Out & About

By Al Thomas, Columbian Outdoors Reporter



Washington hunters have chance for special deer, elk permits

OLYMPIA — Washington hunters have a chance to win one of nine special hunting permits in 2013 if they report this year’s hunting activity for bear, deer, elk or turkey by Jan. 10.

Those who meet the deadline will be included in a drawing for five deer permits and four elk permits in various areas of the state. Those permits are valid Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.

To qualify for the drawing, hunters must submit a report for each bear, deer, elk or turkey tag they bought and for each special permit received in 2012.

All hunters, successful or not, are required to submit hunting reports for the four species by Jan. 31. Failure to meet the deadline can result in a $10 fine payable before a sportsman can buy a 2013 license.

Hunters can report by phone at 887-945-3492 or online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov. They will need to give the name of the game management unit hunted and their individual identification number, which is printed on license documents.

Dave Ware, department game manager, said the permits are an incentive for filing reports early.

“If everyone waits until the last minute, it creates problems,” he said.

Nominations sought for state inland fish advisory group

OLYMPIA — Nominations will be accepted through Jan. 25 for membership on the Inland Fish Policy Advisory Group of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Up to 15 individuals will be chosen to serve for 2013-14. The group gives guidance to the agency on issues involving trout, bass, panfish and kokanee. It meets about three times a year and members are asked to comment periodically on written materials throughout the year.

Appointments are effective Feb. 1.

Nominations need to include the nominee’s name, address and telephone number; affiliations, if any; experience; species or areas of interest, and references.

The name, address and telephone number of any organization submitting a nomination should also be included. Self nominations are accepted.

Nominations must be submitted to Bruce Bolding, WDFW Fish Management Division, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, 98501 or by e-mail to bruce.bolding@dfw.wa.gov.

More information is available by calling Bolding at 360-902-8417.

Comment period extended for sport-fishing rules

OLYMPIA — The comment period for the proposed Washington sport-fishing rules has been extended through Jan. 29.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission has postponed a public hearing on the proposals until February. Written comments also can be submitted during that meeting.

The commission is scheduled to adopt the proposed rule changes during its March meeting in Moses Lake.

Among the proposals for Southwest Washington waters include increasing the daily bag limit at Merwin Reservoir to 10 kokanee plus five trout and delaying the opening of Swift Reservoir to the first Saturday in June.

At Swift, landlocked salmon rules would apply (landlocked salmon and trout all count toward the daily limit), the maximum-size limit would be 15 inches and the daily bag would increase to 10 fish beginning in September.

To review and comment on the proposed rules visit the agency’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/. Printed copies of the proposals and comment forms are available by contacting the fish program at (360) 902-2672.

The website includes information on the nearly 70 proposed rules that WDFW fishery managers recommend move forward for further review and public comment, as well as information on proposals not recommended for further consideration.