OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has scheduled more public meetings this month to allow citizens additional opportunity to review and comment on possible revisions to the state's recreational license structure and fees.
The nearest of these meetings is next Wednesday, Oct. 16, at Montesano City Hall, 112 N. Main St., Montesano, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The license change discussions result from a legislative directive requiring the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to evaluate the adequacy and structure of hunting and fishing license fees and to make its recommendations by Nov. 1. The directive comes at a time when the Legislature is confronted with a large general fund deficit. License fee increases are subject to approval by the Legislature.
The license change proposals may be viewed on the WDFW website at http://www.wa.gov/wdfw/com/lic_proposals. Comments may be submitted electronically from that site. The department will also accept written public comments sent by mail to Frank Hawley, Licensing Director, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia WA 98501. All written or e-mailed comments should be submitted by Oct. 17.
Some of the proposed revisions include pegging future license fee increases to an inflation index; raising the cost of shellfish licenses to more closely reflect fishing license fees; reducing existing discounts for senior fishing licenses; offering limited opportunities to hunt deer and elk in more than one weapon season; establishing a fee for catch record cards; and offering a limited number of permanent lifetime recreational licenses and establishing a raffle for those permanent licenses.