FISHING – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved fishing regulations for the 2012-2014 fishing seasons during its meeting last weekend in Olympia.
Changes the panel made include:
• Declassifying northern pike as a gamefish.
• Extending two-pole fishing options to include the Pend Oreille River and the lower Spokane River.
• Changing the opening day of the lowland lake fishing season from the last Saturday in April to the fourth Saturday in April.
• Revising the selective-fishery rules on the Kettle River to allow youths under age 15 to use bait to fish in 9 miles of the Kettle River from the Highway 21 bridge at Curlew to the Canada border.
• Establishing three management sections for regulating fishing in the San Poil Arm of Lake Roosevelt; walleye limits were not changed.
• Opening about 2 miles of the upper Wind River to catch-and-release steelhead fishing Sept. 16-Nov. 30.
Washington boosts multiseason tags
HUNTING – The number of multiseason big-game hunting permits will more than double in Washington this year.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted last week to increase the number of multiple-season deer permits issued each year from 4,000 to 8,500. Multiseason elk permits will increase from 850 to 1,250.
The permits, awarded through spring drawings, allow permit-holders to participate in all general hunting seasons for deer and elk.
Without the special permit, hunters must choose among archery, muzzleloader or modern firearm seasons.
The change will increase revenue for the Fish and Wildlife Department, but agency officials say giving some hunters better odds for filling their tags won’t pose a risk to deer and elk populations.
Women honored as water heroes
CONSERVATION – Mary Verner, former Spokane mayor, and Deb Abrahamson, a leader in mining pollution cleanup efforts, will receive water hero awards Saturday in the annual Winter Waters fundraising dinner.
The event at Patsy Clark Mansion is sponsored by Upper Columbia River Group – Sierra Club and the Center for Environmental Law & Policy.
Verner is being honored for her work in protecting the Spokane River and aquifer while Abrahamson is being cited for leadership in dealing with uranium pollution in the lower Spokane River.
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