Public testimony ahead for spring chinook

The state Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to accept public testimony on proposed updates to the Columbia River spring chinook policy and the Columbia River sturgeon management policy when it meets today and Saturday.

In addition, Fish and Wildlife director Phil Anderson will present to the commission options for alternative public- input processes on two sportfishing rule proposals that have drawn considerable interest. Anderson is scheduled to present those alternatives today.

The two alternative processes would address a proposal that would ban the use of small lead fishing tackle at 13 lakes in Washington, and a proposal that would close fishing for bottomfish and halibut off the northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula.

The panel also is to vote on the second phase of a major land exchange proposed with the state Department of Natural Resources. Under the proposal, Fish and Wildlife would acquire approximately 25,849 acres of shrub-steppe and lower-elevation forest habitats, while WDNR would acquire approximately 12,424 acres of higher elevation forest habitat. The land is in Kittitas, Okanogan, Klickitat, Yakima, Asotin and Chelan counties.

Commissioners also are scheduled to meet with Gov. Chris Gregoire this afternoon.

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The commission will meet in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. both days.

The News Tribune