[3/26/19] Proposed Fishing Guide Rules

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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public comments on proposed rules that would require that fishing guides regularly report their fishing activities.

Under the proposed rules, fishing guides would provide WDFW with information such as the date and location of each guided fishing trip, the number of anglers onboard, and the number and type of fish species caught per trip.

 Currently, WDFW relies on individual anglers to report their catch information but does not have a means of tracking whether the activity was part of a guided fishing trip, said Kelly Cunningham, deputy assistant director for WDFW’s Fish Program.

 Draft rules are posted for public review on the department’s website at:

wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/commercial

WDFW will accept public comments submitted through June 7 on that website.

Cunningham noted the agency held more than a dozen meetings with fishing guides around the state to discuss the proposed rules… adding:

 “We’re working with guides to develop a reporting mechanism that works for them and provides the agency with timely information that will help us manage fisheries.”

 WDFW staff will present their proposal to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at its April meeting in Olympia. The commission is scheduled to take public comment on the proposal at its June meeting in Port Angeles before making a decision during the August meeting. 

Details about those commission meetings will be posted online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/commission.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.