Fishing rule change proposals welcome

"The time has come for suggestions from anyone who would like to see a change in next year's sport fishing rules.The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is now accepting proposals from the public for changes in next year's sport fishing rules.The agency also is inviting the public to participate in meetings scheduled around the state in June to discuss the rule-change process and regional fishing issues.If people have ideas about ways to improve our fishing seasons, we'd like to hear them, said Bob Gibbons, WDFW inland/anadromous fisheries manager. We recognize that most anglers are focused on this year's season right now, but this is also the time to think about changes for next year.WDFW will accept proposals from the public through July 13 for agency review. Those changes approved by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission next February will appear in the fishing pamphlet published May 1, 2002.Forms necessary to submit a rule change and additional information about the rule-change process can be downloaded from the WDFW Web site, Or call (360) 902-2700 to request a rule-change packet by mail.Included on the Web site and in the packet is information about current seasons, the rationale behind existing rules and other processes, such as the North of Falcon salmon season forum, for setting fishing regulations.For help in developing proposals or to discuss regional fishing issues that may be addressed this year, the public is invited to attend any of a series of meetings. The closest to Whidbey Island will be held Thursday, June 21, 7 to 9 at 16018 Mill Creek Blvd., Mill Creek. "

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