Commission to hear updates on spring bear hunts, hatchery reform, draft rules for commercial viewing of Southern Resident killer whales at December meeting

  • Thu Dec 3rd, 2020 12:30pm
  • Sports

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is expected to consider approving a land transaction and 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.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is a panel appointed by the governor that sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.

Individuals who need to receive this information in an alternative format, language, or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact the Title VI/ADA Compliance Coordinator by phone at 360-902-2349, TTY (711), or email ([email protected]).