WDFW Solicits Public Comments on Scope of Puget Sound Rockfish Plan

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OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is accepting public comments on the scope and direction of a new management plan currently being developed for Puget Sound rockfish.

The management plan, scheduled for completion in early 2009, will provide a framework for new strategies in areas including fisheries, enforcement, monitoring and education to conserve and restore rockfish populations in Puget Sound.

To lay the groundwork for this plan, WDFW has filed notice of its intent to develop an environmental impact statement (EIS) under the State Environmental Policy Act.

Written comments on this “scoping” notice will be accepted through June 18. Comments should be addressed to SEPA/NEPA Coordinator, Regulatory Services Section, WDFW Habitat Program, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia 98501.

A copy of the scoping notice is posted at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hab/sepa/sepa.htm. Written copies may be obtained by calling (360) 902-2700.

Within the framework established by the plan, state fisheries managers plan to develop management strategies for Puget Sound rockfish. Several species of rockfish currently are being considered for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.