-setting process, the Washington Department of Fish &Wildlife will present initial forecasts — compiled by state and tribal biologists — of 2014 salmon returns.
The meeting is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington Street S.E., in Olympia.
Those attending the meeting will have an opportunity to talk to fishery managers about the pre-season forecasts and participate in work sessions focusing on possible salmon fisheries and conservation issues.
Fish &Wildlife has also scheduled additional public meetings focusing on regional salmon issues through early April. This series of meetings — involving representatives from federal, state and tribal governments and recreational and commercial fishing industries — is known as the North of Falcon process.
A meeting schedule and more information about the salmon season-setting process for Puget Sound, the Columbia River and the Washington coast is available on the department’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/.
The North of Falcon process is held in conjunction with public meetings conducted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), responsible for establishing fishing seasons in ocean water three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.
Final adoption of the 2014 salmon fisheries is scheduled for April 10 at the PFMC meeting in Vancouver.
Commission to take public comments on hunting proposals
The Washington Fish &Wildlife Commission will accept comments on proposed changes to state hunting rules for deer, elk, moose and other game species during a public meeting March 7-8 in Moses Lake.
The commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish &Wildlife, will convene at 8 a.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the Moses Lake Civic Center, 401 S. Balsam St. in Moses Lake.
An agenda for the meeting is available on the commission’s website at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/.
On March 7, the commission will be briefed and take public comment on proposed changes to hunting rules for 2014. Those changes, available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/regulations/development.html, include:
• Reducing fees for multi-season deer permit holders; master hunters with special permits for deer or elk damage tags; special permit holders who purchase a second deer tag; and hunters who are issued damage prevention or kill permits for second deer tags.
• Decreasing elk hunting permits by more than 400 in the Mount St. Helens area now that the elk population is more in balance with area habitat.
• Boosting the number of antlerless elk hunting permits by 620 for the Colockum area, where the population exceeds management goals.
• Streamlining the process for issuing hunters with disabilities special use permits, which enable them to use modified hunting equipment.
Daily World staff reports